Caregiver Guide to ALS

 

Caregiver Guide to ALS

 

 

 

 

What is ALS?

 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease or Motor Neuron Disease, is a progressive, neuromuscular disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord.

 

Motor neurons, among the largest of all nerve cells, reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to muscles throughout the body. When these motor neurons die, the brain can no longer start and control muscle movement. At this time there is no cure for the disease; however, over the past decade, we have made amazing strides in our understanding of the brain, the nervous system and genetics. Discoveries in each of these areas bring hope to people with ALS (PALS) and their families that some day a cure will be found.

 

Amyotrophic comes from the Greek language. “A” means no or negative. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “trophic” means nourishment–“no muscle nourishment.” When a muscle receives no nourishment, it atrophies or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that nourish the muscles are located. As this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region.

 

As more and more nerves and muscles are affected, the person with ALS loses the ability to move, eventually suffering complete paralysis. The muscles used for breathing, speaking and swallowing also become affected. ALS does not affect the person’s mind, senses (feeling, tasting smelling etc.), bladder and bowel function or sexual drive and function.

 

 

Who gets ALS?

 

There are 30,000 people living with ALS in the United States and approximately 6,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with ALS each year. Symptoms usually appear in individuals between the ages of 45-65, though the disease has been reported in both younger and older persons. Survival after the confirming diagnosis is, on average, two to five years.

 

The progression of ALS varies with each individual. Ten percent of those diagnosed with ALS live for ten years or more. Family caregivers, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists/pathologists, occupational therapists and social workers all working together with the person with ALS can help ensure a high quality of life and as much independence as possible.

 

ALS occurs more frequently in men than in women. For 90-95% of all ALS cases, there is no known cause. These cases, which appear to occur at random, are referred to as sporadic ALS. Between 5-10% of ALS cases are inherited. This genetic form of ALS is known as familial ALS. Sporadic and familial ALS do not differ in symptoms or progression. ALS is not contagious.

 

 

Symptoms

 

Some patients become aware of the onset of the disease when their hands become clumsy, causing difficulty in the performance of tasks like unlocking doors or writing. Others experience weakness in the legs and may trip or stumble. Other people notice they have problems speaking or difficulty swallowing.

 

ALS may be present for some time before any symptoms are noticed. This lack of noticeable symptoms occurs because the remaining functioning nerve cells compensate for the lost or damaged nerve cells. One early symptom is generalized fatigue. As muscle cells deteriorate, patients may experience stiffness, occasional jerking of the arms or legs, or twitching (fasciculations). Often symptoms begin in the hands and feet, then travel inward toward the center of the body. One side is usually more affected than the other. Eventually paralysis may be complete, except for the muscles of the eyes.

 

 

Diagnosis

 

There is no specific clinical test that can identify ALS. Diagnosis is made by a neurologist through a physical examination, a thorough patient medical history, and neurological testing. Diagnostic testing often includes the electromyogram (EMG) to test muscle activity, CT Scan or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and extensive blood work. Sometimes muscle and/or nerve biopsies are performed.

 

The diagnostic process involves ruling out other potential causes of the symptoms the person is exhibiting. Because there is no conclusive test, people may find themselves with a diagnosis of probable or possible ALS until further identifying symptoms appear.

 

A diagnosis of ALS can be devastating to both the individual and the family. Anger, denial, fear, and a sense of loss are common reactions. For those who have been through a lengthy diagnosis process and the anguish of not having a diagnosis, finally knowing that they have ALS may actually bring a feeling of relief.

 

 

Treatment and Management of ALS

 

 

The Physician’s Role

 

The American Academy of Neurology has established guidelines for physicians treating individuals with ALS. These are based upon the following four principles:

 

Patient self-determination and autonomy are priorities; however, the way in which care and information are delivered to the person with ALS and/or his or her family should take into account the social, psychological and cultural background of the family. For example, in some instances the patient may prefer not to know the diagnosis and/or prognosis and the family may appoint someone else as medical decision-maker.

