What to say after you get "doctor's orders"
Whether the recommendations include incontinence products (like special briefs), behavioral changes (like scheduled bathroom visits), therapies (like pelvic floor exercises), or medication, cast yourself in the role of supporter to get the best results.
Be sympathetic to the person's perspective. "I know you think this is a drag, and I wish you didn't have to do this, but the doctor says you to in order to be safe." Or, "I know you don't like that, but it's what the doctor wants you to try for now." Nobody likes wetting himself, and people are usually relieved and cooperative about finding a solution.
Use terminology that feels right to the person. Most people cringe at the phrase "adult diapers." These days, incontinence-care products are usually called "briefs" or "underwear." (Many products are styled just like regular underwear, to be pulled up, and they come in men's and women's styles.) Explain, "These special pants are made of an absorbent material so that if you leak, it won't show before you can go and change."
Emphasize the advantages. "If you have an accident, nobody will know. You'll also save your clothes. Now you can keep going out and living a normal life."
Normalize incontinence. Humor helps. "Weak bladders happen to a lot of people when they get older, Ma. Why do you think there are so many products out there to help people deal with it?"
- Don't fall into some common traps. Learn six things never to say to an incontinent person.