Managing everyday life when you or the person you are caring for is affected by incontinence can be challenging, however with planning, most people fi nd they, or the person they are caring for, can live their life to the fullest.
When planning for everyday life with incontinence it may be worth considering the following scenarios/situations:
- home life
- work life
- social outings
- exercise and sport
How you plan for each of these scenarios/situations may be different, however some simple strategies to consider include:
- Knowing how long you will be away from home and making sure you have all the things you may need including continence pads or pants and a spare change of clothes in case of an accident
- Finding out where the closest toilets are and how accessible these are to you. Refer to useful links for the National Public Toilet Map
- Altering your diet and fl uid intake if these impact your symptoms, and
- Testing any new incontinence management strategies at home, so that you don’t get caught out in a social situation.
Looking after you bladder
While choosing the right continence products is important for managing incontinence, there are a few hints to keep your urinary and intestinal systems healthy. Even some simple changes can make a big difference and help you to stay mobile. Simple things may include:
Keep fluids up:
It is important that you drink enough fluid to keep your body running smoothly. At least six to eight glasses of water or herbal tea per day is recommended. Reduce coffee and alcohol, as they may irritate your bladder and don’t force yourself to go to the bathroom, just go when you need to.
Eat high fibre foods:
Fibre is an essential component of every diet. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as foods containing wholemeal flour will help keep your bowels healthy and in good working order.
Watch your weight:
Incontinence can result from being overweight or obese. Reducing your weight, even by a few kilos, will help ease abdominal pressure and unburden your pelvic muscles.
Choose the right exercise:
Pelvic floor exercises are a training program (especially in the case of stress incontinence) to strengthen the muscles that support the uterus, bladder and other pelvic organs. Performing these exercises regularly will help to prevent accidental urine leakage as a result of sneezing, coughing or laughing.
Choosing the right products
Choosing continence products is very important, yet it can be a confusing task. A product should ensure comfort as well as provide security against leakage. In order to find a product that does both of these, selecting the correct size and style for your situation is vital.
Just like people, continence pads and pants come in numerous shapes and sizes. Here are some broad guidelines to help you choose the product that suits you best:
- Continence pads, such as MoliMed and MoliForm are designed to sit within normal underwear or MoliPants. Continence pads range from light absorbency pads (suitable for light incontinence) to super absorbency pads (suitable for severe incontinence).
- Pull-up pants are pads that are built in to disposable underwear and are designed to look and feel like normal underwear. E.g. MoliCare Mobile and MoliMed Pants Active. These products are suitable for people who have active lifestyles or people with dementia that may be more accepting of “underwear like” pads.
- All-in-one pads, such as MoliCare Premium soft, are a full sized pad that wrap around the body and seals with adhesive tapes. They suit people who are immobile or experience heavy incontinence.
- Males may prefer to use a male specific pad. These are developed specifi cally around the male anatomy to provide comfort and prevent leakage.
- When selecting the correct product within the range, look at your level of absorbency required as well as the size. Most HARTMANN continence product ranges are available in numerous absorbency levels.
If you are unsure which product suits your needs best, go to Help me choose by visiting our website moli.hartmann.com.au. To test the best style, size and absorbency level to suit your needs go to our samples.hartmann.com.au to order FREE samples.
Choosing the right continence products is critical for comfort and security. For professional advice regarding incontinence call The National Continence Helpline (1800 33 00 66).