As many as 25 million Americans suffer from bladder control problems and at least one-third of the resident population in an assisted living facility are likely to have urinary incontinence (UI). Furthermore, 20% of women with urinary incontinence also have bowel control problems because of underlying pelvic floor dysfunction. People with chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis can suffer from constipation, and sometimes medications for managing other illnesses can trigger diarrhea. Of those with bladder and bowel control problems, some are cared for by others, whether a professional caregiver or a family caregiver.
Since being a caregiver can present its own unique challenges, this section provides information and support for those caring for someone with bladder or bowel control problems. While this section is oriented towards volunteer family caregivers in private residences, the information here can be useful for all first line caregivers, whether they are employees or family members.
As a caregiver, you should seek help and support from others with experience and knowledge. When you are caring for a loved one with incontinence it is important to have a basic understanding about the different types of incontinence, treatment options, and the emotional effects it can have on your loved one. Since caring for someone can become stressful, it is essential to take care of yourself in addition to caring for your loved one.
Use the links below and on the right hand of the screen to learn more about caring for a loved one with bladder and bowel control problems.
- Prevalence and Background
- Being a Caregiver
- Treatment Options for the Elderly and Disabled
- Dietary Tips
- Medication Reconciliation