 

Physicians should provide the family with information well in advance of the time that decisions will have to be made regarding treatment options. Everyone involved should understand that decisions may change over time.

 

Caring for a person with ALS requires a coordinated effort among many people including family caregivers, therapists, nurses, and physicians. The physician should be responsible for ensuring the coordination of care from the time of diagnosis to the last stages of the disease.

 

A Living Will (Advance Directives, Power of Attorney for Healthcare) defining the treatment preferences of the person with ALS can be an excellent tool for communication among the person with ALS, the family, and the medical care team. The Living Will document should be reviewed every six months to reflect possible changes in preferences. This can often be a difficult topic and the physician should help by offering the family a chance to talk about it and to review it. In preparation, the physician should provide the family with information about the terminal phases of the disease.

 

Sample Health Care Directive

You can create, save and print out a legal Living Will/Health Care Directive simply and inexpensively online at LawDepot.  You can also log back in to make changes as necessary.  This service is available to U.S., Canadian, UK and Australian citizens.

See a Sample Health Care Directive

 

Helping people with ALS and their families requires empathy and sensitivity on the part of everyone involved.

 

 

Drug Treatment

 

In 1995, the FDA approved riluzole (Rilutek) the first and only drug for the treatment of ALS. Clinical trails of riluzole showed that the drug had a modest effect (2-3 months) on slowing the progression of ALS. Researchers continue to conduct clinical trails of potential new treatments for ALS. People with ALS (PALS) may want to discuss with their physician the option of participating in a clinical trial.

 

Approximately 50% of those affected by ALS may exhibit uncontrollable laughter or crying. This is referred to as psuedobulbar affect. Depression can also be a symptom. Some PALS experience Sialorrhea, drooling. All of these symptoms (depression, uncontrollable laughing/crying, and drooling) can be treated with medications and should be brought to the attention of the physician.

 

 

Living with ALS

 

While it is true that there is no cure for ALS, much can be done to help the person live with the disease. Treatment aimed at relieving symptoms can be very effective.

 

Generally, people with ALS should continue their usual daily activities, stopping before they become fatigued. They should be encouraged to set their own limits of exertion, and to plan how they will use their energy and strength. The physician will probably suggest exercises, including breathing exercises, to strengthen unaffected or less-affected muscles. These exercises are not vigorous or tiring, but are intended to help maintain mobility and prevent joint stiffness and muscle contracture.

 

There are a wide variety of assistive devices for enhancing the quality of life for the person with ALS:

 

 

Mobility

By working with physical and occupational therapists, PALS and their caregivers can identify appropriate devices to help maximize independence and reduce caregiver strain as changes in mobility occur. Braces, canes and walkers can help PALS maintain independent mobility for as long as possible.

As the disease progresses, wheelchairs, lifts and other special equipment can enable PALS and their caregivers to work as a team to keep the person with ALS connected to the world around them and to ensure appropriate care.

 

 

Communication

A speech therapist can help PALS maintain their speaking ability for as long as possible; however, the loss of speech does not mean the loss of the ability to communicate. Assistive communication devices, from simple boards to sophisticated electronic devices and computer applications, permit communication even into the latest stages of ALS.

 

 

For more communication help, see Caregivers Can Help With Aphasia

 

Rapid advances in technology have resulted in products that dramatically increase the independence of people with very limited mobility, allowing them to “speak,” operate lights and other controls, and remain contributing members of their families and communities. As of January 2001, Medicare policy was changed to include coverage of many of these communication devices.

 

 

 

Breathing

As muscles weaken, breathing becomes more difficult and less effective in the person with ALS. Individuals may find that they have problems sleeping, wake up feeling tired or wake up with a headache. Several options exist for individuals whose breathing becomes inadequate.

 

Several non-invasive options for helping breathing exist. One of the most frequently used is called a BiPAP (biphasic positive airway pressure). The person with ALS wears a mask over his or her nose at night connected to the BiPAP, which helps increase the flow of air into and out of the lungs.

