Assisted Living At Home - Struggling with Incontinence

Assisted Living At Home - Struggling with Incontinence

Thank you for the privilege of your time in reading the ASSISTED LIVING AT HOME advice column.

This column is inspired by the ever-changing needs of caregiving families. I am a geriatric care manager, nurse navigator and an expert in chronic illness care at home. Weekly, I will answer questions, offer support, recommendations and practical advice for your pressing caregiving situations like this one from a long distance family caregiver named Stella. Her question came through our website, and it went like this;

Q: Last year, I had to relocate for work so my mother moved in with my brother and sister in- law. In the past few months, my mother has been struggling with heavy incontinence. Now my sister-in-law wants my mother to move into an assisted living facility because she cannot deal with the smell of urine on the furniture from my mom’s accidents. My mom is devastated about the need to move, are there other options?

A: Dear Stella, in caregiving, no decision is simple. Here are three recommendations that could make a significant difference.

  1. Consider the use of our odor-free undergarment brand called TRANQUILITY. It was designed by a scientist who was a family caregiver ( could not find undergarments that did not leak and could control the urine odor) with similar challenges. Tranquility undergarment is made with special polymers that makes it odor free, leak proof and capable of reducing the incidence of UTI's. It is also cheaper than your store brand of adult diapers, brief and incontinence under garments because you will use less of them and do less laundry. Comforting Medical Supply has a free pair for your brother to pick up and try.
  2. Ask. the doctor for a urine test. Very often, a bladder infection can cause incontinence and or make incontinence worse.
  3. Consider limiting caffeine but increase water and cranberry to improve bladder health.
With a good plan and the right incontinence products, that move might not be necessary. I am available to help regarding your mom’s care. Just call or email me. 503-369-2460,