Communication and Bladder Health

What are some helpful tips for speaking with health care professionals about urinary incontinence? Urinary incontinence is a sensitive topic. A challenge faced by many caregivers is how to communicate with health care professionals about urinary incontinence. It’s important to be prepared to speak with health care professionals so that they can provide the right help at the right time. Get permission from the person you are caring for to speak to a health care professional about their incontinence, or speak to one together.

The following are some helpful tips on how to communicate with health care professionals.

Offer detail

The more detail you can provide, the more a health care professional can help. Perhaps share a copy of your bladder diary (Activity 4.4). Be prepared to answer questions about the incontinence, such as: when did it start? What symptoms are associated with it? What else are you noticing? Is it worse at night? etc. Specific concerns, like blood in the urine, need to be brought to the attention of a health care professional as soon as possible.

Beyond explaining who you are and the relationship you have with the person, offer details about your caregiving role, the support you provide, and how you and the person you care for would like you to be involved in care.

Ask questions

Health care professionals should have knowledge about geriatric teams, continence experts, and other community programs that can support you and the person in your care. They will be able to tell you and the person you care for about these services and if they think a referral is needed.

Additional Supports

  • Ask a health care professional: This course cannot tell you where to purchase incontinence supplies, but a health care professional may be better able to direct you to local in-person or online sources. Ask a qualified professional who can lead you in the right direction.
  • Look online: Search for specialists or programs by going online and browsing the Healthline website.
  • Read: You can learn more about incontinence and incontinence products in this guide created by the Canadian Continence Foundation: The Source – Your guide to better bladder control.

 Activity 4.5 – Pause and Reflect

Are there any strategies from this module that are most useful to you in your caregiving journey? Write as many down as you found helpful from this second section of the module in your Reflection Journal.

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