Incontinence may be treatable, so it’s important to speak to you doctor about it.
Incontinence, or reduced bladder control, is a disturbing and delicate issue, particularly for older individuals. It can trigger a wide variety of concerns, from skin sores to social isolation for individuals who are uncomfortable with leaving the house in case of an “accident.” Yet while bladder leakage causes approximately 25 million Americans to suffer with difficulties, the problem hardly ever gets the attention and dialogue it needs. With the lack of communication and information about senior incontinence, many older adults and those who care for them feel as though there isn’t anything that can be done about it. It’s important to understand, however, that incontinence may be treatable.
Senior incontinence is not unavoidable as we age. While many older adults do find that their bladders may be “weak,” leading to leaks, sometimes the issue has a quick and easy solution. Below are just a few bladder leakage problems that can be treated:
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs, also known as bladder infections, cause an overwhelming urge to pass urine. In younger people, this feeling is obvious, but it isn’t always as evident for older individuals. If an older person presents with sudden urinary incontinence when this had not been a difficulty before, look for other warning signs that suggest a UTI, such as:
- Sudden confusion or agitation
- Other behavioral changes
- Poor motor skills
You might also detect:
- Strong smelling urine
- Cloudy urine or blood in the urine
- Complaints of pain when urinating
- Complaints of pressure or pain in the abdomen
- Night sweats
If you think your loved one may have a UTI, the senior needs to be assessed by the doctor and have his or her urine tested. Once the infection has been treated, the incontinence should be resolved or lessened.
As mobility decreases, incontinence can become an issue. The need to urinate might come on abruptly and the older person may not be able to get to the bathroom fast enough. This could also be an issue in the evenings, as it often takes longer to get out of bed to go to the restroom, and awakening in the middle of the night can also cause some confusion.
For older individuals with mobility issues, an in-home evaluation from one of our home care experts can help provide recommendations.
Certain medicines, such as diuretics, boost the level of urine produced, causing an increased urge to urinate. If your loved one is on a prescription that boosts urine production, it is crucial to keep this in mind when the person has to leave home or is not nearby a readily accessible bathroom.
How Can Home Care Help?
At Home Matters Caregiving, we understand how UTIs, senior incontinence, and other aging health issues can affect quality of life. Our highly trained senior care team provides a wide range of home care services, including assistance with walking and transfers, medication reminders, bathing and personal care assistance, and more, to help your older loved one live his or her best life.