 

When the person requires more help breathing than can be offered with any of the noninvasive methods, a permanent ventilator can be used. The ventilator then does the person’s breathing for him or her. This option can prolong the life of a person with ALS but it increases the need for care and the cost of care. The willingness and availability of caregivers can impact this decision.

 

Deciding whether or not to use the various types of assistive breathing devices will be one of the hardest decisions PALS and their families need to make. Preferences regarding breathing support should be discussed with the physician and included in the Advanced Directives.

 

 

Nutrition

It is important for people with ALS to receive proper nutrition and to maintain a normal weight. As problems with swallowing develop, food can be processed to make it easier to swallow. A nutritionist or registered dietitian and speech therapist or speech pathologist can help develop strategies to ensure that the person is receiving enough nutrients, calories and fluids.

 

If the person is not getting enough food, or if choking and food inhalation become a problem, he or she may want to consider a feeding tube. The tube, referred to as a PEG, is surgically inserted into the person’s stomach. Food goes through the tube and enters the stomach directly. This can be another very difficult decision for PALS and their families. Preferences regarding the placement of a PEG should be discussed before the need arises and included in the Advanced Directives. As with all treatment decisions, they should be reviewed periodically.

 

For more help, see End of Life Feeding and Nutrition

 

 

Gathering the appropriate resources to meet the challenges of ALS can be financially difficult for many families. Both the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (ALSA) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) have programs through which people with ALS can borrow assistive devices and equipment that they might otherwise not be able to afford.

 

 

Reaching Out

It is important that the person with ALS and his or her primary caregiver get the information and support they need. Financial, emotional and caregiving challenges can take their toll on PALS and their caregivers. Preparing for upcoming changes, establishing good communication with the physician and other medical team members, and pulling together a supportive community of family, friends, and social service professionals will help ensure the highest possible quality of life.

 

While the care needs of PALS can be intense, caregivers must also be aware of their own needs for respite, rest and emotional support. A diagnosis of ALS does not mean an end to enjoyment. PALS and their caregivers will find that they continue to laugh, to find joy in their lives and to gain strength from the love of their families and friends.

 

 

Best Source:

 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – A Guide for Patients and Families by Hiroshi Mitsumoto, MD (Third Edition)

This extensively revised and rewritten new edition of the bestselling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Guide For Patients and Families addresses all of those needs, and brings up-to-date important information to those living with the reality of ALS.

The book is completely revised throughout and contains NEW information on:

  • Recently developed approaches to treating ALS symptoms
  • Use of non-invasive ventilators
  • Multidisciplinary team care
  • New guidelines being developed by the American Academy of Neurology for patients with ALS
  • The use of riluzole (Rilutek) to treat ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis covers every aspect of the management of ALS, from clinical features of the disease, to diagnosis, to an overview of symptom management. Major sections deal with medical and rehabilitative management, living with ALS, managing advanced disease, end-of-life issues, and resources that can provide support and assistance in this time of need.

 

 

Also Recommended:

 

Don’t Buy Too Many Green Bananas – Living With ALS by Delores M. Warner

This memoir was from a journal the author kept regarding the progression of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) as her husband fought this devastating disease.

She and her husband were problem solvers, and as she cared for him at home, the two of them worked out ways to compensate for his declining strength. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with ALS, they and their families will find this book provides information on resources and approaches to dealing with the physical aspects, in the story as well as the back of the book for quick reference. As well, the author writes an unflinching account providing insights into coping with such diagnosis with grace.

 

 

I Remember Running – The Year I Got Everything I Ever Wanted – and ALS by Darcy Wakefield

A little over a year ago, Darcy Wakefield was a single, 33-year-old, athletic, workaholic English professor, a vegetarian who had never had a serious health problem or injury.

Then she was diagnosed with ALS, and her world turned upside down.

I Remember Running is Darcy’s story of change and loss and challenges during her first year with ALS, as she struggles to make sense of her diagnosis and redefine herself in the face of this terminal illness.

