In our society, we tend to view bodies as private and occasionally embarrassing things. While everyone is entitled to their own privacy, this can make it difficult to talk about certain things. Even common issues are surrounded by a culture of shame, despite millions of people experiencing them. One of the most common examples of this is incontinence.
Incontinence becomes more common in older adults, and you should know that you’re not alone. In fact, 1 in 5 adults—about 20%—experience frequency, urgency, or an overactive bladder. This number rises to about 50% for nursing home residents. Though it’s a common problem, many people find it embarrassing. However, this shouldn’t stop you from living your life. Here’s how to make the most of your next outing and have some stress-free fun.
Some people suffer from incontinence because they don’t stay hydrated enough. Some may drink too many fluids. Others still may be irritated by certain beverages. Alcohol, soda, caffeinated drinks, spicy foods, acidic drinks or fruits, and teas are bladder irritants that may increase how often you need to go.
When you are in an unfamiliar place, one of the first things you can do to get more comfortable is to know where the bathrooms are. That way, you can plan bathroom breaks ahead of time and use the restroom before it’s a dire emergency. You can even check out locations or routes ahead of time so you know exactly where and when you can stop.
If you use products to manage you incontinence, make sure to pack them and have them available whenever you might need them. Also, if you’re flying and pack incontinence products in your checked baggage, make sure to have some onboard with you in a carry-on, backpack, or purse. That way, you can access them while you travel if you need them. You’ll also have some in case you get separated from your luggage.
Wherever you go, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Remember you aren’t alone and don’t let this common issue keep you from living your life! Plus, many incontinence products are less obvious and more comfortable than they used to be. Some companies even customize products for you and send you products in discreet packaging.