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When Elderly Parents Deny Having Health Issues

Judie Rappaport
July 29, 2014

Dear Judie, 

 

I don't know a nice way to say this: Dad urinates in his pants once, twice, three or four times a day. He goes to restaurants, the movies, and church, just about everywhere with wet pants or trousers drying with yellow stains. The longer the day goes on, the stronger the odor is. He won't consider Depends-type underpants because he thinks people will be able to tell he's wearing them and he'll be embarrassed. How can he possibly believe people don't see and smell him now? 

- Pete, Stuart

 

Dear Pete, 

 

"Denial" is a coping mechanism all of us employ from time to time to ignore issues we don't want to face. Unfortunately, it often makes the problem worse. Dad is denying his incontinence because he's embarrassed and afraid. 

 

Step 1: Calm his fears and embarrassment. Explain that urinary incontinence (UI) is a symptom of a medical condition that needs treatment and that UI affects 15%-30% of people over the age of 60. 

Step 2: Visit Dad's physician for a complete exam and referral to a board-certified urologist for treatment. 

Step 3: While you're waiting for your appointments, buy Dad dark navy or black pants to hide stains, new Velcro absorbent fabric into the front of Dad's pants, or buy protective underpants that are slim fitting and don't show. (If necessary, buy Dad a pair of one-size larger pants). 

 

 

Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©

 
 

You May Also Like:

Knowing When to Intervene With Aging Parents

Understanding Alzheimer's and Incontinence 

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Caregiver Help, , Dear Judie