The possibility of urinary incontinence increases with each passing year. It is more frequent in women, who experience it three times as much as men. While only 7 percent of women ages 20 to 39 experience this sometimes embarrassing disease, 32 percent of those over 80 fall into this category. Residents of nursing homes have incontinence issues at an alarming rate of 60 percent.
Risk factors that increase the probability of developing incontinence include weak or overactive bladder muscles, diabetes, certain medications, falls, impaired mobility, depression, stroke, TIA, dementia, enlarged prostrates, and congestive heart failure.
Urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging. If your loved one begins to experience this on a regular basis, make an appointment with their primary health care provider. Once the cause is determined, there is often a treatment to help.
If your loved one’s incontinence is not curable they may develop a habit of staying home in order to prevent any accidents. This often leads to isolation, decreasing muscle mass and a further decline in health and wellness. To prevent this escalation, take these steps:
- Gone are the days of baggy diapers for adults. Today’s incontinence products are many and designed with comfort and discretion in mind. Look online for a multitude of products and find the one that works best for your parent.
- Suggest that your parent wear clothing that is easy to get off such as slip-on pants.
- Schedule regular bathroom breaks even when out in public. A helpful tool is a vibrating reminder watch which goes off at designated intervals reminding your parent when it’s time.
- Keep a tote bag packed with supplies as well as a change of clothes that your parent can take with them. This little act can give them the confidence they need to venture out into the world and remain engaged.
- Limit fluid intake at bedtime. Try to make the last beverage about two hours before it’s time for lights out. Avoid food and beverages that can be irritating to the bladder. These include caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and citrus juices.
- Take it in stride. If you can adopt a nonchalant attitude, your parent will follow by example and do the same.
Senior Care Provider
Incontinence issues can be challenging for both you and your parent, but one that can be controlled to the point that your parent still remains active. A senior care provider has cared for countless seniors experiencing this same matter and knows the tricks of the trade to help your parent in the best way possible. They can accompany your parent on social outings to ensure someone is there to support them should an accident occur, all the while providing companionship and care.