Despite what many people think incontinence is not a problem that comes with age. It is indeed more prominent in elderly people due to certain health factors that we only experience as we get older. Incontinence, Bladder Weakness, Leaking Bladder, what ever you want to call it, it’s nothing to be ashamed off and in many cases it is treatable.
Caring for a loved one can be both an intensely difficult but at the same time rewarding experience. You may learn things about yourself you may never have realised, such as your ability to be patient and your capacity for love and compassion.
With caring comes great responsibilities be it on a professional or personal level. One of the biggest issues carers face when looking after older people is incontinence.
Changing diapers, wet bed sheets etc, is not a pleasant task to do on a daily basis but it has to done in order to provide a better quality of life for those with bladder weaknesses. Nowadays incontinence products have evolved and they not only provide more protection and discretion to the wearer but they are also easier to handle, hence disposable incontinence products.
Disposable incontinence products range from disposable diapers through to bed sheets or bed protections and can be bought at any pharmacy, drug store or even online.
Many adults who experience incontinence often feel embarrassed about their condition. Any carer who works closely with incontinent adults can help improve their daily life by making them feel better about their condition. There are a many ways that to help the person you care for feel better about bladder weakness.
The first thing to do is to let them know it is a common condition experienced by many people of their age. Did you know that Incontinence and Bladder problems affect about 6 million people in the UK?
Knowing that there are others experiencing the same problems and they are not alone often makes them feel better about themselves.
Nothing to be ashamed of
Carers can significantly reduce the emotional concerns over bladder weakness/ incontinence by helping their loved ones feel less ashamed and being sensitive to their concerns.
Build up their confidence
Keeping initial outings short can help to build their confidence in how continence can be managed away from the home. After a few trips to nearby destinations, they will feel more comfortable about travelling further and for longer periods.
Caring for elderly incontinent people requires huge amounts of comprehension and patience but with a lot of understanding you can help them feel better about incontinence and get back to doing the things they enjoy.
The biggest problem with carers today is that many don’t even realise they are one. Many think of themselves as simply mums, dads, brothers, daughters, wife, partners and friends. In other words, close related people that are caring for their loved ones.
Did you know that one in every eight adults in the UK is a carer? Or that every year, over 2 million people become carers for the first time without even realising they’ve become a carer?
With that in mind, every year Carers UK launches a guide to inform these people that they are entitled to financial and practical help. The guide is an overview of carer’s entitlements with all the basics new carers need to get started. But mainly the guide wants to pass the message to carers that they are not alone.
“I hope this guide will reassure you that you are not alone and help you prepare for what might lie ahead.” Don Brereton, Chair of Carers UK
The guide is more like a booklet and highlights 7 key steps every carer should take in order to get all the support they are entitled to. Whether they are new to caring or been looking after someone for a long time.
You can download the guide here or ask for free copies by calling this number 0808 808 7777.
The Government has published the White Paper Building the National Care Service. This is a huge step towards creating a care and support system for all adults in England. The National Care Service will be fair for all and offer services free when people need them.
On the same day Imelda Redmond CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK commented on the Government’s White Paper:
“We warmly welcome these bold plans for a National Care Service of the kind that older and disabled people, their families and carers have been calling for. These proposals promise to end the social care postcode lottery and protect families from the crippling costs of care which they currently see draining their savings and putting at risk family homes.
Family carers desperately need these reforms as many are pushed to breaking point due to lack of support from the current system. This White Paper places carers at the centre of social care – recognising that a new National Care Service will not take care away from families, but would support them.
The government has recognised that the demographic challenge of an ageing population makes a National Care Service an economic imperative. Our current care system cannot meet families’ needs and has forced over 1 million people to give up work to care. Government has set out a positive vision in which the social care system supports individuals to juggle work with caring for ill or disabled relatives.
We also welcome plans for a new commission to decide how individuals pay into the proposed social insurance scheme. Given the political point scoring on these issues in recent weeks, it is vital that these questions are dealt with on a consensual basis. Although the vision is clear and ambitious, the White Paper in itself does not contain enough detail on the question of funding. The promised commission on funding must be brought forward as a matter of urgency, to deliver on the specifics, and give families confidence that the sort of care system they need will become a reality.
This White Paper sets social care at centre stage as the election looms and we look forward to care and support forming a key plank in all political parties’ manifestos.”
For those of you that would like to watch the White Paper’s launch event that happened on the 30th of March 2010 visit this link or if you prefer to read the White Paper and supporting documents please visit this link.
According to Carers UK, one in six carers have had to give up or cut work to ensure their loved ones have the appropriate kind of care needed. With a significant number of carers not aware of governments benefits, this has led many to a financial crisis that could be avoid had they known about available initiatives such as the Carers Allowance.
A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI revealed that 9% of carers had to give up work and 7% have reduced their work hours to care. Nearly one third of carers interviewed are caring for over 50 hours a week and the average number of years they had cared for is 6.5 years.
On another survey, this time conducted by Carers UK, numbers were even more alarming. Over two thirds (77%) of carers surveyed cared for 50 or more hours a week, 35% of carers had missed out on State benefits because they didn’t realise they could claim them and 49% said not getting these benefits had directly affected their health, while 20% said they were struggling financially and 20% claimed they were in debt.
Last Friday – December 4th 2009 – was Carers Rights Day and over 1,500 events took place across the UK providing carers with advice and information on their finances including benefits checks and pensions forecasts.
Coinciding with the events, two new advice guides were published by Carers UK. Caring About Your Pension and Looking After Someone: A Carer’s Guide to Rights and Entitlements. Both of which can be ordered from:
* from 0808 808 7777
* by emailing email@example.com.
* or by going into any Lloydspharmacy store. To find local stores visit: www.lloydspharmacy.com
Are you currently caring for a partner, family member or even a close friend? Did you know you were entitled to these benefits? Share your experience with others and lets help spread out the word about this serious matter.