Touching Hearts at Home is pleased to welcome Carlye Wilson as our new Administrative Assistant!
What You Need to Know About Urinary Incontinence
Aging and urinary incontinence do not necessarily go hand in hand. Aging does not mean that your loved one will have increasing problems with urinary incontinence. However, it is a common problem that can be addressed.
Urinary incontinence, or UI, is the loss of bladder control that often occurs when muscles are too weak or too active. But UI isn’t a disease, it is a symptom that is often caused by a medical condition, physical problem or your loved one’s everyday habits.
UI can happen to anyone at any age, but according to familydoctor.org, it is most most common in people older than 50 and is more common in women. Regardless of the severity, UI is a treatable condition.
Having UI can also cause many of the elderly to feel embarrassed, but ignoring it can put your loved one at risk of:
- Skin infections
Even though UI is treatable, it is important to recognize many of the causes of UI in seniors. Causes can range from weak pelvic muscles or diabetes to prostate problems or nerve damage. Additional causes include:
- Buildup of stool in the bowels
- Urinary tract infection
- Vascular disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Before it is determined how to treat UI, it must be determined which kind of incontinence your elderly loved one has. There are five types of UI. They are:
- Urge incontinence: when a person feels the sudden urge to urinate, but often not in time to get to a toilet. It may be a sign of an overactive bladder or a urinary tract infection and is most common in the elderly.
- Stress incontinence: when weak bladder muscles causes a person to have accidents when they cough or sneeze. It is more common in women and usually occurs when pelvic muscles have been weakened by surgery or childbirth.
- Functional incontinence: when a mental or physical limitation keeps a person from being able to go to the bathroom, even though he or she is aware of the need to.
- Overflow incontinence: when a person experiences uncontrollable leakage of small amounts of urine caused by an overfilled bladder. It is more common in men and may be the sign of an enlarged prostate. It can also be caused by some diabetes medication.
- Mixed incontinence: when a person experiences more than one type of incontinence.
Simple changes to your elderly loved one’s lifestyle can usually treat urinary incontinence symptoms or stop it altogether. But if UI symptoms affect your loved one’s daily activities like avoiding friends and family, then it may be necessary to contact his or her doctor.
How Elder Care Can Help
Your loved one’s elder care provider is there to assist you and your loved one as much as possible. This includes assisting with daily household tasks that have become increasingly more difficult as your loved one ages or providing needed respite services. Utilize your elder care provider as much as you can. Doing so will make providing elder care to your loved one all the more valuable.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care Services in Spring Hill TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Belle Meade, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.
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