How To Support Your Parents In Dealing With The Diagnosis Of Incontinence 2023

Everyone can be at risk of getting incontinence, a condition that adversely affects a patient’s life. It gets worse when one is old. Most patients with this problem often plan their activities around a toilet or avoid going out altogether. It is common for parents to avoid sharing with their children about the condition even though it is curable. After treatment, one can enjoy their life to the fullest.

Incontinence is the involuntary passing of urine and, or stool. According to the American Urological Foundation, this condition affects approximately 33 million Americans, adults being the most susceptible. Several factors heighten the risk of incontinence. The commonest are age, pregnancy, enlarged prostate, cancer, and damaged pelvic floor muscles.

How Can You Support Your Parents, Diagnosed with Incontinence?

As parents grow older, they may begin to show signs of old age, which could start as small things like forgetfulness, using reading glasses, needing a hand to get up a chair, and much more.

Things take another turn when they get diagnosed with incontinence and need even more exceptional care. Northshore diapers can help manage the condition. Before it worsens, know how to support your affected parent with incontinence.

1. Talk to Them About Incontinence

Always keep an open and honest conversation with your aging parents as they age. For instance, you can regularly assure them of your support whenever they start experiencing health problems. Start communicating about health issues like incontinence early. This topic is often sensitive and may stir emotions ranging from anger to embarrassment and sadness.

Hold their dignity with understanding, respect, and patience. For instance, since they may need products like adult diapers, refrain from referring to the product as diapers alone, as such are for babies that cannot take care of themselves.

During this time, your affected parent is grappling with the loss of independence and might rebel against you trying to help. If they are uncomfortable speaking to you about the illness, encourage them to see a primary healthcare provider for examination.

Related reading: What Makes You Age Fast?

2. Look For The Signs of Incontinence

With open communication, your parents can tell you if they are experiencing the signs of this condition. But it is not always the case, even with open communication, as some might try to hide this from you because of fear, denial, or if they feel it is too embarrassing.

If not treated early by the doctor, the incontinence can deteriorate and lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are even harder to treat. First, understand the signs and symptoms of incontinence and common ways to curb them.

  • Using sanitary pads or diapers to absorb urine leakage.
  • Frequently changing clothes or wearing dark ones to hide urine stains.
  • Staining on mattresses or furniture.
  • Sudden signs of frustration, depression, or anxiety.
  • Hiding bags of trash – soiled clothes and used incontinent products in cabinets or closets.
  • Exhibiting isolated behavior, such as staying indoors all day.

When you notice this, it is time to talk to them about managing their condition through the available treatment options. Remind your parents and loved ones that the quality of their lives is paramount and can only improve when they seek medication and use incontinence care products.

3. Clear Their Way To The Restroom

Incontinence involves the involuntary passing of stool and urine. When the urge comes, nothing can stop it. Therefore, ensure you clear obstacles on their pathway to the restroom, enabling them to be there immediately.

Obstacles in the path can lead to delayed time reaching the toilet or even accidents. Also, ensure they have clothing items that are easy to take off and incontinence items like pull-ons and briefs that reduce anxiety and urine leakage and make incontinence less stressful.

4. Be Prepared with Incontinence Products

Being prepared with the right incontinence products to address their needs can help manage their condition. Some of these products can be expensive. Let your parents apply for coverage for incontinence supplies they require through their insurance if they cannot manage them out of pocket.  

If you are going to purchase supplies by paying out of pocket or through your insurance, you should always be prepared with the following:

  • At least two weeks’ supply of incontinence supplies like incontinence pads, protective pads for furniture or beds, protective underwear, and adult briefs.
  • Moisturizer crème on-hand to clean and protect their skin from irritation from repetitive wear of incontinence products.
  • Cleaning supplies like gloves, odor eliminator, wet wipes, and spare bed sheets.
  • Extra bag of incontinent products and clean clothes for your parents when they are away.


Incontinence is a serious source of anxiety not only to your ailing parent but the caregiver as well. It should not rule your parent’s life at this time when it has a cure. A urologist will help recommend an excellent treatment plan for the patient to regain their quality of life.

Using incontinence products as recommended and finding the right caregiver to help the patient during this time can help your parents recover quickly.


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