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Caring for Loved Ones with Nighttime Incontinence

Nighttime Incontinence won’t Keep Loved One’s from Dreaming


Oh sleep. What a great part of life. Your head hits the pillow and you relax the night away. While your bundled up in the comfort of plush pillows and blankets your body rejuvenates. It’s like Toy Story. When you’re not looking, your body actively repairs itself. Cells rejuvenate, the mind relaxes, and your immune system restores. So when you stretch awake in the morning sunlight, a wonderful tingling sensation rushes through and you are able to think clearer. Sleep improves you memory, helps with weight loss and extends your life span. This is why adult bedwetting can be detrimental to one’s health, because of sleep disruption. It’s incredibly important to get a good night’s sleep even with nighttime incontinence.


When the REM cycle of sleep is disrupted by getting up to go to the bathroom, it’s hard to fall back into the deep sleep you need. Without this rest and rejuvenation life can be hard. You become more irritable, you eat more, you’re exhausted all the time. While nighttime incontinence can be a challenge to maintain, it is possible. Life is hard enough with incontinence, due to the stigma surrounding it that impacts self-esteem and social lives. That doesn’t include the physical complications.


As a caregiver of your loved one, I’m sure you know this already. There are several different treatments and incontinence supplies that can be used to prevent/absorb nighttime incontinence. Caregivers know the importance of sleep for a better lifestyle, so learning how to help incontinence patients sleep through the night is essential.


Stage One


First, you should speak with your loved one about their lack of sleep, and overnight leakage. They most likely will not want to bring up their nighttime incontinence, so you have to get the conversation going. Do not treat this as an interrogation or confrontation. Simply open the subject up for conversation and let them know that you are there to listen without judgement.


Stage Two


Second, you should offer help. Tell them you know of a great specialist that can teach them how to modify their behaviors to help their nighttime incontinence. They may even suggest medication, pelvic floor exercises, and specific adult incontinence supplies that will help them sleep at night. As the caregiver, before you bring your loved one in, ask the doctor to explain to them how common incontinence is. Even young pop stars and movie stars have incontinence. This way they will not only get help physically and with their sleep, but emotionally as well. Incontinence treatment for the mind and body!


Stage Three


Third, keep up the support. Make sure they are doing what the doctor has prescribed for their nighttime incontinence. They will most likely have to wear a heavy absorbent overnight brief, practice pelvic floor training, and may even take medication.


Make sure they are on top of their hygiene. Good hygiene is essential for those with nighttime incontinence because they will be wearing heavy absorbent adult briefs and maybe even a liner guard and underpad. Overnight briefs have extra absorbency level for extended wear. Overnight briefs with tab closures can be especially helpful for caregivers. Tabbed briefs are great for nighttime incontinence because they are the easiest to put on, remove and dispose of. Your loved one doesn’t have to worry about putting their legs through and pulling their brief on. You can simply snap the tabs together, and their nighttime incontinence is immediately managed.


You should look at overnight adult briefs and underpads that are breathable. Abena Abri-Form Overnight Brief just came out with a great new, breathable, cloth backed brief. Mckesson makes an ultra-absorbent overnight brief for heavy incontinence, that remain very breathable. If your loved one leaks at night and their adult brief is not breathable, the moisture lingers on their skin. From there, rash and or infection can occur. So even if their leakage is absorbed, they may still wake up because of this discomfort.


Also, caregivers should look into special anti-bacteria creams, like CA-Rezz, that soothe the skin and fight potential infection that can develop over moist nights. You should also suggest anti-bacterial sprays and wipes, like CA-Rezz Spray and ProCare Wipes. If your loved one has to get up to go to the bathroom at night, despite their absorbent wear, these anti-bacterial supplies make clean up faster and easier so they can get back to sleep. As the caregiver, this will make life easier on you too.


Not only should you keep up with their hygiene, but ask them how their kegel exercises are going, or their pelvic floor training. Have they been practicing kegels regularly? Have they been training themselves on going to the bathroom throughout the day like clockwork? Kegels tighten the pelvic floor muscles which control the bowels and bladder. The behavioral pelvic floor training helps the body recognize that the brain is in control, so it you train your bladder to relive itself every hour (for example), eventually it will grow to relieve itself only every three hours. As the caregiver, if your loved one is not keeping up with their pelvic floor training, you can suggest doing it with them. Make the same bathroom time-schedule as them. Practice kegels together while you’re watching a movie! And if they’re having a hard time doing kegels, take them to get biofeedback. Biofeedback will show them exactly how to train their pelvic floor muscles.


Ultimately, as a caregiver, you have to be there for your loved one emotionally and physically. They need their (up to) 8 hours of sleep every night in order to have a happy life. Help them pick out what kind of overnight adult brief they feel most comfortable in. Experimenting with different adult briefs is important so they can find the best adult brief for their specific case and body. Buy their favorite incontinence supplies in bulk so they, and you, don’t have to keep going into the store. Regularly take them to the doctor and keep them active. Exercise, not just pelvic floor training, keeps off excess weight, which means less pressure on the bowels and bladder. Caregiving for nighttime incontinence might be difficult at first, but once you’ve got the best overnight brief and a great exercise plan, your loved ones will get the sleep they deserve.


Stay healthy, live long, and get your sleep on!

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