If you are a caregiver for a senior loved one, you may have heard that the elderly are at an increased risk for developing incontinence issues. To help your elderly loved one avoid developing this condition, there are several steps he or she can take. Read on for four strategies that can help prevent senior incontinence, presented by Home Care Assistance of Bridgewater.
1. Bladder Control Training
This type of training can help your elderly relative regain bladder control. Begin by keeping a journal that records each time your loved one has the urge to use the restroom for one week. Then, use the journal as a guide for training and encourage your loved one to add 15 minutes between times he or she empties his or her bladder. To start, if your loved one feels an urge to go every hour, he or she should try to wait another 15 minutes. Overtime, increasing periods between using the restroom can help your loved one regain some control over urinary urges.
2. Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
These exercises, also known as Kegels, can help your elderly relative strengthen the muscles that are used to start and stop the flow of urine. Done by squeezing the muscles that are normally used to stop the flow of urine, Kegels can help prevent urinary leakage. To start, ask your loved one to squeeze his or her pelvic floor muscle for five seconds on and then five seconds off. As your loved one’s pelvic floor strengthens, you can gradually increase the time to 10 seconds. For the best results, have your loved one work up to three sets of 10 Kegels every day.
3. Dietary Changes
Small dietary changes can make a big impact on incontinence. There are many foods and drinks that trigger the bladder that can easily be replaced or eliminated from your loved one’s daily routine. Help your loved one make these dietary changes by asking his or her 24-hour or part-time caregiver in Bridgewater to avoid serving caffeinated beverages, alcohol, citrus juices and fruits, spicy foods, sugar, dairy, carbonated beverages, and artificial sweeteners, each of which can aggravate urinary incontinence.
4. Fluid Management
Managing your elderly loved one’s fluids can also help reduce incontinence issues. First, keep a record of how often and when your loved one drinks each day. Next, encourage your loved one only to drink when he or she is thirsty, trying not to exceed eight glasses of fluid each day. You may also ask your loved one to sip at his or her drinks, rather than drinking them all at once, which can help avoid filling the bladder too quickly.
If your loved one has a physical condition that impedes his or her ability to get to and use the restroom on his or her own, a professional caregiver at Home Care Assistance can help. Expertly trained to assist seniors with a variety of tasks, including personal grooming, bathing, and navigating the home, a caregiver can help your loved one address problems related to incontinence. To learn more about our senior care services, including Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Bridgewater, give a Care Manager a call at 908.450.9400 and schedule a free in-home consultation.