Incontinence, or decreased bladder control, is a distressing and delicate issue, especially for older adults. It can trigger a number of concerns, from skin sores to social isolation for individuals who are afraid to leave the house in case of an “accident.” But while bladder leakage causes approximately 25 million people in America to suffer with difficulties, the affliction hardly ever gets the attention and dialogue it needs. With the lack of communication and information about senior incontinence, many older individuals and those who provide their care feel as though there isn’t anything that can be done about it.
Nonetheless, senior incontinence is not inevitable as people age. While many seniors do discover that their bladders may be “weak,” causing leaks, sometimes the problem has a simple solution.
Following are just a few bladder leakage problems that can be treated:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
UTIs, also called bladder infections, cause an overwhelming urge to pass urine. In younger people, this feeling is obvious, but it isn’t always as evident for older adults. If an individual develops sudden urinary incontinence without prior difficulty, check for other symptoms that suggest a UTI, such as:
- Sudden confusion or agitation
- Other 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 believe your loved one may have a UTI, the individual needs to be evaluated by the doctor and have his or her urine tested. Once the infection has been treated, it is expected that the incontinence will be resolved or lessened.
Loss of mobility
As mobility decreases, incontinence can come to be an issue. The need to urinate could come on abruptly and the individual may not be able to get to the bathroom fast enough. This could become a larger concern at night, as it often takes longer to get out of bed to get to the bathroom, and awakening in the middle of the night can also cause confusion.
For older adults with mobility issues, an in-home assessment from one of our in-home care experts can help offer recommendations.
Certain medications, including diuretics, increase the level of urine produced, causing an increased urge to urinate. If your loved one is on a prescription that boosts urine production, it is important to be mindful of his or her needs when the person has to leave the home or anytime a readily accessible bathroom is not available.
At Complete Care at Home, we understand how UTIs, incontinence, and other aging health issues can affect quality of life. Our highly trained senior care team in Santa Barbara provides a wide variety of home care services, including mobility and toileting assistance, medication reminders, bathing and personal care assistance, and more, to help your loved one live his or her best life. Reach out to us today at 805-727-3445 to learn more about our expert senior care services in Santa Barbara and see our full service area.