Planning for a family reunion or much-needed vacation can come with obstacles if any member of your entourage suffers from incontinence. You or your loved one with incontinence might even consider canceling the trip because of it. The good news is that traveling with someone with incontinence doesn’t have to be stressful—if you plan ahead, your trip can go smoothly.
Consider Your Destination
If you are traveling with someone who has incontinence, consider the climate of your destination. Climate plays a large role in whether your loved one will be comfortable wearing any necessary adult briefs. Hot and humid climates can cause skin irritation and discomfort. Try to pick a location that has a temperate climate or plan for indoor activities. You also want to ensure that anywhere you visit has easily accessible restrooms.
Pick the Right Transportation
If you are going on a long trip, keep in mind that extended sitting can cause lower back pain for them. Remaining seated can also put excess pressure on the bladder. Break up the trip with frequent restroom breaks and opportunities to stretch.
Prep Ahead of Time
It’s essential to avoid drinking or eating before you leave. Give everyone time to eat and use the restroom at their assisted living facility or nursing home before you hit the road. Many foods and drinks can trigger inconvenience, so you will want to avoid these problem foods throughout your trip if possible.
Choose the Right Clothes
It’s important to purchase garments that are easy on your wallet. The best way to do this is by finding clothes with a waterproof lining that you can clean with warm water and detergent.
While traveling, you also want clothing that is easy to take off. Look for zippers rather than buttons, and opt for hook-and-loop fasteners and pull-on elastic waistbands when possible.
Time Your Meals
Try to be mindful of the time as you eat. Make sure to plan out meals and activities to accommodate your family’s needs.
Patience is key; do not show visible frustration or irritation at the multiple bathroom breaks needed. Try to keep in mind that this process may also be uncomfortable for them.
Prepare for Emergencies
Packing an extra pair of underwear and a change of clothes is ideal. Add baby wipes and hand sanitizer to your emergency pack, and keep a bag for soiled items.
Taking a few moments to plan for the unexpected will ensure that you can overcome any obstacle. Being open about this issue can be difficult, so try to remind your family members that you are happy they chose to participate and will help in any way you can.
You Can Travel and Have a Good Time
Incontinence is not a sign of weakness or failure or a burden to others. While there are some steps to ensure an event-free trip, traveling with incontinence shouldn’t stop you from participating in all the activities and enjoying your family time.