Elder Care: Dealing with dad’s incontinence

Urinary incontinence, for the most part, is a natural part of aging, thus it’s a far more common concern for elderly men than young men. Not a disease, incontinence is the accidental release of urine due someone’s bladder, urethra and/or damaged/weakened muscles not functioning properly.

The Mayo Clinic categorizes seven types of urinary incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence. This is brought on by an involuntary leaking of urine brought on by sudden exertions, such as laughing, sneezing, coughing, etc. Although more common in women, common causes for men include “benign prostatic hyperplasia (a noncancerous overgrowth of the prostate gland), prostate cancer or prostate surgery,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
  • Urge incontinence. Often called overactive bladder, urge incontinence is categorized as someone who urinates at least seven times daily and twice nightly. The causes are many: stroke, nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s, bladder infection, kidney problems, even the result of an illness or surgery.
  • Overflow incontinence. Someone who can’t empty their bladder completely suffers from overflow incontinence. This causes the constantly full bladder to trigger frequent urination and/or constant urine dribbling, according to the Mayo Clinic. Common causes are weakened bladder muscles due to nerve damage from diabetes, an enlarged prostate and kidney stones.
  • Functional incontinence. The Mayo Clinic writes this is the common type of incontinence among older adults with conditions that limit their mobility, such as arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Their lack of mobility makes it hard to reach the toilet in time before accidents occur.
  • Mixed incontinence. More common in women, mixed incontinence is when two types of incontinence at once. And the causes for each type aren’t necessarily related.
  • Physical/developmental abnormalities. This can be due to birth defects or as an after effect of surgery, disease, trauma, injury, etc.
  • Temporary incontinence. This can occur as a side-effect of a treatment, specific condition or acute disease. Also, drug use/medication, severe constipation and urinary tract infection are usual culprits of bringing on temporary incontinence as well, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What to do

It’s best see a doctor to properly diagnose the type of incontinence and recommend the proper treatment, such as bladder training, scheduling trips to the bathroom or fluid/diet management. Sometimes medication is an option and in other cases. adult diapers or catheters can ease problems caused by incontinence. In more serious cases, physical therapy or surgery can help as well.

Encompass can help

Encompass Senior Solutions currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the options available for those who’s quality of life is suffering due to a type of incontinence. Our professional staff can help properly implement the necessary lifestyle changes that will ensure the best quality of life for your aging loved ones.

All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts.

Contact us today.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”