This is embarrassing but I don’t know where else to go for help. My father (79) always has yellow stains on the front of his pants. He’s very active socially. He goes to dances and parties at his condo. I don’t think he knows about the stains because he takes great pride in his appearance. I have no idea how to approach him without embarrassing both of us. I remember your column from years ago addressing this subject. Will you please rerun the column?
- Beverly, Tequesta
There is no need for embarrassment. Incontinence is a very common medical condition that can happen to anyone at any age but is more prevalent in seniors (estimates are that 1 in 10 seniors have some form of incontinence). Even so, you are right to worry Dad will be embarrassed when you point out the problem. Our guess is he knows, but hopes he’s hidden the problem from everyone including his doctor. Urinary incontinence can often be treated, controlled, or cured. Help Dad by asking his physician to call him in for diagnosis and treatment to help control the leakage. The column you requested generated several very helpful, practical, and cost effective ideas from our readers—keep reading:
I care for my 81-year-old incontinent brother and in addition to medical treatment by a urologist, one of my solutions is to purchase dark blue or dark gray jockey shorts and dark blue or khaki pants.
- Fred, PSL
For cases where incontinence cannot be completely controlled I have two suggestions to reduce urine stains on the front of his pants. If dad does his own laundry, it might not be too embarrassing to offer him a bottle of pre-wash spray to use. For prevention, there is a smaller sized male pad (for those who do not need a diaper) or old undershirts can be cut into squares and folded or stitched into a size that is just large enough to absorb any mild leakage. These only work well with jockey-type shorts.
- Martha, Stuart
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
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