The holidays are upon us (already!) and while this is often a time of joy and thankfulness, it can also be a time of stress if you are hosting festivities at your home or having overnight guests. This is even more so if you have a guest who experiences incontinence.
We’ve compiled some tips below to help you deal with the added tension of having visitors with incontinence over the holidays.
1. Preparation is everything. An old manager that I had used to recite this saying to me before every sales meeting: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” I have found this to be true in many aspects of life, and preparing for a visitor – especially one that may suffer from incontinence – is no exception. Find out what they like to eat (or, maybe even more importantly, what they don’t like to eat) and have healthy snacks on hand that won’t aggravate their bladder/bowel. Buy a plastic or waterproof mattress cover to ensure that if an accident happens, no serious damage is done. Have extra bedding and towels available to make any cleanup needed easy, and prepare the guest bathroom with appropriate cleaning supplies – flushable wipes, soap, air freshener, etc. Ensuring that the appropriate tools are ready before an accident happens makes it so much easier to take care of when something unexpected occurs.
2. Make things easy for them. Make things as simple as possible for your guest. Give them a tour of the house when they arrive so they know where all the restrooms are. For overnight guests, try to have them sleep in a room that is close to a bathroom. Place extra supplies in their room so that they have easy access to them when they need them. If it makes sense for their visit, provide them with an itinerary of what they can expect when they visit – places you will go, company you will be having, etc. Knowing what to expect ahead of time may give them more peace of mind when traveling to and staying in an unfamiliar place.
3. Be understanding if an accident happens. This is probably the most important tip that we can offer to you. While we know that it can be frustrating to make extra stops to use the restroom, clean up messes, and change bedding, you can be sure that the embarrassment that your guest feels from these things far outweighs any inconvenience they may cause you. No one wants to be incontinent and making someone feel bad or ashamed of something they cannot control will put a damper on the whole trip. Be understanding with your guests, and if an accident does happen, don’t act frustrated or make a big deal about it. Help them as much as they will allow, and leave it at that. They will greatly appreciate your discretion and kindness toward them.
Do you have any tips for caring for a visitor with incontinence over the holidays? Share them with us in the comments below!