by Ken Walker

The best way to approach a loved one you believe has incontinence is with an open, honest and calm conversation. According to The CareGiver Partnership, this is the perfect first step to take when addressing the issue at hand. Make sure you have plenty of time to sit down and have an in-depth conversation about the symptoms you have noticed and how you just want to get them help. Recognize that this is a sensitive and potentially uncomfortable topic for some, and it is important that you choose your words wisely.

Become your loved one's ally and supporter. You will want to let them know that they are not alone in their journey, and that you are here to help them with whatever they might need. It’s important for someone dealing with incontinence to know that they are not alone in their fight — as it can be a lonesome and embarrassing journey.

Provide them with incontinence aids, such as incontinence panties or incontinence briefs. These products are designed specifically for the needs of patients with incontinence, providing them comfort, protection and security. Other good aids include waterproof mattress pads and absorbent under sheets for chairs. These tools provide comfort and security for people dealing with incontinence, allowing them to venture out in public and enjoy life without having to worry about an embarrassing accident.

Remember that some people might be afraid to make these purchases; you can help them out by going to the store with them or for them.

Be a true friend when they need it. Incontinence comes on suddenly and it can’t be controlled, so if you are with that person when an accident happens, help them clean up. Your loved one will feel much more comfortable going out in public when they know they have an advocate by their side who is willing to help them out during a time of crisis. You will be helping them to live their life again without fear.

For some people, it can be years before they address the fact that they do have incontinence. Sometimes, it takes gentle urging from a trusted friend or a loving relative for them to seek the help that they need. Typically, patients find that they feel so much better and much more in control of their lives when they finally get some relief from their incontinence. Incontinence can prevent people from enjoying their golden years – so take charge and don’t let that happen to your loved one.

Help a Loved One with Incontinence

Assisting with a loved one’s incontinence has many considerations. First, address any medical issues that might be contributing to the incontinence. Then, be prepared to help the loved one through daily activities while maintaining their dignity and offering them cleanliness. Incontinence affects about one in every 13 adults, and there are more treatments and products available to deal with the issues than ever before.

Talk to Their Doctor

Many different medical conditions can lead to urinary incontinence. When the symptoms appear, see a doctor to determine the cause and possible treatments. Some doctors offer prescriptions that are helpful to many patients. Studies show that pelvic floor exercises can relieve symptoms of others. In rare cases, the doctor may recommend surgery. Usually, the only treatment needed is a change in dietary habits.

No Reason to Be Embarrassed

Assure your loved one that this is a common medical condition, and he or she can still continue to enjoy all the activities they always have. With new products, such as incontinence underwear, they can still go to the grocery store, play golf, travel, go to church and attend social events. Chances are, many of their friends deal with this issue, but no one knows because modern incontinence briefs and incontinence panties work so remarkably well! And if they wish, their problem can be kept secret too.

Protect Their Clothing

There are two types of incontinence products to choose from. First one must establish the level of incontinence that your loved one suffers from. For mild to moderate incontinence, resusable washable products such as the Wearever underwear is a cost effective and comfortable choice. For someone who suffers from heavy incontinence, a disposable product will be a better option. 

Protect Their Bedding

Bedtime is often a source of stress and embarrassment for loved ones with incontinence. Waterproof mattress covers keep mattresses from becoming soiled. Invest in a couple of extra sets of sheets so your loved one doesn’t worry if the sheets need washing every day.

Some foods and drinks should be avoided, especially before bedtime. Studies show that coffee, tea, sports drinks, carbonated beverages, dairy products, milk chocolate, citrus fruits, sugar and honey, tomato products, hot sauce, chili peppers and alcoholic beverages can contribute to symptoms of loss of bladder control or bladder irritation, especially at night-time.

Don’t Make It a Big Deal

Talk openly about the issues, but don’t labour the issue with constant discussion. Once you determine what needs to be done medically and how you can address daily activities, go on as if everything is as it always was. When your loved one sees that it hasn’t changed your opinion of him or her, it is less likely to affect their opinion of themselves.

If you’re reading this, you are being proactive in helping someone you love with the common problem of adult incontinence. Because of the fact it can often be embarrassing and uncomfortable to talk about, you are being extra supportive and helpful in taking steps to learn about this issue and understand what you can do to be of assistance. Today, there are many ways to treat and even cure this problem, so it is vital you recognize the symptoms and learn how to assist your loved one because many people that experience this are too self-conscious to seek help.

Always be Ready

Becoming aware of incontinence underwear is one of the first steps to tackling this problem by restoring confidence in your loved one. Many people are embarrassed to wear them so you must stress that they are only worn in case they cannot make it to the bathroom, not because you don’t have confidence in them. Incontinence briefs and incontinence panties makes the problem much more manageable, so it is not a good idea to give them the option to wear it. Put them in the same drawer as their regular underwear and, if you lay out their outfits for them, be sure to put out a pair with every outfit in the morning and at night so wearing them becomes part of their daily routine. If you’re leaving the house, learning the locations of restrooms where you’ll be is a great idea. Keep extra absorbent products and wipes in your car and bag in case they are needed when on the go. Another tip to getting your loved one feeling at ease about wearing them is not to call them diapers or incontinence underwear; rather call them new underwear.

Stay Healthy

Keeping a well-balanced diet and keeping active for both you and your loved one is extremely important. According to, there are certain foods that can be beneficial to someone with incontinence. Fibre is beneficial to everyone, but particularly to someone with an overactive bladder because it prevents against constipation, which can strain the pelvic floor muscle and lead to an overactive bladder. Nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables are all high in fibre and contain many other healthy ingredients such and vitamins and minerals. Oatmeal and certain bran cereals are also high in fibre and are a great option for breakfast. You may think that limiting liquids would decrease the frequency of an overactive bladder, but that is not true. Smaller amounts of urine are more concentrated, supporting the development of bacteria, actually causing more frequent urination, according to the National Association for Continence or NAFC. Limiting fluid intake can also lead to constipation. Drinking sufficient water throughout the day is recommended for everyone, including those with incontinence.

Become a Positive Support System

Learning simple steps such as these can beyond doubt alter both of your lives in a positive way. Being encouraging and supportive is the best way to communicate with someone about incontinence, and once they feel confident enough to accept your help, they will be a happier person. Spend some time learning the facts about incontinence and about the different types of products that are made to help at

Back to articles