Continence Care In The Summer
Just when we think we’ve got a grip on our incontinence, the summer’s warmer temperatures force us to change our routine. Incontinence is especially frustrating during the summer months when we want to be spending as much time as possible outside, away from a toilet. The summer heat also calls for less articles of clothing, meaning it’s harder to hide your products if you wanted to. But there are some steps you can take to ensure that your continence products don’t interfere with your summer enjoyment!
Select the Right Continence Product
Many users prefer the use of a catheter valve in the summer, as it allows the user to wear shorts. With its opening and closing system, the catheter valve provides users with a secure, more comfortable and discreet alternative to a drainage bag where there is adequate bladder tone, capacity and sensation. Read more about catheter valves here.
Dress For Ease
Try choosing clothing with elasticated waists, or fastenings with Velcro instead of zips and buttons that will allow the skin around where your continence products breathe and cool. It is important to take care of your skin during this time. You may need to wash your straps and pouches more regularly because of sweating. If your skin becomes sore or broken, speak with your GP or a nurse immediately as it can lead to a skin infection.
Ensure you have sufficient continence items with you while out. Scout out disabled toilets before a journey and remember to take your RADAR key with you to ensure your trip runs smoothly. Organisations will have their toilets listed on their website, or will be happy to inform you of their facilities if you email or call ahead. There are also websites that can tell you where the nearest toilet is such as Toilet Map. There are also smartphone apps such as SitOrSquat that will search for toilets in your area, these are both free to use.
Keeping well hydrated is so important in the summer with the warmer weather. Some beverages can make us feel hydrated while actually make us less hydrated such as coffee and alcohol. Water is the perfect drink for hydrating. Why not take advantage of all of the seasonal fruit and infuse your water with raspberries and strawberries this summer to make the drink more interesting! Visit one of our other articles to learn more about the importance of drinking water.
Look after your skin
Continence products can be detrimental to your skin, especially in the warmer months as you sweat more. Tips to maintain skin integrity include looking at a sheath system as an alternative to incontinence pads, ensuring your leg bag has fabric backing to wick moisture away from the skin and ensuring you use a medical adhesive remover and barrier products with a sheath or stoma pouch. If you wear incontinence pads and would be interested in a sheath system, an assessment with one of our nurses could help you get started.