Urinary incontinence is common among seniors, but this doesn’t mean the symptoms can’t be mitigated. With a little effort, family caregivers can help their senior loved ones manage this issue. Here are a few ways to care for an aging loved one who has incontinence.
Understand the Causes
There are several types of incontinence that affect elderly people. Urge incontinence involves an urgent need to urinate and an inability to withhold urine before reaching the bathroom. It can be caused by a variety of issues, including dementia, strokes, pelvic floor atrophy, and prostate enlargement. Stress incontinence occurs when abdominal pressure is more forceful than the bladder’s closing pressure, and it often affects seniors who have weak bladder muscles. Overflow incontinence happens when the bladder doesn’t fully empty, and it’s usually caused by a urinary tract obstruction. Functional incontinence often results from other health conditions or issues. For example, a senior with arthritis may be unable to quickly unzip his or her pants when going to the bathroom, or a senior with dementia may not be able to plan bathroom trips in advance.
Urinary incontinence is just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
Talk to Your Loved One about Incontinence
When incontinence becomes a concern, address it in a compassionate, tactful manner. Be honest and open about the issue, and focus on proactive treatment options.
Once you’ve talked about incontinence with your loved one, it’s time to develop effective methods to minimize accidents. First, remove all obstacles that could keep your loved one from getting to the bathroom easily. If your parent has difficulty undoing buttons or other fasteners on his or her pants, switch to pants with elastic waistbands or easy-to-use zippers. If he or she has difficulty getting on the toilet, try installing grab bars for extra support.
Create a Toileting Schedule
When helping your loved one address incontinence, consider creating a toileting schedule. Make a note of every time your loved one urinates during the day for about a week or until a noticeable pattern appears. Based on your notes, create a timetable for bathroom breaks, and make sure your loved one heads to the bathroom a few minutes before he or she usually needs to go. Creating a toileting schedule is one of the best ways to address stress incontinence and urge incontinence.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Scottsdale home care service agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
Consider Incontinence Products
There are many comfortable, effective, and easy-to-use incontinence products on the market. Incontinence briefs are available for men and women, and many of them look like standard underwear. There are also skin care products, such as moisturizers, skin barriers, and cleansers, that can protect against the development of rashes and sores.
Talk to a Doctor
Behavioral modification is usually the first form of treatment for incontinence. Seniors experiencing incontinence can also ask their doctors about different treatment plans. Common medications used to treat incontinence include antispasmodic drugs, hormone replacement therapy, and antibiotics.
Incontinence is a serious health concern that could impact your loved one’s ability to manage everyday activities independently. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Scottsdale seniors can depend on. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at (480) 771-2710 today.