Senior Care Resources and Information in Charlotte, NC

Controlling Incontinence in Elders

Live-In Care Tips Salisbury NC

Live-In Care TipsUrinary incontinence, also known as “leaky bladder,” is a condition that can strike with very little warning for seniors getting elderly care. It is caused when the muscles of the elder’s bladder are either too weak or overactive, giving the elder a strong urge to urinate. Urinary incontinence is very common among older adults who are living in the community, affecting as many as 30 percent. The lack of bladder control has been a symptom of many diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, but has also been the symptom of a poor diet and constipation. While many believe that uncontrollable and embarrassing accidents are just part of getting older, it does not have to be. Instead of just dealing with urinary incontinence, being proactive and learning how to control this condition will help keep your leaky bladder at bay.

Types of Incontinence

About half of seniors receiving in-home care were found to have some form of incontinence. Here are four types that could be affecting their lives:

Stress Incontinence: It is usually the result of a weakened or stretched muscle from pelvic surgery, childbirth or being overweight. Stress incontinence is especially common for women of childbearing or menopause ages and consists of leaking urine when someone laughs, coughs, sneezes, lifts heavy objects, or exercises.

Functional Incontinence: This type of incontinence is especially found in elders with mobility problems, dementia, stroke, or arthritis and have a problem getting to the toilet on time.

Urge Incontinence: Also known as “overactive bladder,” urge incontinence occurs when someone has a strong urge to urinate, but are unable to hold their urine long enough to get to the bathroom. People with diabetes, Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s are the most common victims of urge incontinence.

Overflow Incontinence: This can happen when someone has a full bladder and it begins to leak small amounts of urine. Elderly men with enlarged prostate glands, people with weak bladder muscles, spinal cord injuries, and diabetes are all causes of overflow incontinence.

People of all ages could be plagued with incontinence, but can especially be found in elders who are no longer able to hold their urine because of health and mobility difficulties. Knowing the treatment options will enable these older adults accepting senior care to live a full life without the constant worry of leaking.

Treatment Options

Behavior Training: Through this treatment, the elder will learn to control their urine output, learning how to hold it for longer periods of time. Behavior training has been found to be affective for those with stress or urge incontinence.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: Also known as “Kegel exercises,” the pelvic muscles will be worked to become strong, allowing the elder to hold their bladder for much longer periods of time.

Lifestyle Adjustments: Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol and caffeine are all lifestyle causes that can onset incontinence. By removing these unhealthy habits from their life, the “urge to go” will be greatly reduced.

If these treatment options are not working, talk to a doctor to find out what other options are available.

Source “Urinary Incontinence.”

WebMD. “Over Half of Seniors Plagued by Incontinence: CDC.”

National Institute on Aging. “Urinary Incontinence.”

For more information about how TenderHearted Home Care can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, call 704-207-0265

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Renee Gray

Founder, Owner, President at TenderHearted Home Care
As Founder, Owner & President of TenderHearted Home Care, I have always had a heart for helping others. I started with babysitting while a teenager, assisting the mentally disabled in a work environment for 10 years, homeschooling my two sons, serving others for 9 years while employed through the local hospital and since 2011 have been focused on helping seniors to maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home. I am a Certified Senior Care Manager (CSCM) as designated by the Association of Care Services At Home (

I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.

I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.

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