There are few things more private in life than using the restroom, and anyone would feel embarrassed or humiliated were they to find themselves in a position in which they needed assistance. For this reason it is vital for the caregivers to maintain a gentle, understanding, and respectful attitude while providing the necessary support.
A lot can depend on the conduct of a helper. All senior people, especially those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, will be sensitive not only to the words but also to the non-verbal gestures that their caretakers exhibit. When the elderly are using the toilet, showing any sign of frustration, disgust, or even boredom will leave them feeling more humiliated than they will have been to begin with, gradually resenting having to use the bathroom thanks to associating it with a sense of wariness, fear, and anger. This should be avoided at all costs. For any further assistance to be effective, caregivers must behave in a way that encourages the elderly to be accepting of help. Keeping a respectful distance whenever possible is important, but not at the cost of appearing dismissive.
Determine How Much Help Is Needed
It’s important to first ask whether the person is truly incapable of using the toilet on their own. Everyone should be afforded as much dignity as their circumstances allow, and it is unwise to force help on someone that does not need it. If the elderly person has the minimal mobility needed to complete the task and the mental faculties to use the restroom when needed, then providing toileting assistance should be avoided.
For sufferers of Dementia or the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, gentle encouragement or reminders can sometimes be enough. Outright asking whether they needed to use the toilet would be counterproductive, but walking past the restroom or inviting them to clean up after meals could subtly encourage and remind them to relieve themselves. The elderly don’t need to be athletes to use the toilet; if they have trouble with balance, are injured, or lack the strength, then there are various tools available to solve the problem.
Equipment to Consider Before Resorting to Physical Toileting Assistance
Installing grab bars at strategic points of the home, especially in the bathroom and by the toilet, is often all the aid that is required. Canes and walkers could provide enough stability and support to make the presence of a caregiver unnecessary. There are special walkers designed to function in a bathroom, and there are easily installed toilet rails that are secure enough to help the elderly stand on their own. Raising the toilet seat is an affordable solution to consider as well.
But caregivers should remember that while their help may be necessary to support the assisted in getting to the toilet, many senior people are capable of finishing the most private part of the process on their own. As long as they wear loose pants with elastic waistbands it will be fairly easy for them to tug the clothing out of the way without help, and if it’s not absolutely essential to provide a watchful presence, then privacy should be maintained. There are noninvasive solutions that can alert caregivers or family of an emergency.
Why Getting a Medical Alert System Is a Smart Choice
While a closed bathroom door can be nerve-racking when the elderly is using the facilities alone, preserving their independence and thereby safeguarding their mental health is nevertheless part of a caretaker’s responsibilities. Wearing a whistle could prove helpful for emergencies, but a medical alert system will provide more extensive protection for occasions when a caregiver is not in the vicinity or if the wearer falls unconscious.
By pushing a wearable alert button, the help center is immediately contacted and a trained operator is ready to call for assistance from anyone on the customer’s contact list or to dispatch the paramedics. A fall detector goes even further to ensure assistance since it will alert the service provider even if the wearer is unable to move. Everyone on the list of trusted caregivers will be notified of the accident as well, including the person that might be standing right outside the door, guaranteeing help with minimal delay.
Best Medical Alert Systems of 2020
|Editor's Choice 2020|