‘Person-Centered’ Wellness: Helping Activity & Incontinence Coexist

January 11, 2024

By Lori Mika

senior adults hiking

I recently read an article, “Person-Centered Wellness is the Key to the Future,” published in connection with the ICAA (International Council on Active Aging) Forum that I attended, and I feel like it was a must-share for anyone affected by incontinence.

This statement by ICAA Founder and CEO Colin Milner embodied the theme of the article:

“Older adults are individuals, with unique experiences that have shaped their behaviors and preferences,” he said. “These experiences influence various aspects of their lives, including living arrangements, health status and overall quality of life.”

This quote also goes nicely with the mission I strive for each day – to uplift the lives of those experiencing incontinence (as well as their caregivers), by promoting an active lifestyle for them and supporting their quality of life.

Person-Centered Wellness

During the ICAA Conference I spoke with many activity professionals and exercise coaches who noted incontinence can be a major deterrent to the activity levels of older adults in their assisted living communities. Pointing to the ICAA article, I asked them, “How do you help your residents manage incontinence while continuing the activities they enjoy?”

Most said they try to learn about each person and work with them to create a customized solution, centered on their individual wants and needs.

This approach, called “person-centered wellness,” sees everyone as a unique being, with their own preferences and goals. This is very important in the context of active aging and incontinence care, where maintaining a high quality of life and dignity is of utmost importance. Translation: Incontinence should not be a reason for them to stop enjoying life!

Furthermore, active aging should focus on an individual’s abilities and what they can do – not what they can’t – to remain independent and active both physically and mentally. Each person is distinct and requires personalized care that considers their physical, emotional, social and psychological wellbeing.

Incontinence is a very personal condition that can carry activity-limiting stigmas. By offering incontinence solutions that allow individuals to be active both physically and socially, wellness can be achieved.

Physical Wellness:

Person-centered wellness in active aging emphasizes the importance of regular exercise tailored to the individual’s abilities and interests. This could range from gentle activities like walking and stretching to more vigorous activities like swimming or yoga. There are also exercises designed to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, which may improve an individual’s incontinence.

Incontinent individuals may believe that they cannot partake in these activities; however, I firmly believe (and have witnessed first-hand) that they are still within reach. Every day I try to help support wellness by offering better incontinence solutions that deliver protection for real, everyday activities. This helps wearers stay active and confident.

Mental Wellness:

Senior Woman laughing

Encouraging participation in social groups, clubs or activities that align with a person’s interests is paramount for mental wellness. This helps combat loneliness and fosters a sense of belonging.

Using high-quality incontinence products is like a security blanket that gives people the freedom to interact with others and to not be afraid of embarrassment from leaks or odors.

Person-centered wellness should also recognize that individuals experiencing incontinence deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This includes giving them privacy, maintaining confidentiality and involving them in decisions about their care.

Individualized Care Plans:

Recognizing that incontinence can have various underlying causes, a person-centered approach tailors a care plan to address their specific needs and circumstances. This may involve a combination of lifestyle adjustments, exercises and possibly medical interventions.

I learned right away at my job that every person’s journey with incontinence is unique: the typical person will try out seven different absorbent products before settling on the one that works best for their needs. Therefore, the best incontinence management plans involve personalized consultations with a product expert, coupled with access to product samples so they can try different styles, sizes and absorbencies.

Communication, Empathy and Support:

Open, empathetic communication is key to building a more compassionate and effective approach that respects an individual’s dignity.

This means actively listening to their concerns, providing clear information about their condition and treatment options, and empowering them to make choices about their own health and wellbeing.

How Tranquility® Can Help

The outcomes achieved by a well-designed, individualized incontinence care plan can change lives, if done properly. Product choice plays a big role in executing the plan.

Here is what finding a successful plan sounded like for Brandon, a Tranquility customer from Georgia:

“Urinary incontinence made it incredibly difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy in my life. The constant fear and embarrassment of unexpected leaks made me hesitant to engage in social activities or even leave my home. Finding an effective solution was a constant struggle until Tranquility came into my life. These diapers offer superior absorbency, preventing leaks and keeping me dry and confident during my daily activities.”

Or Barbara, from Ohio:

“Tranquility products really gave me my life back. I feel free to be active, travel, swim, bend, lift, reach and twist without worrying about being wet or leaking. The Swimmates® allow me to swim in the pool and at the beach for several hours with my family. It’s such a great feeling to join in the activities instead of watching.”

Here’s one last success story from a caregiving professional at a Midwest long-term care community:

“We tried Tranquility Products for our residents, and I really liked them. Residents have been sleeping longer, and this has allowed them to have better days and be more active.”

You can help ensure this success for yourself or those in your care.

I would love to help you do it – please contact me at 1-800-467-3224 ext. 307 or email lmika@pbenet.com, and let’s chat!

Lori Mika

Lori Mika, Account Executive for Principle Business Enterprises, parent company of Tranquility Incontinence Products, is passionate about senior care. She has spent the last five years building relationships with customers and educating them on products that significantly improve the health outcomes and uplift, enlighten and enrich the lives of the patients, clients and residents they serve.

Phone: 1-800-467-3224 ext. 307
E-mail: lmika@pbenet.com