Bedridden patient care is already challenging. If the patient also experiences incontinence, then it can make giving them proper care even more difficult. This is then compounded by the fact that some patients may find incontinence care embarrassing. We at iD believe that incontinence should no longer be a taboo and we want to help everyone live life in full view. In order to help you properly care for your patients, we have three simple tips to help you provide professional, sensitive incontinence care. Help your patient through encouraging them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, choosing the right continence products, such as a mattress cover, and being respectful.
Encourage your patient to maintain a healthy lifestyle
Before reaching for bedridden patients care products, like mattress covers, try encouraging your patient to follow a healthy lifestyle. This is because there are certain things they can do to help improve their symptoms. This can be as simple as quitting smoking (coughing caused by smoking can put strain on the bladder) or avoiding certain foods and drinks, like caffeine and spicy food, that can worsen symptoms.1 There are also certain foods and drinks that can help improve symptoms, such milk and bananas.2 For more information on a healthy diet to help incontinence symptoms, check out our blog here.
If your patient is able to, you could also suggest that they try pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles around the bladder or some low impact exercise, like yoga or walking, that doesn’t put strain on their bladder.3 This can also help them to lose weight if they want to, as carrying excess weight can also put pressure on their bladder.4
In encouraging your patient to eat healthily and exercise, you are actually asking them to play an active role in their own care. By engaging them in their care, you are giving them more control over the situation and therefore you may find they are more receptive to receiving your care. You can find more suggestions for engaging your patient in their incontinence care here.
Choose the right bedridden patient care products, like a mattress cover
It’s a simple fact that caring for patients with limited mobility and incontinence may require specific bedridden patient equipment. Leaks do happen and are a completely normal part of living with bladder weakness, but they can be managed with the proper use of suitable products. These can range from waterproof mattress protection and disposable pads for beds and chairs to incontinence pads and adult nappies.
If your patient has some mobility, then incontinence pads and adult pants may be useful during the day when they want to still be able to move around and go about their daily lives. We have a full range of these products for both men and women.
For overnight protection or protection for completely bedridden patients, you can use disposable bed and chair covers, in addition to a waterproof mattress protector that will prevent any leaks spoiling the mattress. You can shop our full range of iD Protect bed and chair covers here. All of the products are discreet and dermatologically tested and come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs.
Being respectful of your patient
One of the most important things in incontinence care is making sure that you treat your patient with sensitivity and respect. While continence products are a great aid, it is still important to look after your patient’s feeling. As we have already covered, incontinence can feel like an awkward topic and often involves divulging private and personal information. You can aid your patient to feel more comfortable with their incontinence care by selecting a private space for necessary examinations and limiting touch to touch that is necessary (e.g. changing mattress covers or a cleanliness check).
To help them further, you can anticipate their questions and emotions. You can do this by providing them with a fact sheet on urinary incontinence at the start of care and knowing their demographics. If you know their age and gender, it can aid you in more clearly understanding their feelings around their incontinence and any barriers they may have to accepting care. For more tips on listening and caring for incontinence patients, you can check out our blog here.
1 “When you have urinary incontinence”, MedlinePlus, n.d., Source: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000138.htm
2 “Soothe bladder pain with these foods”, Urology Specialists of Georgia, 22 June 2015, source : https://www.usofga.com/general/soothe-bladder-pain/
3 “9 Tips for Exercising with Incontinence.” C. S. McCauley, ed., n.d., Source: https://www.mcleodhealth.org/blog/9-tips-exercising-incontinence/
4 “10 ways to stop leaks”, NHS, 7 November 2019, Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/urinary-incontinence/10-ways-to-stop-leaks/