Printer Friendly

Traveling with incontinence.

Q I've just retired and am soon going to be fulfilling a long-held ambition to "roadtrip" across America in my car. I've invited my elderly mother to accompany me, but since she suffers from incontinence do you have any advice for how I can ensure she is accident-free as we travel?

A Your first step should be planning a route that includes plenty of rest stops where there are likely to be restrooms your mother can use. Mark these on a map, and also keep in mind that if you use a GPS or in-car navigation system, these also can locate and direct you to gas stations and local attractions and businesses that will have restrooms. Another handy option if you use a smartphone is the "Sit or Squat" app, which not only locates nearby restrooms but also provides a cleanliness rating. You can download this and similar apps via the app store on your phone.

Plot in a rest stop every three hours or so. As well as giving your mother a bathroom break, stretching your legs will help protect you both from blood clots, which can be a risk if you're seated for long periods of time. As added insurance, I suggest that your mother pack incontinence underwear or pads she can wear just in case you get delayed en route. It also may be useful to stow a "changing bag" in the car--pack it with spare clothing and sanitary wipes, as well as plastic bags for storing any wet clothing while you continue driving. I also recommend protecting the car seat with a waterproof pad.

With careful preparation, there is no reason why your vacation can't be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for you both. Have a wonderful time!

Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD

Geriatric Medicine

COPYRIGHT 2016 Belvoir Media Group, LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:ASK THE EXPERTS
Author:Leipzig, Rosanne M.
Publication:Focus on Healthy Aging
Date:Oct 1, 2016
Previous Article:How massage can ease your aches and pains, and relieve your stress: massage is associated with less anxiety, and improved quality of life.
Next Article:Knee replacement.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters