Worldwide, incontinence affects 200 million people. Still, many people who suffer from incontinence are reluctant to address the issue because of the social stigma and fear attached to the subject. People with incontinence should understand that they are not alone, and must be encouraged to get help. This often starts with a conversation between family members or loved ones.
Before you can have a discussion on such a sensitive issue, you must prepare yourself with knowledge about incontinence, and a plan.
Research the subject:
You don’t need to be an expert, but understanding the issue will help you know the challenges faced by adults who suffer from this condition. Reading about incontinence will also help you understand what a person who has incontinence might be going through. There are many useful websites and webpages created by authorities on the subject of incontinence. These websites include:
- org– This is a website maintained by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, and is full of resources for people diagnosed with incontinence.
- NAFC– The National Association for Continence is a leading authority on the subject of incontinence.
- Urology Care Foundation Incontinence webpage– This very thorough page includes an incontinence glossary and questions and answers for people seeking to know more about incontinence.
Know the products:
Know what you hope to achieve by having the conversation. Suggested goals may include:
See a physician:
This is the most important goal, because the physician is the best resource for controlling the problem.
Show the person that you care and wish to help him or her to solve these problems.
Incontinence is a sensitive subject for many people and conversations on this subject can easily become uncomfortable or even heated. Practicing your tone and rehearsing your lines will help you control the direction of the conversation when it actually takes place.
Holding the Conversation
Speak gently on the topic of incontinence and approach the subject in the most tactful way possible. Here are a few suggestions for conducting the conversation with grace.
Pick the right time.
Don’t rush to have the conversation as soon as possible—pick a moment that feels comfortable and pleasant, like the time after a meal, before going to bed, or when the person is engaging in a fun activity. Timing can mean the difference between an argument and a productive conversation.
Show your concern.
Ultimately, you want to have this conversation because you care. This is important, and should not be overlooked. State this upfront. Incontinence is a symptom of a larger problem, and one that you want to see addressed because you want him or her to be well again.
Show the person that you know this is difficult, and you want to help them.
Avoid words of blame or frustration.
These emotions are not useful and will only exacerbate the problem.
Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about incontinence. Initiating this conversation starts your family member or loved one on the path to wellness.
And of course, always look to Wearever Incontinence as a resource. We carry a number of panties and briefs that are all perfect for accommodating any and all incontinence symptoms. We also have our Resource Center, which is a perfect place to find information about incontinence in all of its forms. Take control of your condition, and live confidenty.