Tips for Helping a Senior Deal with Incontinence

Posted: 6/22/2017 10:58 AM by Interim HealthCare
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately half of elderly adults are dealing with some level of incontinence or urinary urgency. This condition is particularly common among aging women, with up to 80 percent of those who experience these symptoms being women. Whether it is not being able to control their bladder, experiencing leakage, or dealing with urgency, this can be a very challenging condition for your elderly parent that can put them at risk for issues such as illness and infection, threaten their mental and emotional health, and diminish their quality of life. As a family caregiver you can make a tremendous difference in how your senior is able to handle this condition and continue living an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
Use these tips to help your senior deal with incontinence:
Stay hydrated. It may seem strange to think that an elderly person who is dealing with incontinence should drink more, but the truth is that dehydration can actually make incontinence worse. When the body does not have enough fluids it can irritate the bladder, worsening symptoms.

Do not “hold it in”. Emptying their bladder regularly can help to reduce the risk that your senior will experience urgency or leakage. Encourage them to use the restroom at regular intervals throughout the day even if they do not feel as though they need to go.

Stay active. The healthier your aging parent’s body, the better chances they will have at being able to control their bladder. Encourage them to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight and support strong, resilient muscles that they can use to keep their bladder under control.

Know their medications. Certain medications and treatments can increase the risk that your senior will experience urgency or other incontinence symptoms. If you notice that your senior has been experiencing more of these symptoms, consider talking to their doctor about their symptoms and ask if their medications or treatments might be influencing these issues. They might be able to offer suggestions for how to manage the symptoms, or even change their medications to reduce them.

Starting home care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make. A caregiver can be with your aging parent on a schedule that is right for your elderly parent as well as you as their family caregiver. This means that whether you are able to be with them or not, you can feel confident that they are getting all of the care, support, assistance, and encouragement that they need to be as healthy, comfortable, safe, and fulfilled as possible as they age in place. Through a highly personalized set of services, this care provider can help your loved one manage their individual needs and challenges, but also encourage them to remain as independent, active, and engaged as they can be to find meaning and quality of life throughout this period of their life.

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