3 Incontinence Causes in Older Adults and How to Treat Them
Incontinence is a distressing and sensitive concern, especially for older adults. It can cause a wide range of difficulties, from skin sores to isolation for those who are uncomfortable leaving the home in case of an “accident.” Yet although incontinence impacts as many as 25 million Americans, the affliction rarely gets the attention and discussion it needs. With a lack of communication and information shared about senior incontinence, many older adults and those who love them feel as though they need to simply accept and live with it.
However, senior incontinence is not unavoidable as we grow older. While many seniors do find that their bladder may be “weak,” resulting in leaks at times, sometimes the concern has a simple solution.
Below are some incontinence causes that can be effectively overcome:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
UTIs result in an overwhelming feeling of the need to pass urine. In younger individuals, this sensation is apparent, but it isn’t always as noticeable for older adults. If a senior presents with sudden urinary incontinence when this wasn’t a concern before, look for other red flags that might indicate a UTI, such as:
- Sudden agitation or confusion
- Additional behavioral changes
- Poor motor skills
You may 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 a senior loved one could have a UTI, the person should be evaluated by the physician and have his or her urine checked. Once the UTI has been treated, the incontinence should be resolved or lessened.
Loss of mobility
As mobility decreases, incontinence can become an issue. The urge to urinate may come on suddenly, and the older person may not be able to get to the restroom quickly enough. This is also often an issue at nighttime, as it often takes longer to get out of bed to get to the restroom, and waking up in the middle of the night can also lead to some degree of confusion.
For older adults with mobility issues, an in-home assessment from one of our in-home care experts can provide some helpful suggestions.
Certain medications, like diuretics, increase the level of urine produced, causing an increased urge to urinate. If a senior loved one is taking a medication that increases urine production, it is essential to keep this in mind when the person leaves the home and is not close to a readily accessible bathroom.
At Hired Hands Homecare, we understand how incontinence and other senior health issues can impact quality of life. Our highly trained Marin senior care team provides a wide range of home care services, including help with mobility and using the restroom, medication reminders, meal preparation, light housework, and bathing and dressing assistance, to help seniors live the best life possible. Contact us today at (866) 940-4343 to learn more about our professional home care services in Marin and the surrounding areas.