Incontinence is a sensitive subject by nature, making it difficult for seniors living with the problem to discuss it with their families. In fact, while some seniors avoid talking about the issue, others go to great lengths to hide problems of incontinence, even when it is clear that help is needed. As frustrating as this can be, it is important that you try to understand why your loved one would try to hide incontinence. Then, you can have an open conversation, keeping both their needs and feelings in mind.
The following are three of the most common reasons that an aging parent or loved one may try to hide incontinence, presented by Columbus Home Care Assistance:
- Shame and Embarrassment – Bed wetting, the inability to make it to a toilet in time, or not feeling the urge to use the restroom are often associated with infantile responses. Because of this, your loved one may feel ashamed and/or embarrassed that they are incontinent. They may worry that the family will no longer see them as an adult and begin treating them in a child like manner.
- Declining Independence – Mom or dad may not want to fess up about incontinence because they may fear it will affect independence. The senior that is able to perform all or most of his or her activities of daily living with little to no assistance may view the admission of incontinence as defeat. They may think that telling someone means that they will no longer be trusted to complete their own self care activities.
- Fear of Health Problems – Seniors may attempt to conceal incontinence out of fear. Not fear of the family, but fear that their health is declining. They may worry that the problem is caused by a medical condition and may not wish to seek medical attention for it, just in case it is something more serious. Unfortunately, many seniors hope the situation will improve or go away and are therefore reluctant to tell anyone.
How You Can Help
After recognizing how incontinence could be impacting your loved one physically and emotionally, it is important to sit down with them and have a conversation about their needs. Approach the topic with sensitivity and try not to make judgments. Instead, explain what you’ve noticed. Discuss how you are concerned about their safety and offer them options for how to move forward such as scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician or enlisting in the help of a part-time home caregiver in Columbus. Giving your loved one options and the ability to choose what they are comfortable with can help them regain a sense of control and independence.
Ensure the health and safety of your aging parent or loved one and don’t let problems of incontinence go unnoticed. To learn more about senior care or to find personal care help for an aging parent or loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Columbus today. Although we are the Columbus live-in care experts, we also offer flexible hourly care for seniors who need a bit of assistance throughout the day. Call 614-481-8888 to speak with a Care Manager and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.