Senior Incontinence Issues and How to Manage Them

senior incontinenceIncontinence, or loss of bladder control, is an embarrassing and sensitive issue, particularly for seniors. It can cause a number of issues, from skin sores to social isolation for people who are afraid to leave the house in case of an “accident.” But while urinary incontinence affects approximately 25 million Americans, the condition rarely gets the attention and discussion it deserves. Because of the lack of communication and information about senior incontinence, many older adults and caregivers feel as though nothing can be done about it.

However, senior incontinence is not inevitable as people age. While many older adults do find that their bladder may be “weak,” causing leakage, often the problem has a simple solution.

Here are some causes of urinary incontinence that are treatable:

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

UTIs, also known as bladder infections, cause an intense need to pass urine. In younger people, this sensation is obvious, but it isn’t always as noticeable for seniors. If a senior loved one presents with sudden urinary incontinence when this wasn’t a problem before, look for other signs that indicate a UTI, such as:

  • Sudden confusion or agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Other behavioral changes
  • Poor motor skills
  • Falls

You may also notice:

  • Strong smelling urine
  • Cloudy urine, or blood in the urine
  • Fever
  • Complaints of pain when urinating
  • Complaints of pressure or pain in the abdomen
  • Night sweats

If you suspect a UTI, your loved one should be seen by his or her doctor and have the urine tested. Once the infection has been treated, the incontinence should be resolved or minimized.

Loss of mobility

As mobility decreases, incontinence can become an issue. The need to urinate may come on suddenly and your loved one may not be able to get to the bathroom fast enough. This may also be an issue at night, as it often takes longer to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, and waking in the middle of the night can also cause some confusion.

For seniors with mobility issues, an in-home assessment from one of our in home care providers can help provide solutions.

Medications

Certain medications, such as diuretics, increase the amount of urine produced, causing an increased need to urinate. If your loved one is on a medication that increases urine production, it is important to keep this in mind if he or she must leave the house or is not near a readily accessible bathroom.

At Hillendale Home Care, Walnut Creek, CA, we understand how UTIs, senior incontinence, and other senior health issues can impact quality of life. Our highly trained in home care staff provides a variety of home care services, including transfer and toileting assistance, medication reminders, and bathing and grooming assistance, to help your senior loved one live his or her best life. Contact us today at 925-933-8181 or www.hillendale.net to learn more about our dedicated in home care services.