With unflagging courage, wit, and eloquence, Darcy shares what she calls her “fast-forward” life, a life in which she applies for disability, leaves her job, and plans her own funeral as well as meets and moves in with her true love, buys a house, and gives birth to her first child in less time than it takes most of us to accomplish even one of these things.

Beautifully written and wholly inspiring, I Remember Running proves that it is possible to live a rich, meaningful life after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. This book will move readers to see the world in a different light.

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Caregivers – Protecting Yourself From Heavy Lifting Injuries

Shower Chair or Bath Bench Guide

Guide to Bathroom Grab Bars and Hand Rails

Find the Right Power Wheelchair

Mobility Scooter Buying Guide

Choosing a Medical Walker

Choosing a Walking Cane

Choosing a Transport Chair

Getting Your Wheelchair Into the Car

Caregivers Can Help With Aphasia

End of Life Nutrition

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

You Can Fight Gout

Although eating certain foods and drinking alcohol may trigger a rise in the level of uric acid in the body, these habits do not by themselves cause gout.

 

 

 

Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe. These attacks can happen over and over unless gout is treated. Over time, they can harm your joints, tendons, and other tissues. Gout is most common in men.

 

Gout is caused by too much uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). Most of the time, having too much uric acid isn’t harmful. Many people with high levels in their blood never get gout. But when uric acid levels in your blood are too high, the uric acid may form hard crystals in your joints. The exact cause of hyperuricemia sometimes isn’t known, although inherited factors (genes) seem to play a role. 

 

Your chances of getting gout are higher if you are overweight, drink too much alcohol, or eat too much meat and fish that are high in chemicals called purines. Some medicines, such as water pills (diuretics), can also bring on gout.

 

The most common sign of gout is a nighttime attack of swelling, tenderness, redness, and sharp pain in your big toe. You can also get gout attacks in your foot, ankle, or knees, or other joints. The attacks can last a few days or many weeks before the pain goes away. Another attack may not happen for months or years.

 

See your doctor even if your pain from gout is gone. The buildup of uric acid that led to your gout attack can still harm your joints.

 

Your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and do a physical exam. Your doctor may also take a sample of fluid from your joint to look for uric acid crystals. This is the best way to test for gout. Your doctor may also do a blood test to measure the amount of uric acid in your blood.

 

To stop a gout attack, your doctor can give you a shot of corticosteroids or prescribe a large daily dose of one or more medicines. The doses will get smaller as your symptoms go away. Relief from a gout attack often begins within 24 hours if you start treatment right away.

 

Recommended: The Mangano Method:  An All-Natural Approach to Fight Gout

 

 

Symptoms of Gout:

 

  • Warmth, pain, swelling, and extreme tenderness in a joint, usually a big toe joint . This symptom is called podagra. The pain often starts during the night. It may get worse quickly, last for hours, and be so intense that even light pressure from a sheet is intolerable
  • Very red or purplish skin around the affected joint. The joint may appear to be infected
  • Limited movement in the affected joint
  • Peeling and itching of the skin around the affected joint as the gout gets better

 

 

Gout Risk Factors

 

Things You Can’t Change

 

  • Being male
  • Having a family history of gout
  • Having been born with a rare condition that causes high blood uric acid levels, such as Kelley-Seegmiller syndrome or Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

 

 

Medicines That May Increase Uric Acid

 

  • Regular use of aspirin (more than 1 or 2 aspirin a day) or niacin
  • Diuretic medicines
  • Chemotherapy medicines (usually used to treat cancer)
  • Medicines that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine, that are used to prevent your body from rejecting an organ transplant

 

 

Conditions Related to Diet and Body Weight

 

  • Obesity (this is the easiest fat loss diet I have found )
  • Moderate, regular, or heavy use of alcohol, especially beer
  • A diet rich in meat and seafood, which can be high in purines
  • Frequent episodes of dehydration
  • Very low-calorie diets

 

 

Other Conditions

 

Certain other conditions and diseases appear more often in people who have gout than in people who don’t, though studies have not shown a clear relationship. Gout may share risk factors (such as obesity, hypertension, and high levels of triglycerides) with certain diseases, including:

