Discussing leakage with a loved one may seem challenging at first. But ignoring their symptoms makes living with incontinence more difficult than it should be. Creating a dialogue is an essential step toward getting someone you love the care they deserve. Here are a few tips on how to discuss leaks in a comfortable, respectful way.
EASE INTO THE CONVERSATION
Incontinence is not a word everyone is familiar with or comfortable using right away. In the beginning of discussions, use phrases like "leaks" or "loss of control," and ask if they wear pads for bladder leakage. Pay close attention to their responses and use the same language as they do in order to set them at ease. Always be mindful of their feelings, and empathize with their experiences whenever you can. Don't blame them for not taking action or seeking treatment. Your loved one will be more open to discussion if they feel understood and respected.
LET THEM KNOW IT'S COMMON
Tell your loved one that leaks are not a disease. They affect around 25 million Americans. If your loved one is a woman, reassure them that as many as 1 in 4 women experience bladder leaks every year. You may even want to introduce them to online forums and communities for those living with leaks. Fostering a sense of community and belonging can help them accept incontinence and seek out a solution.
The goal is to properly manage leaks, so it's helpful to keep the conversation focused on solutions. Encourage your loved one to visit a healthcare professional who can properly assess their incontinence and provide the best solutions. Remind them that you're there for support every step of the way and that, ultimately, anyone can live a full life with proper leak management.
TALKING TO THEIR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
It's important that your loved one see their healthcare provider to assess their condition and establish a plan for management and treatment. Acknowledge that they may feel uncomfortable talking to their doctor, but remind them that because leaks are so common, their physician has heard it all before. Moreover, they can be a valuable partner in learning about new options you may not have heard of before.
DISCREET AND COMFORTABLE: PROTECTIVE HYGIENE
Let your loved one know that protective hygiene is just another part of their daily hygiene routine. These absorbent products can help them stay fresh and clean, just like toothpaste or deodorant. Prevail products are made with Dri-Fit – our material that blends the comfort of cotton and the protection of synthetics to make protective hygiene feel more natural.