Owners' Blog

Helping Your Senior Parent With Incontinence

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Elderly Care in Woodstock GA

According to the CDC, as of June 2014, 50% of American adults, aged 65 and older, deal with varying degrees of incontinence.

“Bladder and bowel incontinence is a highly prevalent disease that has emotional, health, social and economic impacts in the daily life of our elderly population in the U.S.,” said Dr. Farzeen Firoozi, a urologist at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y.

People who deal with moderate incontinence report having leaks, often when they sneeze or cough. But there are a number of seniors who are living with severe incontinence that keeps them prisoners in their own home because they never know when incontinence is going to strike. Urinary incontinence is impossible to predict, and the results often keep sufferers homebound.

“We found that half the population experienced urinary leakage or accidental bowel leakage, and about 25 percent had moderate, severe or very severe urinary leakage. And about 8 percent had moderate, severe or very severe bowel leakage,” said lead researcher Yelena Gorina, a statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

So what causes incontinence and what can you do to help your parent if they are suffering with this condition?

Although there may be an underlying condition at the heart of incontinence, it happens when muscles are either too weak or too active. When the muscles are too weak, patients may have accidents. Overactive muscles result in the patient having a strong urge to go to the bathroom. If your parent is suffering with incontinence—even if it is mild—it is important to take them to a doctor so they can be diagnosed and treated. Treatment should be added to the elderly care they receive. Be sure to discuss any treatment with their elderly care provider.

Though treatments vary depending on the severity of the incontinence and it’s underlying cause, some of the treatments doctors have recommended for incontinence include:

  • Bladder control training
  • Pelvic muscle exercises
  • Dietary changes
  • Reducing of caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Eating 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day to make stool more bulky and easy to control
  • Increasing the amount of water drank each day

Incontinence impacts the daily lives of many older adults, but it many cases it is treatable. If your loved one is suffering with this condition, they will be comforted in knowing there is hope.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Woodstock, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.