 

  • Lead poisoning
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Conditions that cause an abnormal rapid turnover of cells, such as psoriasis, multiple myeloma, hemolytic anemia, or tumors
  • Acute illness or infection
  • Injury to a joint
  • Rapid weight loss, as might happen in hospitalized patients who have changes in diet or medicines
  • Surgery

 

Call or see your doctor right away if you have:

 

  • Severe pain in a single joint that comes on very quickly
  • Swollen, tender joints with warm, red skin over them

 

It’s important to see your doctor even if the pain from gout has stopped. The uric acid buildup that caused your gout attack may still be irritating your joints and could eventually cause serious damage. Your doctor can prescribe medicines that can prevent and even reverse the uric acid buildup.

 

 

Exams and Tests for Gout

 

  • A joint fluid analysis (arthrocentesis) to see whether uric acid crystals are present. This is the only certain way to diagnose gout
  • A medical history and physical exam
  • A test to measure levels of uric acid in blood. This may be done if your doctor cannot safely get fluid from the affected joint
  • A test to measure levels of uric acid in urine

 

While X-rays of extremities (hands and feet) are sometimes useful in the late stages of the disease, X-rays aren’t usually helpful in the early diagnosis. Pain often causes people to seek medical attention before any long-term changes can be seen on an X-ray. But X-rays may help to rule out other causes of arthritis.

 

Your doctor may evaluate you for lead poisoning if you have been exposed to lead in your job or through hobbies.

 

Recommended: The Mangano Method:  An All-Natural Approach to Fight Gout

 

 

Treatment

 

The goals of treatment for gout are fast pain relief and prevention of future gout attacks and long-term complications, such as joint destruction and kidney damage. Treatment includes medicines and steps you can take at home to prevent future attacks.

 

Specific treatment depends on whether you are having an acute attack or are trying to manage long-term gout and prevent future attacks.

 

To Treat an Acute Attack

 

  • Rest the affected joint(s)
  • Use ice to reduce swelling
  • Take short-term medicines at the first sign of a gout attack, as prescribed by your doctor
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
    • Colchicine
    • Oral corticosteroids

 

 

Home Treatment

 

If you have been diagnosed with gout, you can do a lot on your own to treat your condition.

 

To Decrease the pain of an acute attack

 

Rest the affected joint until the attack eases and for 24 hours after the attack.

Elevate painful joints.

Use ice to reduce swelling.

Relieve inflammation by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But don’t take aspirin, which may abruptly change uric acid levels and may make symptoms worse. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

 

To Prevent more attacks

 

  • Control your weight. Being overweight increases your risk for gout. If you are overweight, a diet that is low in fat may help you lose weight. But avoid fasting or very low-calorie diets. Very low-calorie diets increase the amount of uric acid produced by the body and may bring on a gout attack.  See the fat loss diet I recommend.

 

  • Follow a moderate exercise program.

 

  • Limit alcohol, especially beer. Alcohol can reduce the release of uric acid by the kidneys into your urine, causing an increase of uric acid in your body. Beer, which is rich in purines, appears to be worse than some other beverages that contain alcohol.

 

  • Limit meat and seafood. Diets high in meat and seafood (high-purine foods) can raise uric acid levels.  In the past, gout was thought to be caused by drinking too much alcohol and eating too many rich foods. It is important to note that although eating certain foods and drinking alcohol may trigger a rise in the level of uric acid in the body, these habits may not by themselves cause gout. Gout is most often caused by an overproduction of uric acid (due to metabolism problems) or decreased elimination of uric acid by the kidneys.

 

  • Talk to your doctor about all the medicines you take.  Some medicines may raise the uric acid level.  Continue to take the medicines prescribed to you for gout. But if you weren’t taking medicines that lower uric acid (such as allopurinol or probenecid) before the attack, don’t start taking them when the attack begins. These medicines won’t help relieve acute pain. They may actually make it worse.

