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Practical incontinence advice for managing patients and residents

We have gathered much insight and knowledge from our many years of working in the field of continence care and personal hygiene.

Learn more about continence care by reading these practical tips

  • Patients and residents should continue to be toileted based on their individual needs
  • Incontinence products should only be used if they are needed and not just in case of an assumed incontinence.
  • TENA products should only be used by the person who has been assessed for them. 
  • The products should only be used one at a time. 
  • If you find that the wearing of incontinence products discourages some clients from using the toilet or a urinal, it may be more appropriate to use the products selectively, i.e. at specific times of day or for visits/outings. 
  • If a person is able to fit their own products, it’s important to show them how to do so correctly to ensure the products work correctly. 
  • TENA incontinence pads should be worn close to the body to prevent air from coming into contact with the urine resulting in the formation of ammonia, odour, and skin irritation. 
  • If the client is being toileted successfully and the wetness indicators of the products are still visible, they may be too absorbent for the client. 
  • If leakage is occurring, please ensure that the fitting technique is correct.

Healthy Bladder Tips

1. Drink plenty of water 
Reducing fluid intake can over time reduce an individual’s bladder capacity. Also without water to dilute urine the bladder can be “irritated” and a person can experience urgency and frequency. Drink 1.5 – 2 litres of fluids a day unless contraindicated for medical reasons
 
2. “Hold on” for longer 
 This will help to retrain the bladder and the brain to not “go” every time one gets the sensation and will also help improve bladder capacity
 
3. Conduct pelvic floor exercises
Pelvic floor exercises will improve bladder control. If needed, a referral to a specialist continence physiotherapist could be beneficial. Follow this link for information about the exercises 
 
4. Scrunch the toes
Scrunching one’s toes can distract the brain and help with tightening of the pelvic floor muscles
 
5. Reduce bladder irritants
Caffeinated drinks - tea, coffee, coke and fizzy drinks or alcohol can act as bladder irritants causing urgency or frequency; these should be avoided or reduced
 
6. Reduce or stop smoking
This will reduce coughing and possible leakage

7. Maintain a healthy body weight 
Weight puts pressure on the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder causing possible urgency or frequency
 
8. Don’t go “just in case”
This is advised because If we constantly void just in case, we then train our brain as to what the norm is for us, and it can over time reduce bladder capacity

9. Avoid constipation 
Constipation can put pressure on the bladder reducing its capacity, or causing frequency or urgency, or could to lead to urinary retention; fibre should be included in the diet

10. Continence pads, pants or pull-ups
They can help manage leakage whilst an individual improves their pelvic floor or whist other causes are addressed. Pads can also help an individual to gain the confidence to hold on a bit longer, without actually needing to void. They can also give an individual peace of mind if they need to go on a long trip, attend a social outing or if an individual is unfamiliar as to where public toilets are located.  However, treating bladder concerns rather than just solving the issue with a pad alone is always recommended.