Urinary incontinence can be a disruptive and embarrassing ailment, but it's surprisingly common. Senior Planet reported that almost 30 percent of people from ages 60 to 70 struggle with bladder control, most of who are women. However, there are plenty of caregiving resources to help you understand your loved one's incontinence and know how to help her.
The Mayo Clinic recommended an older woman should consult a doctor about urinary leaking if it's negatively affecting her life. A few sporadic instances of incontinence may not be an issue, but it may be helpful to pay attention to the frequency of the urges to urinate. If the amount has noticeably increased, the senior couldn't hold the urine long enough to reach the bathroom or she feels like her bladder isn't completely empty after a trip to the ladies' room, consider contacting a primary care physician.
There are several types of specialists who may be able to help with bladder control as well, including urologists, urogynecologists and geriatrician. Urologists have a deep understanding of urinary disorders and urogynologists are OB-GYNs with special training related to urinary function. Geriatricians deal specifically with health problems affecting seniors. According to the Mayo Clinic, two common forms of treatment are exercise and medication. Additionally, there may be a pelvic floor rehab program at a nearby hospital. To find the nearest treatment center, Google the term along with your city name.
Senior Planet summarized a section of "Staying Dry: A Practical Guide to Bladder Control" by Kathryn L. Burgio to recommend steps to suppress excessive urges to urinate. Consider sharing the following tips with your loved one.
Sit down or remain still while standing and squeeze your pelvic floor a few times. However, don't fully release your muscles between flexing. Relax the rest of your muscles and take deep breaths to help the urge subside. Walk slowly to the bathroom if you actually have to urinate. If not, continue the exercise until the urge has passed.
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