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HORIZON BLOG

Dad Does Nothing About His Incontinence

 

Question

"My father is now suffering from incontinence. He wets the bed and his clothing, and it’s even happening on furniture. The house smells terrible, and it’s unpleasant for us kids and his grandkids to visit this way.

I want to help him, but don’t know how to approach him or what to say. I don’t want to embarrass the guy or for either of us to feel uncomfortable.

I don’t really know why this happens to people or what to do. Where do I start to address this? Please help."

 

Answer

Urinary incontinence is more common as people age and there can be a variety of reasons why. You’ve identified all the reasons to suspect a problem with your father, and now it’s time for action.

Your father needs medical intervention to get to the source of his incontinence. He could have an infection, prostrate issues, weak muscles, mobility problems, urgency, or other issues that are causing it.

No one wants to talk about bladder incontinence with their children or their doctor. Once we’re toilet trained, none of us want to go back to diapers. It’s a deeply sensitive subject and despite how embarrassed it makes us feel, you simply must bring it up.

Dad likely needs to see a urologist, which is a doctor who specializes in urinary tract problems. You should start with his primary doctor. Gather whatever details you can about when this started, when it happens most, etc. They will want a complete history which will help them determine what tests to do and what solutions to offer. 

Do let your father know that his situation is common and that solutions are available. Assure him that quality of life usually improves after treatment. Offer to help him clean or remove the damaged items in the home to restore his living situation.

In the meantime, help him locate products that separate his body fluids from his furniture and clothing. There are many choices out there and no one solution that is suitable for all. A quick internet search will fill you with ideas.

If your father is resistant to getting care, press a bit. Tell him that you will make the appointment(s) and take him. Be his advocate for solutions. He clearly needs your help at this time. So, jump in and get started. Everyone will be grateful that you helped him solve this problem.

I wish you success on this mission.

 

About this Post

Written By

Mary Haynor

RN / CEO - Emeritus

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