How To Have An End-Of-Life-Care Talk With Your Parent

End Of Life Care
End Of Life Care

It’s not something we ever want to think about, much less discuss. But we all get older, and sooner or later, there will be decisions that need to be made when it comes to how we, and our loved ones, want to be cared for toward the end of our life.  Talking about dying is not fun, but it is necessary to do it ahead of time to ensure that everyone’s wishes and needs are met – especially in the event that a loved one can no longer make those wishes heard on his or her own.

When talking with a parent, approach them directly, and let them know that you’d like to talk about how they’d like to be cared for as they get older.  This involves asking them questions about how involved they’d like to be in their medical care (do they want their doctors to do what they think is best or do they want to have a say in every decision), how much they want their family involved, what to do in the event of life-support or a terminal illness, etc. Talking about and documenting these wishes early will help prevent confusion later on and can ensure that your parent’s end-of-life wishes are carried out the way they would like.

Need some help getting things going? The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people have discussions on end of life and has a great starter kit available on their website. Download yours here.

Being Intimate When You Have Incontinence

Being Intimate When You Have Incontinence

Being intimate when you manage bowel or bladder incontinence can be stress inducing. Most of us have problems talking about sex at all, and talking about problems in the bedroom is just about impossible.

It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have with your partner, but talking about what you’re dealing with is the best way to gain the support and understanding needed to get back to enjoying your sex life again.

The causes of incontinence can vary based on your particular condition so the stress of even bringing it up or the physical demands of having sex can cause exacerbate your intimacy.

Our best advice so you can enjoy intimate time with the one you love is being open and honest, and asking your doctor for suggestions and best practices.

If you need to see a specialist and are struggling to find one who meets your needs, use our directory.

Did Your Mom Or Grandma Talk About Bladder Health With You?

Talking About Bladder Health

It’s a rare day when we people tell us their family has a known history of bladder and bowel concerns. So often, a struggle with overactive bladder is considered a rite of passage with childbirth, or an enlarged prostate is chocked up to older age. While age and the stress of childbirth are two predominant factors in both of those symptoms, it can still be very helpful for families to learn when and why their loved ones experienced struggles with continence so they can take proactive measures to avoid the same circumstances.

Two examples of how this could play out are outlined below: 

·      A woman experiences leakage and stress incontinence after having a baby, only to hear from their mothers that they experienced the same thing.

·      A man tells his parents about his latest test result only to hear his father say, “Oh yea. I struggled with an enlarged prostate before I finally went to the doctor last year.”

In the examples above, both individuals with new bladder health concerns could have taken preventative measures to lessen the chances of them getting to the point they are now.

The woman could’ve talked to her yoga or Pilates instructor and asked for tips to build her pelvic floor before labor and delivery. Or, when she built her birthing plan with her Doctor, she could’ve stressed consideration her Mother’s past experiences.

If the man had known his father’s situation, he could’ve talked to his doctor about his family history during his yearly check up months earlier. Maybe his father’s experience would’ve spurred him to take note of his prostate health much sooner.

We encourage an open dialogue about bladder and bowel concerns for two reasons: being transparent can help future generations learn how to best care for their bodies and being honest about a health concern can foster a community of family and friends who keep you accountable to a treatment plan.

When’s the last time you spoke to your family about bladder health? Share your experience below.

Being Proactive About Finding Peace

Finding Peace

Inner peace is an important tool in managing stress. It can also be an important tool in managing your incontinence. Studies show that cognitive therapy and learning the link between your brain and your bladder can help improve your incontinence symptoms. Being proactive in your treatment plan, and incorporating practices that encourage stillness, may be key to managing your incontinence effectively.

Finding peace or stillness looks different for everyone, but typically benefits everyone in the same way. When you learn what helps you relax, you can focus more clearly, experience more energy, and handle emotional stressors with greater maturity.

Being proactive about finding peace can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people. For some, being proactive means scheduling regular yoga sessions, always calling a friend on a certain day of the week, or intentionally taking the long way home from work.

When we’re proactive about caring for ourselves, we allow peace to become a part of our daily lives; giving us much needed stillness for our bodies and mind. Talk to your doctor about how cognitive therapy may work for you.

How are you proactive about finding peace in your life? 

What’s stopping you from ____________ ?

Motivation To Live The Life You Want

We all have things in life that serve as obstacles. Those obstacles could be emotional, relational, career-oriented, or for many, a struggle with incontinence. 

We don’t believe it’s right to let anything stop us from living out our dreams.  We’re all human and we all have different challenges. Incontinence is just one of many things you may have on your list of challenges.

Below, you’ll find a downloadable PDF to help you identify what you want in life, whether it’s as simple as drinking more water or spending more time with family, or building a treatment plan to manage your incontinence with your doctor.  We believe in staying accountable to our goals—especially when it comes to managing our bladder health.

Use the graphic to help you identify your goals. Circle the things you’re looking to achieve and make note of what’s stopping you. Share your thoughts in the comments below!