Understanding what factors might be contributing to or making your senior’s incontinence worse can help you to put some solutions in place for her that actually work. Always make sure that you talk with her doctor when your elderly family member starts experiencing something new. If incontinence hasn’t been a problem in the past, there may be other things going on for her.
Health Issues and Concerns
Incontinence doesn’t always exist because of other health problems, but there are health conditions that can make it worse or that can contribute to it. An injury, for instance, or neurological issues can be contributing factors. Diabetes can cause nerve damage that leads to incontinence. If your elderly family member has cognitive difficulties like dementia, that can cause her to forget that she needs to go to the bathroom or even where the bathroom is. Some of these medical causes can be managed in other ways.
Age alone can be a contributing factor for incontinence. Your senior’s body may have gone through a lot over time and that causes loss of muscle tone. Even tiny muscles, like the ones that control the urethra and the bladder, can be affected by muscle loss. Your senior’s bladder may grow smaller as she ages, too, which is another problem that makes incontinence worse.
Being a Woman
Women are more likely to become incontinent than men are, primarily because of the risks and demands of pregnancy and giving birth. Men can still be incontinent, of course, but they’re more likely to become incontinent for other reasons. Prostate problems as well as cognitive difficulties can be at play for men.
Having Some Excess Weight
Even a little bit of excess weight can put some pressure on the organs involved in excreting urine. As your elderly family member bends and moves, that applies even more pressure, causing leaks. Losing even a small percentage of weight can help to alleviate incontinence altogether if this is the biggest contributing factor for your senior. Make sure you talk to her doctor before beginning any weight loss plans.
Dealing with incontinence can be problematic for your senior both practically and emotionally. It’s an embarrassing condition and it can make her isolate herself. Hiring elder care providers can help. They know how to help someone in your senior’s position and they can help her to feel good about herself in the process.
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN MINNEAPOLIS, MN FOR AN AGING LOVED ONE, CONTACT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF BLOOMINGTON AT (952) 226-4653. OUR CARING STAFF CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!