Needing to wear diapers can be devastating for an elderly person’s dignity, but it is a normal part of aging. Whether you are caring for your parent or another loved one, helping them get used to the idea of wearing diapers again might take some time and sensitivity on your part, but it’s worth it in the end. Here are some steps to follow to convince the elderly to wear diapers.
Address Their Denial
The first thing to do when trying to convince your elderly loved one to wear diapers is to deal with their denial head-on. If they think it’s an embarrassment, point out that accidents happen to everyone, no matter how old or young. If they say that it doesn’t happen often enough for them to wear a diaper all day, then you can point out that it does happen, and even if it only happens once every few months, wearing a diaper will provide peace of mind and may save them from embarrassment in public. People don’t like thinking about what could happen if they had a bad accident in public because accidents are embarrassing – but being caught off guard can be humiliating too.
Get Rid of The Term Diaper
No one wants to wear diapers, so let’s be clear about that upfront. However, if you want your loved one to stay in her own home and maintain her dignity, convincing her to wear a diaper may just be a necessary step in that process. You can do yourself a favor by choosing your words carefully. Instead of “diaper” try instead: undergarment, incontinence garment, or protection device. Talk about diapers like you would any other piece of clothing.
Establish The Cause of Incontinence
Assuming you’re caring for an elderly loved one with little or no control over her bladder and/or bowels, make sure she doesn’t have a disease or condition that could be contributing to incontinence. There are many conditions—from strokes to dementia—that can cause your loved one to experience incontinence, so it’s important to get her checked out by a doctor. If she does have a disease-causing her condition, it might be possible to slow or stop its progression with medication; if not, then you may want to look into other options, such as diapers.
Seek The Help of A Doctor or A Friend
When it comes to getting stubborn older people to do anything, you’re going to need help. This is why you should ask their doctor or a close friend if they can talk with your family member and persuade them to wear diapers. Someone else saying it will be much more effective than if you say it yourself. Even if they still don’t agree to, hopefully, they will open up about their reasons for not wanting to wear diapers—and that might get things moving in a positive direction too!
Let Them Process It All
The next step to convincing an elderly loved one to wear diapers is understanding that they are going through a process. It might seem that these changes will happen quickly, but it may take them time to adjust to their new role. Understanding that there is a process and allowing them time to go through it will help your loved one accept diapering as a positive thing and feel more comfortable with wearing them.