The Ultimate Guide to Caring For Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a common issue among children and adults. However, it is a sensitive issue that is not openly discussed. By definition, urinary incontinence refers to the loss of bladder control and the inability of a person to control their bladder.

This issue is more common among women than men. Nevertheless, people with incontinence are hesitant to openly discuss this problem with their doctors. The truth is that incontinence is treatable.

JOGO Health’s urinary incontinence treatment in Delhi offers options like bladder training, pelvic muscle exercises and biofeedback therapy to cure this problem.

Types of Urinary Incontinence

1. Urinary Incontinence

Urge incontinence is when the person has the sudden urge to void the bladder but cannot control it until they have the privacy of the bathroom to do so. Those with urge incontinence may also suffer from OAB or Overactive Bladder. This problem causes frequent urination and nocturia, or the urge to urinate at night. Urge incontinence is often caused by:

  • Spinal cord disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Bladder infection
  • Pelvic trauma
  • Multiple Sclerosis

2. Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence and undue pressure on the bladder cause involuntary urinary leakage. Activities like coughing, laughing, sneezing, or bending can pressurise the bladder, leading to stress incontinence. The most common reasons for stress incontinence are:

  • Weak bladder and urethra muscles due to childbirth or surgery
  • Weak muscles due to lack of estrogen due to menopause.

3. Mixed incontinence

Mixed incontinence is a combination of urge and stress incontinence.

4. Overflow incontinence

It is the frequent dribbling of urine due to the incomplete voiding of the bladder. The causes of overflow incontinence are similar to urge incontinence. People with chronic conditions like diabetes and an enlarged prostate may also have this condition.

5. Relaxed incontinence

Also called Spastic Bladder, this type of incontinence occurs when an involuntary reflex causes a full bladder to contract without any warning. This bladder issue occurs when the T12 part of the spinal cord is injured.

Caring for someone with urinary incontinence, particularly an older adult, can be challenging. The next part of our article discusses some practical tips caregivers can follow when helping such people.

10 Tips For Effective Incontinence Care

1. Know the type of incontinence.

This awareness is crucial for providing the right kind of treatment and support. Moreover, it helps you understand the symptoms and provide emphatic care for their condition.

2. Adopt a bladder-friendly diet.

Caregivers should understand what foods trigger urinary incontinence, such as caffeinated drinks, sodas, citrus juices, spicy foods, and alcohol. It is also essential to regulate fluid intake and ensure that the person does not take excess water or undergo dehydration.

3. Create a bathroom schedule.

Following a schedule to void the bladder can improve the time between bathroom breaks and enhance the person’s bladder control. You can encourage them to hold their urge for five minutes and increase the time to strengthen bladder muscles over time.

4. Use the proper protection for incontinence.

It is essential to source incontinence protection supplies according to the issue's intensity, the person’s size and the protection needed. Light to mild incontinence may require liners and pads. For heavier leakages, you can recommend adult diapers.

<< Also Read : Does Less Water Intake Help Control Urinary Incontinence? >>

5. Plan ahead to manage your absence.

Planning a trip outside the house while taking care of someone with incontinence can be quite challenging. However, proper planning can make it easier. Before leaving, ensure you pack a bag with pads, diapers, wipes, gloves, extra underwear and a change of clothes.

6. Gear up for unexpected situations.

Involuntary bladder voiding can be extremely embarrassing for the person, especially in public places. Adopting a straightforward and positive attitude and by handling the situation with more sensitivity will make it comfortable for both of you. As the caregiver, it is imperative that you exercise patience and tact in unexpected situations.

7. Seek medical guidance.

Keep in mind that multiple factors can cause incontinence. Therefore, be vigilant for any new symptoms or signs of the condition worsening. Consult with the doctor to determine if the new symptoms are cause for concern and if the person's treatment or medication needs to be adjusted accordingly.

8. Encourage incontinence-related activities.

Encourage the person to follow Kegel and bladder training exercises to improve bladder muscle strength and control.

9. Ensure cleanliness and hygiene.

Keeping your loved one clean, fresh, and odour-free is important in incontinence care. You should:

  • Change all incontinence products like diapers, liners, and disposable underwear as soon as they are soiled.
  • Change bed linen every day to ensure the person sleeps in a clean and comfortable environment.
  • Ensure the person wears loose, easy-to-change clothes. Avoid clothes with multiple zippers and buttons.

10. Be well-prepared for emergencies.

To prepare for unexpected leakage, caregivers can take several steps. Firstly, keeping a small bag with incontinence pads or briefs, wipes, a change of clothing, and a sealable plastic bag for soiled products is essential. Additionally, choosing clothing that is easy to put on and take off can facilitate quick changes and cleanups. Immediate cleaning with soap and water or a wipe is also an effective way to minimise odours.

Closing Notes

Dealing with incontinence can be a mentally and physically challenging issue for many individuals. Hence, caregivers must demonstrate an empathetic and compassionate approach to incontinence care. It is your responsibility to help them overcome the challenges that come with the issue and help them lead a normal life.

Want professional guidance for incontinence care? Connect with JOGO’s digital therapeutics clinic in Delhi.

1/1,11th Cross st., Shastri Nagar, Adyar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600020.