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Even though urinary incontinence is prevalent among the elderly, and can often be a challenging and inconvenient problem, it is a condition that can often be controlled. As such, with successful management of incontinence, you can continue to live your golden years to the fullest.
Read on to find out the steps you can take to manage elderly incontinence successfully, and improve your senior’s quality of life, while enabling them to go about their daily routines with more ease, and less anxiety.
Talking to a Urologist
Despite popular misconceptions, incontinence is not synonymous with aging. As such, the first step to managing incontinence is to see a urologist, to assess whether the incontinence is part of a larger medical issue, such as a urinary stone. Seeing a specialist also imbues you with insight into the cause of the incontinence, such as whether the incontinence is caused by a treatable condition, such as a urinary tract infection.
Additionally, your urologist will also conduct a physical examination to determine the type, degree, and cause of incontinence. This enables you to choose the optimal incontinence product for your situation, which aids the successful management of your incontinence.
Choosing the Right Incontinence Product
Selecting the right incontinence product is key to managing leaks successfully. Choosing the optimal incontinence product for your situation starts with finding a pad that has the right absorption capacity you require. For instance, a pantiliner is more suitable for light urine leakage, while a pad would be more optimal for moderate incontinence. Heavy continence would require a shield, which resembles thicker incontinence pads with hip straps attached for support. An adult diaper would also be apt, as they provide all-around protection for people with heavy incontinence.
Additionally, your incontinence product also has to be well-fitted, to prevent leakage and discomfort.
Another key factor in choosing the right incontinence product is assessing your elderly’s lifestyle and mobility. For those with an active lifestyle, or for those that are capable of accessing the toilet by themselves, pants and pads are often an ideal choice, as they are easy to change out of and replace without the help of a caregiver. Furthermore, pants and pads are the most comfortable products to use during physical activity. On the other hand, for those who are less mobile, belted products are easy for carers to manage and change out of.
Making Lifestyle Changes to Better Manage Incontinence
Watching out for certain foods and drinks that trigger incontinence and irritate your bladder can help to improve your senior’s incontinence symptoms. As such, some of the most common bladder irritating drinks to avoid include coffee, alcohol, sugar, carbonated drinks, acidic drinks, and tea.
Carrying Out Bladder Training
According to a study conducted by Dunedin Hospital in 2015, bladder training is effective in reducing incontinent episodes by up to 57%, hence, proving itself to be highly efficacious.
Bladder training can be augmented by increasing the intervals between how often the elderly urinates. This can be done by emptying your elderly’ bladder on a schedule and gradually increasing the time between voiding.
Curbing incontinence may be a stressful task, and one that requires long-term effort, but with this guide, we hope you are better equipped to deal with your elderly’s incontinence.