Planning for Incontinence in Elderly Passengers on Summer Trips

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unnamed.jpgSummer is in full swing, and with summer come trips of all lengths. Such trips are quite welcome, but they do present challenges where incontinence in elderly passengers is concerned. How does one handle this sometimes delicate situation?

Incontinence in elderly individuals can be a source of great embarrassment and may prevent many seniors from taking long car rides or other trips during the beautiful summer months. In cases in which the incontinence in elderly patients is severe, it may be too difficult to attempt trips of any length. But for those with more moderate stages of incontinence, these tips may make it easier to arrange travel.

Stock up on supplies. Adult incontinence undergarments are usually a must for these trips, so smart caregivers pack plenty of these. Some people have particular brands that they favor, so it’s especially advisable to load up on brand-name favorites if going to a different town or city. It’s possible the local stores may not carry the preferred brand.

Practice in advance. Talk with the senior about doing Kegel exercises in advance to help strengthen bladder control. (Anyone battling incontinence should be doing these anyway.) Also work to establish the habit of using the bathroom whenever the opportunity arises rather than only when the urge strikes. Since bathroom breaks can be unpredictable on a long trip, this habit can come in very handy.

Plan in advance. When plotting out the route, make note of likely bathroom options along the way, and make plans to stop at several that are not too far apart.

Bring a waterproof pad. Accidents do happen, so it’s advisable to let the individual with incontinence sit on a waterproof pad.

Have clothes handy. In the event of an accident, make sure changes of clothes are handy rather than packed away in that suitcase at the very bottom of the pile in the trunk.

Watch out for triggers. Caregivers need to be aware of “triggers” that are likely to make bladder control more difficult (such as drinking coffee rather than water), and take steps to avoid these triggers.

With careful planning, incontinence in elderly passengers can be kept under better control, making a more enjoyable summer possible for all involved.

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