Management – the 6Cs
The daily management of incontinence can be stressful for individuals with the condition, so any advice and support you can offer them will be invaluable.
"My goal is to get to the bathroom on my own and to be able to wipe my own bottom”
(38-year-old stroke patient, 2016)
It is important to remember the 6Cs of nursing when managing individuals with incontinence:
- be Compassionate. Incontinence can be a sensitive issue for patients to discuss and uncomfortable to deal with on a day to-day basis
- manage a patient’s continence needs Competently
- Communicate effectively to enable the person to get their needs and wants met
- be Courageous. Overcome your own issues and concerns about supporting a person with incontinence
- make a Commitment to manage and support the person the best way you can using all your knowledge and skills
- meet the Care challenges of incontinence head on.
By keeping the 6Cs at the forefront of management of individuals with incontinence, you may find that the experience becomes positive and meaningful where the patient feels valued and is given the tools to manage and cope with their incontinence.
Living with incontinence: tips you can recommend
- women should sit on the toilet rather than hover as it will enable them to empty their bladders properly
- sit comfortably with knees just above hip level, with arms on knees to open bowels.
- eat a well-balanced diet
- never go to the toilet ‘just in case’ because the bladder will get used to holding smaller volumes, thus developing frequency and urgency.
- feel relaxed, unhurried and safe when using a toilet
- stop smoking
- carry a spare set of clothes for continence issues
- drink gradually throughout the day, large volumes in the evening could lead to nocturnal frequency
- practice pelvic floor exercises
- cut down on caffeine – has a diuretic effect
- stay hydrated – people often cut down on water and other fluids to reduce the risk of accidents, but by drinking less urine becomes more concentrated, which is more irritating for the bladder and increases urinary incontinence
- A Radar key will allow access to all disabled public toilets and can be obtained from the local authority or online.
- lose weight – extra weight may increase pressure in the abdomen and worsen urinary incontinence.