 

 

 

Medicine Choices

 

Medicine treatment for gout usually involves some combination of short- and long-term medicines.

 

 Short-term medicines

 

Short-term medicine relieves pain and reduces inflammation during an acute attack or prevents a recurrence of an acute attack.

These medicines may include:

 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, or naproxen. Do not take aspirin, which should never be used to relieve pain during a gout attack. Aspirin may change uric acid levels in the blood and may make the attack worse. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label
  • Colchicine
  • Corticosteroids, which may be given in pills or as a shot for cases of gout that don’t respond to NSAIDs or colchicines

 

If treatment is started right away, relief from symptoms often occurs within 24 hours.

 

During a gout attack, your doctor will prescribe a maximum daily dose of one or more medicines used for short-term treatment to stop the attack. Doses are then reduced as the symptoms go away.

 

Long-term medicines

 

Long-term treatment uses medicines to lower uric acid levels in the blood. This can reduce how often you have gout attacks and how severe they are. These medicines may include:

 

  • Uricosuric agents, to increase elimination of uric acid by the kidneys
  • Xanthine oxidase inhibitors, to decrease production of uric acid by the body
  • Colchicine, to prevent flare-ups during the first months that you are taking medicines that lower uric acid
  • Pegloticase (Krystexxa). This medicine is for gout that has lasted a long time and hasn’t responded to other treatment

 

If your doctor prescribes medicine to lower your uric acid levels, be sure to take it as directed. Most people will continue to take this medicine every day. It is also important to know how to take it.

 

  • If you’re taking one of these medicines, continue to take the medicine during the attack
  • If you have one of these medicines but have not been taking it, do not start taking the medicine during an attack. Starting these medicines while you are having a gout attack can make your attack much worse

 

 

 

Complimentary Treatment

 

  • An herb called devil’s claw have been used as anti-inflammatories. Research shows it may be useful as a complementary medicine to treat gout.
  • Some studies show that folic acid may be helpful in inhibiting the enzyme needed to produce uric acid.

 

Sundown Naturals Folic Acid 400mcg 350 Tablets

 

 

Surgery

 

If gout symptoms have occurred off and on without treatment for more than 10 years, uric acid crystals may have built up in the joints to form gritty, chalky nodules called tophi. If tophi are causing infection, pain, pressure, and deformed joints, your doctor may be able to treat them with medicine. If this doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove them.

 

 

 

 

Best Recommendation: The Mangano Method:  An All-Natural Approach to Fight Gout

 

Fight Gout is a  powerful system to treat gout and relieve the symptoms using alternative methods with no prescription medications whatsoever.  Read more details about the program here.

 

 

 

 

 

You may also be interested in:

The Fat Loss Diet I Recommend

Type 2 Diabetes – What You Need to Know

Kidney Disease – Now What?

High Blood Pressure – Take Control

Living With Angina from Coronary Artery Disease

Heartburn and Acid Reflux Help

Find the Best Bathroom Scale for You

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

 

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

(Leaks Happen!)

 

 

Example: Furniture Fresh Luxury Furniture Protector

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incontinence Protection for Furniture, Car and Bed Makes Cleanup So Much Easier

 

When your older adult is incontinent, your furniture is likely to get soiled even if they always wear incontinence briefs – leaks happen.

Nobody wants to deal with that kind of intense cleanup or have to worry about odors that get stuck deep inside of unwashable cushions.

Depend Seat Protectors for Incontinence Protection, 12 Count (Pack of 2)
Depend Seat Protectors
Of course, it’s not reasonable to get a new couch or recliner chair every time it gets too stained or smelly. The best thing to do is invest in protective pads to prevent damage to chairs, couches, and even car seats.

For example, I found pads and covers that are discreet, stylish, comfortable to sit on, and make cleanup much easier – just toss in the wash. And, covering furniture with these pads is far less expensive than replacing it. As a bonus, these pads and covers also protect furniture from beverage and food spills.  Read on for lots of practical suggestions:

 

 

 

Start With Basic Protection

 

The first thing to do for anything that’s upholstered is to spray on a fabric protector like Scotch Gard Fabric Protector.

