The holidays are here, and if you suffer from incontinence (or care for someone who does), you know that these can be trying times. We’ve outlined tips in the past on how to deal with the holidays (here and here ), so this year we’re going to do something a little different. As we come off of our BE STRONG campaign from November, we want to keep the momentum going and encourage you to live your best life, no matter what time of year it is. So read below for some extra tips and inspiration this season, and for the year to come.
NAFC’s Do’s and Don’ts
1. Don’t be uninformed, BE SMART!
Having incontinence is NOT a normal part of aging, as it turns out. Think you’ve tried everything? You probably haven’t. There are literally hundreds of treatment options available. Educate yourself on the different types of incontinence and learn about treatment options that may work for you. Being educated is half the battle
2. Don’t be quiet, BE BOLD!
Living with incontinence? Talk about it! Inspire others by sharing your story! Whatever you do though, please - don’t be quite. This is a condition that needs to be discussed. With over 25 million Americans living with some type of incontinence, you are not alone, and there is comfort in numbers. Help us make this a less taboo subject so that no one is afraid to seek help.
3. Don’t be afraid, BE BRAVE!
It takes the average patient around 6 years to bring up the subject of incontinence with their doctor. Imagine what you are missing out on in 6 years!! We think the freedom gained from living a life without fear of accidents is worth more than one embarrassing discussion (which, as it turns out is not even that embarrassing – trust us, your doctor has heard it all before!). Be brave and take action – get the help you need to get on with your life.
4. Don’t be judgmental, BE EMPATHETIC!
We get it – caring for an incontinent loved one can be difficult. Especially if that person is unwilling to seek help or dismisses their incontinence. But try to shield them from your frustrations and be empathetic toward their plight – it is likely that they know all too well that they have this problem, yet are not sure how to talk about it or manage it. Going to the bathroom on your own is something that we are used to doing by ourselves and when that function suddenly becomes out of our control, it can be very embarrassing and humbling. Have some compassion for those you care for with this problem and try to speak with them about it in a way that will foster discussion, not make them feel ashamed.
5. Don’t be meek, BE STRONG!
If we could offer only one piece of advice to you, this would be it. BE STRONG! In everything you do, please BE STRONG. Build strength in your knowledge of incontinence and treatment options. Strengthen your resolve to speak up about this condition – both for yourself, and others. Build up your physical strength to help you not only ease the symptoms, but possibly eliminate them completely. BE STRONG! Because you’ll find that when you start to build up strength in all of these areas of your life, your resolve to live life on your terms, not on incontinences’, becomes stronger too.
What inspiration will you take with you this holiday season?