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Urinary Incontinence In Elderly , 7 Caregiver Tips

Urinary Incontinence In Elderly , 7 Caregiver Tips

A Lifestyle Changer with Burden on Both Elderly and Caregiver

Incontinence does not always imply that your loved ones have wet themselves. It can include urgent toilet needs, frequent bathroom trips, or losing trace amounts of urine during certain activities.

Incontinence is more than just inconvenient; it can lead to early retirement or social withdrawal, depression, and loss of independent function in the elderly and 
can be a difficult issue for even the most experienced caregiver, and it's especially common in seniors with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. This care shall be provided daily but how we can manage it as CAREGIVERS.

Urinary Incontinence (UI)

Urinary Incontinence is a prevalent disease among the elderly. Due to the use of different definitions, the heterogeneity of study populations and population sampling procedures, the reported prevalence of women's urinary incontinence varies widely across studies. According to epidemiological studies from various countries, the prevalence of UI ranged between 5% and 70%, with the majority of reports in the range of 25-45%.

Urinary incontinence occurs when a person loses control of his or her bladder. In the human body, urine is stored in the urinary bladder. During urination, the muscles of the urinary bladder contract to push urine into a tube called the urethra. The muscles around the urethra relax at the same time, allowing the urine to exit the body. Urine might leak if the muscles in the urinary bladder become weak and do not function properly. Incontinence is most commonly caused by abrupt muscular relaxation.

Common Types of Urinary Incontinence

Functional incontinence

You can't go into the bathroom on time due to a physical or mental disability. If you have a severe health problem, such as arthritis, you may not be able to unbutton your jeans quickly enough. 

Overflow incontinence

Happens when a bladder that is always full leaks small amounts of urine.

Stress incontinence

Urine leaks when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise, or lift something heavy that puts strain on your bladder.

Urge incontinence

You suddenly feel a strong urge to urinate, which is followed by involuntary urine leakage. Even at night, you may need to urinate frequently.



Multiple factors may cause urinary incontinence in older ages, including aging factors, daily behaviours, underlying medical diseases, infections, and physical issues. Your doctor may perform a detailed examination to identify the cause of your urinary incontinence.


Delirium is a condition characterized by an abrupt shift in attitudes and consciousness brought on by an underlying acute medical ailment. When this condition exists, a person may be too tired or confused to reach the bathroom on time.

Psychologic disorders

Depression and delirium are examples of psychological problems. Incontinence can be exacerbated by dementia, especially in later stages when the overall function is severely compromised.


When the intestine is clogged with stool, it can prevent urine from leaving the bladder, resulting in dribbling overflow urination.


When an older adult has a urinary tract infection, it can cause burning, pain, confusion, as well as urine frequency and urgency, as well as incontinence.

Excessive urine output

If there are other symptoms such as shortness of breath or swelling in the legs, excessive urine outflow may be noticeable, to conform to these conditions lab testing, or x-rays may be required.

Atrophic urethritis and vaginitis

Urinary incontinence in women is caused by shrinkage of the urinary and genital tissues, which can be treated with topical hormone therapy (creams or gels).

Restricted mobility

If a person not being able to go to the bathroom on time due to a physical disorder i.e. arthritis, Alzheimer's, or Parkinson's disease may lead to cause urine incontinence.


Role of Diet in Incontinence 

Beverages, foods, and drugs can stimulate your bladder and cause you to pee more often. These are called Diuretics 

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Sparkling water and carbonated beverages
  • Sweeteners made from artificial sources
  • Chocolate
  • Peppers de Chile or Chili pepper
  • High sugar, Spicy, and acid-rich foods i.e. citrus fruits
  • Drugs or Medications for specific diseases, as well as sedatives and muscle relaxants
  • Vitamin C in high doses

                   Medical Management of Urinary Incontinence

                  Other than teaching them for bladder control practice, you might wish to discuss with your loved ones' doctor the following options for managing incontinence:

                  1. Medicines can improve the bladder's full emptying during urination. Certain medications constrict muscles and reduce leaking.
                  2. Using an estrogen vaginal cream to reduce stress or urge incontinence has been found to benefit some women. The vaginal walls and urethral tissue are treated with a low-dose estrogen lotion.
                  3. To assist stop the bladder opening, a doctor may inject a chemical that hardens the region around the urethra. This can help women with stress incontinence. This treatment may need to be repeated.
                  4. If they have a prolapsed bladder or vagina, a pessary, a firm ring put into the vagina, can assist in preventing urine leakage. Medical applicators such as urethral inserts, which are small disposable devices that are put into the urethra, may be beneficial to certain women.
                  5. Another alternative is nerve stimulation, which involves sending a moderate electric current to the nerves that control urine around the bladder
                  6. If incontinence is caused by a change in the position of the bladder or a blockage caused by an enlarged prostate, surgery can sometimes alleviate or cure it.

                  Bladder Control and OTC Products

                  Even after receiving treatment, you might see some leaks on loved ones' underwear. Adult diapers, furniture pads, urine deodorizing pills, and special skin cleansers are just some of the bladder control products that are available in pharmacies, grocery stores and local convenience shops and assist you with mental and hygienic relief.  

                  How to Reduce the Stress of Incontinence for Caregivers 

                  1. Consult with a physician.

                  Get a physical exam for any new cases of bladder or bowel incontinence to see if the cause is treatable. Even if your loved one has no symptoms other than incontinence, an underlying medical condition could be causing the problem. If medical treatment resolves the incontinence problem, return to your doctor if it occurs again.

                  2.  Just be prepared, prepared

                  Pack a small tote bag with supplies such as incontinence briefs or pads, wipes, and even a change of clothes in case of an accident while you're out and about with your partner. Don't let your loved one become a hermit due to incontinence problems.

                  3. Dress  them in clothes that are simple to put on and take off 

                  Slacks with an elastic waistband can be quickly pulled down, allowing your loved one to use the restroom faster and possibly avoid an accident. If you do need to assist your loved one with cleanup, easy-off garments make it easier to undress and re-dress them. People with dementia, on the other hand, sometimes remove their clothes at inappropriate times and places. In that case, you would obviously not want to dress your loved one in clothing that is easily removed.

                  4. Keep an eye on your loved one's diet.

                  Some foods aggravate both bladder and bowel incontinence. Caffeine (coffee, tea, and some sodas), chocolate, spicy foods, and a lot of fresh or dried fruit should be avoided.

                  5. Demonstrate empathy.

                  Controlling bodily functions is one of the most stressful health issues, so approach the situation with patience and tact to alleviate your loved one's anxiety. It may also help you reduce your own stress level.

                  6. Maintain a matter-of-fact demeanour.

                  This technique is used by caregivers to overcome a client's shyness or embarrassment, and you can use it as well. Use reassurance and a direct tone: "Oh, that's too bad you had an accident, but don't worry." It occurs to a large number of people. Allow me to assist you in getting cleaned up and into some dry, comfortable clothes." If you find incontinence caregiving difficult, you may have to fake this matter-of-fact demeanour at first, which is fine. You'll soon discover that it comes very naturally to you.

                  7. Accept assistance.

                  Many caregivers who are eager to assist a loved one draw the line when it comes to dealing with incontinence. It is perfectly acceptable for you to establish this caregiving boundary. However, your loved one must still maintain personal hygiene, so don't be afraid to call for reinforcements. 



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