Incontinence is a common health issue among the elderly, and it can be frustrating and inconvenient for both seniors and their caregivers. Fortunately, there are some methods for addressing this issue that can make life easier for you and your senior loved one. Use the following tips to help your loved one handle incontinence.
Talk to the Doctor
Some seniors just live with incontinence because they have difficulty recognizing when they need to go to the bathroom. However, other seniors may be experiencing incontinence because of medical conditions that can be treated. Postmenopausal women with low estrogen levels can develop muscular atrophy that causes weakened bladders, and men may have incontinence due to enlarged prostates.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Tucson, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Make It Easier to Reach the Bathroom
Many seniors have accidents because they cannot get to the bathroom in time. You can make it easier for your loved one to get to the toilet by removing furniture in the pathway and always leaving the bathroom door open.
Foods and beverages that trigger urination can make it challenging for seniors to control their bladders. The most commonly consumed diuretics are alcohol and caffeine, which have stronger effects on seniors, so it’s wise to avoid serving them at times when your loved one doesn’t have quick access to a bathroom.
Try Physical Therapy
A key factor in bladder control is pelvic muscle strength. These muscles can help seniors have greater control over their bladders. To strengthen these muscles, seniors can practice Kegel exercises, which involve tightening and holding pelvic floor muscles. You may be able to find a physical therapist who can coach your loved one through these exercises if he or she cannot do them at home.
Use Protective Garments
Even when you take steps to prevent accidents, they can still happen. There are a lot of protective garments that can preserve a senior’s dignity and prevent messes. Underwear liners, protective underwear, and adult diapers can all contain leakage and incontinence. Some seniors might feel embarrassed about being seen buying these items in person, so it may be best to get them shipped to their homes instead.
If your loved one needs help managing incontinence or another health concern, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Homecare providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Chart Bathroom Times
Keeping track of your parent’s bathroom schedule can help you and your loved one be aware of how often he or she needs to go to the bathroom. Since body signals for the need to urinate or defecate dull with age, your loved one might not always recognize when he or she needs to use the restroom. Look at this data to figure out the average amount of time between bathroom visits, and then take your loved one to the bathroom at set times.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver to help your loved one manage the various challenges of incontinence. Tucson at-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. Call Home Care Assistance today at (520) 276-6555 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.