As adults continue to age, they often experience significant changes that impact their bladders. The tissue in the bladder wall becomes tough and makes the bladder less elastic. As a result, seniors aren’t able to hold as much urine as they did in the past. Aging also leads to weaker bladder muscles. However, your elderly loved one can use the following tips to maintain robust bladder health in the senior years.
1. Stay at a Healthy Weight
Seniors who control their body weight can reduce urine leakage. Excess weight can increase the odds of stress incontinence and an overactive bladder, which is why seniors need to look for ways to limit their calorie intake. Keeping extra pounds off, specifically in the abdominal area, puts less pressure on the bladder. When the muscles don’t work overtime, they can extend their energy to supporting the pelvic floor and the bladder. Seniors can manage their weight by getting regular exercise. Physical workouts also strengthen the muscles, which can prevent urine from leaking when your loved one coughs, laughs, sneezes, or has the urge to urinate.
If your loved one needs help to exercise safely, a home caregiver can be a wonderful asset. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading elderly home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.
2. Stop Smoking
Older adults who continue smoking can make incontinence worse and increase their risk of having overactive bladders. Smoking is a bad habit that can cause coughing spasms that lead to urine leakage. Encouraging your parent to give up smoking could prevent frequent urination and boost his or her physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
3. Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Some foods contain nutrients seniors need to lower their risk of issues such as constipation. Eating adequate amounts of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and other protein-rich foods can reduce the odds of constipation. Large amounts of stool in the colon can prevent the bladder from filling up as much as it should and keep it from contracting like it needs to.
A home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. McKinney seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
4. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Wearing tight-fitting clothing could harm the bladder in the long run. However, wearing loose-fitting pants can lower the odds of developing a urinary tract infection. These infections cause increased bladder activity and weaken the organ. Your loved one should also try to wear cotton clothing as much as possible, especially cotton underwear. The material can keep the air around the urethra dry, which decreases the risk of bacteria growing in the urinary tract.
5. Stay Hydrated
Bladder irritation and concentrated urine are two issues seniors may face if they fail to drink enough fluids every day. When the body doesn’t get the fluids it needs, the urge to pass urine increases, raising the odds of incontinence. Encourage your loved one to drink no fewer than eight cups of water per day, include water-based foods in his or her diet, and avoid energy drinks, caffeine, and sodas.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted McKinney senior care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 548-0392.