Incontinence is a rather common problem for seniors, particularly during the evening hours. While incontinence can stem from various causes including medication side effects, dementia or a natural weakening of the pelvic muscles, it can be frustrating for seniors and those who provide care for them. As a trusted live-in home care provider in Palm Beach County, we wanted to share a few helpful strategies which can be implemented to help seniors manage issues of incontinence.
Look to the Routine
Having a nightly toileting routine can help with incontinence, but adjustments may be needed for it to be effective. Let’s say mom or dad goes to the restroom, they get their bath, and then they go to bed, but the sheets are still wet again in the morning. This may be because the timing of the bath. The soothing effects of bathing can stimulate the bladder muscles. This is common in seniors that are immobile as well as those who must be turned on a schedule. When providing in-home care for these individuals, toileting may need to be offered again after completion of toileting or other activities.
Timing of Medications
Some medications can actually be the source of the problem. Diuretics for example, are typically given to seniors in the morning to help avoid frequent urination at night. However, a diuretic or “water pill” may not always be to blame. Medicines that cause urinary retention can prevent the elder from fully emptying the bladder, leading to accidents during the night time hours. Medications that may cause increased thirst can also have this same effect and should not be given to seniors late in the afternoon or evening. When incontinence is an issue for your aging loved one, talk to his or her doctor about changing the timing of prescribed medications.
Fluid Intake Considerations
Decreasing fluid intake after a certain hour of the evening may help prevent night time incontinence but this is not something family caregivers should start doing without careful consideration. The elderly are more prone to dehydration than other age groups and taking away fluids is never recommended. If the fluids can be replaced earlier within the day, then it may be possible to decrease intake after a certain hour of the evening.
If you need help managing the care of your aging loved one, contact Home Care Assistance of Palm Beach County today. In addition to helping with personal care including incontinence, our caregivers can assist with household chores, medication management and reliable transportation. We also offer specialty Palm Beach County dementia care for seniors who struggle with incontinence as and daily activities as the result of the disease. For more information, contact a Care Manager at 561-429-8292 and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.