How To Deal With Incontinence In the Elderly

If you have someone who cannot hold their bladder, you will understand how frustrating this situation can be to the individual, the caregiver, and the victim’s family. Many people can easily hold up that call of nature before they go to the washroom. They can wait a little longer and answer the call at will.

However, this is not the case for most older people and people with chronic health conditions. Such people can accidentally or involuntarily leak faeces or urine. This situation makes the affected people feel uncomfortable carrying out their daily activities or hanging around others.

Caregivers who look after such patients feel overburdened, angry, anxious, and overwhelmed because of the process they must go through to clean up the mess. Caring for seniors is demanding, and adding incontinence issues can make it more stressful for the caregivers than it already looks. The good news is that there are ways to deal with incontinence and help seniors lead a life of dignity.

1.      Urinary Incontinence Diapers

As a caregiver to an older person who experiences incontinence, you must incorporate using quality urinary incontinence products like diapers and pads. These products are ideal in this case as they absorb a lot of liquids and contain waterproof backing. Therefore, urine will not leak quickly, and you will be able to notice when the pad is full. This will enable you to change the pad in time, maintaining hygiene. You can also settle for washable or reusable pads or cloth liners, which work with waterproof pants to hold urine and prevent it from leaking outside your patient’s cloth.

It would be best if you did not use sanitary pads to manage incontinence because they serve their purpose in a different aspect.


2.      Increase Fiber Intake in Diet

When your loved one has an issue with a leaking stool, it is recommended that you check their diet. What one takes in is what they are likely to give out. For instance, if they take a lot of fluid, they are likely to urinate frequently. In this case, incorporating a diet rich in fiber is ideal, as it decreases the frequency of liquid instead of solid stool.


Food rich in high fiber will help your loved one as it will aid in absorbing water and bulking stools. When their stools are bulkier, there will be an increase in rectal distention and sensory awareness that will give the affected people the urge to answer their call of nature. Additionally, dietary fiber has colonic fermentation, which enhances stool consistency by producing fatty acids that promote colonic water absorption. It is advisable to help your loved one get used to high fiber in their diet as this helps minimize the consistency of inadvertently releasing that call of nature. 

3.      Bladder Training

Through bladder training, your loved ones will learn how to deal with urinary incontinence, which will help them change their urination habits. Generally, bladder training helps in incontinence like an urge or stress resulting from urine leaks due to sudden pressure on the stomach’s lower muscles. These leaks often happen while exercising, lifting, laughing, or coughing. Urge incontinence occurs when the elderly in this situation experience the urge to urinate so fast that they cannot get to the washroom in time.

Bladder training will help your loved ones to increase the duration of time they will spend between trips to the restroom. It can also increase the quantity of urine their bladder will hold, enhancing the control of the elderly’s need to urinate. An excellent example of bladder training is the kegel exercise, which helps to strengthen the muscles that the elderly will use to control urine flow.


4.      Drink More Water

Drinking more water may seem like the last resort in managing this issue, but it is one of the best options. Advise your seniors to drink lots of water to help manage the condition. Failure to consume the right amount of water irritates the bladder, which accelerates the incontinence state. With plenty of water, the urine will be diluted, and the irritation in the bladder will reduce. It is also paramount to ensure the elderly drink fewer fluids hours before they retire to bed and visit the washroom before they sleep. This will help empty their bladder and prevent the urge to pass urine, helping them stay relaxed while sleeping.


Bottom Line

If you have people undergoing this condition, you should always have the best method of helping them manage them. Such people need a lot of love and care to feel safe. If your patient or loved one embraces these four methods of dealing with the situation, they will observe high hygiene standards. Besides, they will not have to wait for you or anyone to help them deal with the mess. Therefore, it is important to keep teaching them how to manage themselves and prevent extreme cases of this condition, ensuring they live healthy and enjoyable life.