How to deal with incontinence issues in the elderly
Old age comes to us all, and if we are lucky enough to live a long and happy life, then we expect one day it will become difficult for us to do the things that were so much easier when we were younger.
One of the most common symptoms of getting older is incontinence. This refers to the involuntary loss of bowel and bladder control, which can lead to accidents.
While some elderly people find incontinence something to be embarrassed about, it is a lot more common than you think and it affects millions of people all around the world, not just older adults. So, whether you are getting older and want to find out ways that you can deal with incontinence, or you are caring for someone else, here is some of our advice.
Take a trip to your doctor
While many older people suffer from incontinence as they get older, in some cases, it could be a sign that something else is going on. Therefore, we recommend that you visit a doctor to get their advice and opinion on what could be causing the incontinence and why. A doctor may be able to offer treatment options, or inform you if the incontinence is being caused by a type of medication or illness. Even if there isn’t anything to worry about and the incontinence is a symptom of old age, there may be referrals that a doctor can make to offer extra support and advice.
Avoid caffeinated drinks
Drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages can make you need to go to the toilet more often, so if you are struggling with bladder control, you may want to cut out these types of drinks altogether. Research has found that caffeine irritates the bladder and makes it even more difficult to retain bladder control. So, if you or someone you are caring for is a big fan of a cup of coffee, then we recommend a swap to decaf instead. However, this doesn’t mean that you should reduce the amount of liquids you are drinking as it is still important for your physical health that you drink enough water.
Get some helpful products
As mentioned earlier, incontinence is a common issue, especially amongst the elderly, which means that there are a range of trusted healthcare products available to help. Incontinence care products can include bed and chair pads. Having products such as these makes clearing up any accidents a whole lot easier and less distressing.
Stick to a bathroom schedule
A regular daily toilet schedule is a great way to deal with incontinence issues in the elderly as it helps to regulate bodily functions, which could reduce accidents. To create a bathroom schedule, you should start off with a bathroom trip once an hour, until you get a better idea of how often you can go in between visits.
Dealing with incontinence can be difficult, for both those suffering with it as well as their carers. However, by having the necessary equipment and products on hand, along with some patience, it doesn’t have to be debilitating.
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