How to Manage Incontinence in Older Adults

Incontinence should always be addressed with compassion and understanding. After all, seniors with unaddressed incontinence may avoid leaving the house or do other things that negatively affect their wellbeing. Here are a few tips to help you address your elderly loved one’s incontinence symptoms, brought to you by the experts at Coast Care El Cajon

Understand the Different Types of Incontinence 

There are several different types of incontinence you need to know about. For example, functional incontinence occurs when a senior has physical health challenges that make it difficult to get to the restroom in time. Weakened pelvic muscles cause stress incontinence, which can make your loved one leak urine when coughing or laughing. In some cases, incontinence may occur temporarily from health issues such as a urinary tract infection. 

Address the Underlying Cause 

If your loved one’s incontinence began recently, he or she may need special testing to figure out why it is happening. When testing for incontinence, the physician will assess the health of your loved one’s bladder along with the strength of his or her pelvic muscles. Once the testing is complete, you may find out why the incontinence occurs. Often, simple changes such as unbuttoning pants in time are all it takes to reduce the instances of incontinence. 

Help with Prompt Clothing Changes 

Wearing soiled clothing puts your loved one at risk for health issues such as skin rashes and sores. Help your loved one stay dry by providing assistance with clothing changes. Your loved one may also need the bed linens changed frequently if he or she tends to have accidents overnight. Wearing clean and hygienic clothes prevents infections and eases the frustration that occurs after an accident. 

Assist with Treatment Plans 

Today, many treatments are available to help seniors manage incontinence. For instance, medications can be prescribed that reduce bladder spasms or hormone replacement therapy can address incontinence that results from menopause. Provide timely medication reminders and make transportation arrangements to help your loved one attend regular doctor visits for follow-up care. 

Offer Emotional Support

Although incontinence usually has a physical cause, frequent loss of urine or feces can take a toll on a senior’s emotional health. Older adults often begin to isolate themselves to avoid the potential embarrassment of having an accident in public. Let your loved one know you understand his or her incontinence needs, and make sure every caregiver who visits your loved one knows how to encourage him or her to get out of the house and socialize. Often, just having a care bag with a change of clothes is all a senior needs to enjoy outings in public.

Older adults living with incontinence or other age-related issues can benefit from professional in-home care. The El Cajon at-home care experts at Coast Care Partners can help senior citizens stave off a wide variety of health issues and enjoy a high quality of life. From offering minor help with daily tasks to providing extensive 24-hour care, we offer a range of services to help aging adults live longer, healthier, and happier lives in the comfort of their own homes. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at 619-354-2544 today.