 

Scotchgard Fabric and Upholstery Protector, 10-Ounce, 2-Pack

 

 

 

Next, keep these stylish and discreet disposable pads on hand.

 

 
They’re easy to throw on any unprotected surfaces in case your older adult wants to sit somewhere different. Or, use them as a top layer to reduce the need to wash cloth pads and covers.

 

 

Protect  Your Chairs

 

 

For wheelchairs, car seats or other chairs, add a waterproof pad to the seat. Buy two to double up or get a few to keep on all of your senior’s favorite seats.

 

Here are some options – all washable, reusable, and waterproof

 

 

 

 

 

Protect recliners, stuffed chairs, sofas, and couches

 

It can be tricky to find covers that fit your chair or sofa exactly and are 100% waterproof, so it’s a good idea to use pads on top of the cover for extra protection.

 

Here are a few options for covering your recliner and sofa:

 

  •  GPD water resistant cover for recliners or stuffed chairs
  •   Serta Ultra Suede Waterproof Sofa Protector
  •  GPD Heavyweight Luxury waterproof sofa cover

 

 

Protect car seats

Infina Waterproof Car Seat Cover - Durable Neoprene Protector, Pet Protection - CrossFit, Yoga, Running, Beach, Gym, Fitness, Athletes - 100% Money Back Guarantee (Gray)

 

It’s equally important to protect car seats from accidents and leaks so you don’t have to worry about driving your older adult somewhere.

You could always use a chair pad to protect the car seat, but in case you need heavy duty protection, try one of these with a chair pad as an extra layer on top:

 

  • Seat Saver waterproof universal car front seat cover
  •  Infina waterproof neoprene front seat cover
  •  Amzdeal waterproof front seat cover

 

 

 

Incontinence Pads for Beds

 

If your older adult is incontinent, you probably spend a good amount of time cleaning up after accidents even if they wear adult diapers. Plus, you’re forced to deal with unpleasant lingering odors.

Preparation makes incontinence cleanup so much easier!  Save time and money and prevent a smelly house by prepping the bed with expert layering tips and highly-rated protective products that really work. After all, replacing a soiled mattress is expensive!

 

 

Protecting The Bed

 

Multiple layers are the key! One waterproof mattress protector and a leak-proof pad can’t always do the job by themselves. Plus, once urine gets into the mattress or pillows, it’s difficult to get out and will smell. That’s why it’s best to prevent them from getting wet in the first place.

If your mattress is already a little bit soiled, clean and deodorize it with a diluted vinegar spray or a urine neutralizing product before wrapping it up.

You’ll need to wrap the mattress in multiple layers to keep it from getting soiled. Of course, some of the outer layers will get wet, but at least those will be easily washable.

 

 

Layers for the mattress, in this order:

 

  1.  Start with a zippered, vinyl, waterproof cover on the mattress like by Aller Zip.

 

 

2.  Then use a waterproof mattress cover like this one on top of the zippered cover.

 

Optional: Put on two layers of the waterproof mattress cover in step 2.

 

 

3.  Next, put on a regular fitted sheet, followed by one or two layers of a waterproof absorbent pad like this one on top of the fitted sheet. Your older adult will sleep on top of this pad.

 

 

 

Tip:  Instead of a thick comforter, try layers of thinner blankets and large, heavy towels;  these are easier to wash than a thick comforter and the goal is to fit all the soiled bedding and pads into one load of laundry.

 

 

 

Layers for Pillows

 

4.  Put a waterproof cover like this one on the pillow. Use two layers of covers if your older adult is likely to get their pillow wet.

 

 

 

5.  Last, put on a regular pillowcase.

 

 

For more information on personal incontinence products, see:

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Top Adult Diaper Products Reviewed

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

With incontinence, there will always be leaks and accidents. But if you prepare your older adult’s bed with good protection products and this layering technique, you’ll make cleanup easier and protect the mattress.

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!

 

 

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How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

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