It’s bad enough that we have to deal with unfriendly environments when we’re away from home. Our homes should be our refuge, the place that’s safest and most comfortable for us.
There is no doubt that one of the most stressful decisions you and/or family members often need to face is the option of moving into retirement communities or an assisted-care facility due to incontinence issues.
Let’s start by assuming that you or your family member have no plans to move and are happy with your current circumstances. Why not make that living environment as accommodating as possible?
Lille Healthcare Clinical Nurse Advisor, Michelle Kalms takes a look at ways of helping to make our homes more continence friendly. According to Kalms, ‘Supportive features at home increase the ability to move freely and safely. Slight modifications to the home environment can make yourself, or the person you are caring for, more independent and self-sufficient’. Kalms offers the following advice to help reduce the risk of injuries and falls.
You should start by considering the following right now:
1. Remove all the clutter and electrical cords around the home. Plan a day or two just to go through the accumulated debris that we all usually don’t notice in the home.
2. Arrange furniture in the bedroom and lounge to allow free access to the toilet
3. Check out the toilet to decide if installing grab rails would make getting on and off the toilet easier.
4. Improve the lighting to and from the toilet and in the toilet.
5. Protect bedding and chairs with either absorbent or waterproof continence products
6. Ensure clothing is appropriate for you or your family member to remove or adjust when toileting.
The above can be accomplished (with the exception of installing grab rails) for very little money and time. By doing these relatively simple things we can dramatically increase a person’s quality of life, living standard and assist in ‘staying put’ in the home.
Occupational therapists specialise in assessing the needs of people with disabilities and can advise on the right equipment.
There are many groups, both private and public, dedicated to people with incontinence issues. It’s up to you to contact these dedicated ‘helpers’ that happily provide assistance to people with incontinence.