Caring for Incontinent Patients: A Brief Guide
Adult wipes are moistened wipes that are used for cleaning the skin. To use them, simply take a wipe out of the packaging and gently swipe it over the skin. You can use adult wipes to clean your face, hands, or any other part of your body.
It is important to follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure that the wipes are used properly.
To use adult wipes for incontinence care, follow the same steps as above. Start by gently wiping the desired area clean with the wipe, being careful not to rub too hard. After you've cleaned the area, toss the used wipe in the trash. It's important to clean the area thoroughly to prevent irritation and infection. If the person is unable to clean themselves, a caregiver can assist with the wiping. It's also a good idea to use an incontinence cream or ointment, and disposable underpads, to help protect the skin and prevent irritation.
Here are a few more tips on how to care for incontinent patients:
A consistent schedule can help alleviate discomfort and anxiety for both the patient and the caregiver. This can include scheduled bathroom breaks, organizing medication weekly, and setting up reminder systems for ordering necessary incontinence products. To help alleviate anxiety around incontinence episodes, be sure to keep the backstock of necessary products, such as disposable underpads and adult wipes, when applicable. Ensure the size and absorbency of all products are appropriate so that patients know they always have access to the products they need.
Encourage Healthy Eating
A healthy diet goes a long way in helping to manage incontinence. Increasing the intake of fiber-enriched foods and healthy carbs (ie: whole grains and brown rice), and adding more vegetables and certain fruits that are also high in fiber, such as berries, bananas, apples, and pears can help overall bowel function and urinary health. This also means avoiding dairy, caffeine, and spicy foods to prevent a potential increase in accidents.
Closely Monitor Fluid Intake
This step is crucial, but unfortunately often overlooked. Individuals with incontinence tend to drink less water, in hopes of reducing the risk of leaks or accidents. Meanwhile, low water intake can actually irritate the bladder and increase the risk of other infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) which in turn causes more frequent, painful urination that can lead to more accidents. Encourage the intake of fluids throughout the day and add more hydrating foods in patients to help keep their bladders healthy.