Elderly Urinary Incontinence Tips To Help You Feel Confident With Everyday Life
By Space Coast Daily // August 10, 2019
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, urinary incontinence affects 11 to 34 percent of older men. Urinary incontinence is common among the elderly because the bladder becomes weak as one advances with age. Loss of bladder control can be an embarrassing condition.
Check out these tips to improve your symptoms so you can cope with the everyday challenges associated with urinary incontinence.
Perform Proper Kegel Exercises
Performing pelvic floor exercises can strengthen the muscles that support the bladder and bowel. It aims to strengthen your pelvic muscles to improve bladder control, prevent urine leakage, and support your organs.
In New Zealand, the University of Otago initiated a review of studies comparing the exercises without treatment. People who practiced Kegel exercises are more likely to recover from urinary incontinence. Practicing Kegel exercise can decrease in urine leakage among women aged 65 years and above.
Here’s how to perform pelvic floor exercises:
- Know the location of your pelvic floor muscles.
- Try to stop your mid-stream urine.
- Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. The elbows should rest on the knees.
- You can perform either a slow contraction or fast contraction. Doing these contractions should be performed for a full workout. First, perform slow contraction exercises followed by fast contraction exercises.
Use Products that Can Make You Comfortable
Elderly patients need excellent products such as Comfort Plus that can absorb urine during nighttime incontinence. A reusable mattress pad can help prevent sleeping constrained or wearing disposable briefs.
Retrain Your Bladder
When the pelvic floor weakens, you’ll experience urine leakage. It occurs when you cough, laugh or sneeze. That’s why there’s an urgency to urinate and leak on the way. Urine leakage can be reduced by retraining your bladder. Lifestyle changes also help.
Bladder training is considered a behavioral therapy. It aims to increase the interval between urinating. Also, it allows your bladder to hold more urine, so you’re confident not to urinate accidentally.
Here are some tips to help increase the success of your bladder training:
- Don’t rush going to the restroom whenever you feel the urge to urinate. Just sit still and hold on as long as you can.
- Delay and distraction techniques include clenching your fists, sitting cross-legged, or focusing your mind on something else to delay your trip to the restroom.
Don’t Deprive Yourself With Water
If you don’t drink enough water, it can just aggravate your urinary incontinence.
It’s because dehydrated or concentrated urine irritates the bladder as compared to well-hydrated urine. Drink plenty of water to avoid urinary tract infection. Limit caffeinated beverages that can increase urination, such as coffee and tea.
Avoid Bladder Irritants
Seniors love to drink coffee while reading a newspaper early in the morning or drinking juice at snack time. However, if you want to decrease urinary confidence and pursue your hobbies, avoid bladder irritants.
Here are some examples:
- Carbonated drinks
- Caffeinated drinks
- Acidic beverages (e.g., grapefruit juice or orange juice)
- Drinks with artificial sweeteners
- Tomato-based drinks
Schedule Bathroom Visits
Scheduling your bathroom visits is a form of bladder training. It aims to decrease the frequency of urination to six to eight times a day.
Aim to extend the time you go to the restroom. For instance, if you usually go to the toilet twice per hour, aim to only go once per hour. Increasing the time interval over the next few weeks will help you reduce urine leakage.
By doing so, you can pursue doing the activities you love and increase your overall quality of life.
Integrate Physiotherapy and Dancing
In a study conducted by the University of Montreal in Canada, it shows that incorporating a video game dance to a pelvic floor muscle program can highly benefit people with urinary incontinence.
Dancing allows women to do pelvic floor muscle exercises in a fun way as compared to static or no movement. Dance motivated women to comply with the weekly physiotherapy program. It can improve practice, which can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor exercises and bladder training, along with lifestyle changes and discipline are the keys to managing urinary incontinence.
Seniors or elderly individuals usually have mobility issues and visual impairment that can hinder these helpful techniques. That’s why it also pays off talking to a urologist to address any medical issue to resolve the root cause of the problem.
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