Urinary incontinence occurs when a person leaks urine by accident. Although urinary incontinence can affect anyone, it is more common in people ages 65 and older, especially women, according to the National Institute on Aging. Causes of urinary incontinence include urinary tract infections, vaginal infection or irritation, medication side effects, or constipation. More serious and long-lasting causes of urinary incontinence include:
- Weak bladder muscles.
- Overactive bladder muscles.
- Weak pelvic floor muscles.
- Damage to the nerves that control the bladder from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease.
- Blockage from an enlarged prostate in men.
- Diseases such as arthritis that may make it difficult to get to the bathroom in time.
- Pelvic organ prolapse, which is when pelvic organs (such as the bladder, rectum, or uterus) shift out of their normal place into the vagina. When pelvic organs are out of place, the bladder and urethra are not able to work normally, which may cause urine to leak.
If your senior parent is struggling with urinary incontinence, make an appointment with their doctor. Their doctor may examine their medications, perform urine, blood, or additional tests, and ask that your senior parent keep a daily diary of when they urinate and when they leak urine. The National Institute on Aging reports that there are several types of incontinence that may be impacting your senior parent. The different types of incontinence include:
- Stress incontinence, which occurs when urine leaks as pressure is put on the bladder during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects.
- Urge incontinence, which happens when people have a sudden need to urinate and cannot hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet. It may be a problem for people who have diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or stroke.
- Overflow incontinence, which happens when small amounts of urine leak from a bladder that is always full. A man can have trouble emptying his bladder if an enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra. Diabetes and spinal cord injuries can also cause this type of incontinence.
- Functional incontinence, which occurs in many older people who have normal bladder control. They just have a problem getting to the toilet because of arthritis or other disorders that make it hard to move quickly.
If your senior parent is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, you may find that they struggle with urinary incontinence. “This can be a result of not realizing they need to urinate, forgetting to go to the bathroom, or not being able to find the toilet,” according to the National Institute on Aging. “To minimize the chance of accidents, the caregiver can avoid giving drinks like caffeinated coffee, tea, and sodas, which may increase urination (but don’t limit water), keep pathways clear and the bathroom clutter-free, with a light on at all times, provide regular bathroom breaks, supply underwear that is easy to get on and off, and use absorbent underclothes for trips away from home.”
If you’re unable to help your senior parent manage their urinary incontinence, call SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, or Anaheim Hills. SYNERGY HomeCare’s in-home caregivers are trained to provide your senior parent with quality, compassionate care, all while helping your senior parent maintain their dignity and independence. Our in-home caregivers can drive your aging parent to their doctor, as well as help your senior parent work to follow their doctor’s instructions to reduce or eliminate their urinary incontinence problems. Our in-home caregivers can help your senior parent monitor their medications, perform doctor-approved pelvic muscle exercises, remind your senior parent to use the restroom (if they are time voiding and urinating on a set schedule), and help your senior parent make lifestyle changes to decrease incontinence risk (such as eating healthy, drinking less alcohol and caffeine, preventing constipation, and more). Call SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, or Anaheim Hills to help your senior parent keep their bladder healthy.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside
SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is the name you can trust in Corona, Norco, Riverside, Chino, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar for personal home care. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona/ Riverside is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. SYNERGY HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at http://www.synergyhomecare.com/agencies/ca/corona/ca18/. The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 951-280-9808 and [email protected] .