Family Caregiving and Incontinence

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

November 11, 2016

Senior Care in Beaver PA

Incontinence is one of the common issues and concerns you will face as a family caregiver. Over 50 percent of older Americans are reported to suffer from this sometimes embarrassing disease.


There are a number of causes for incontinence. A few to consider are prostrate issues or an overactive bladder. This is involuntary muscle contractions due to diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. Weak bladder muscles from an injury or childbirth are also the cause of incontinence. Decreased estrogen production, certain medications and an obstruction in the urinary tract can attribute to this as well. If they haven’t already, be sure to make an appointment with your parent’s primary health care provider. Determining the cause will help you find the solution.
Many cases of incontinence are treatable. Such treatments consist of behavioral therapies designed to strengthen or relax the bladder muscle. In other cases, medications or surgery are considered.
What You Can Do

  1. Make sure your loved one’s pants are easy to take on and off.
  2. Many aging parents will require help going to and from the bathroom. There are a few options to facilitate this. One is to offer them a bell. While this technique may leave you feeling like dunning a maid’s uniform, it will help ensure timely toilet arrivals. Another common approach is to make a bathroom schedule. Bladder urgency leaves little time to make the trip from chair to toilet. Setting up a schedule ensures regular trips that promote regular activity.
  3. Provide incontinence products from pads to wearables. This type of product has come a long way since the days of baggy adult diapers. Look into options online—there are a multitude of businesses that even provide home delivery.
  4. Make a rule that no liquid is allowed 90 minutes prior to bed.

What Others Can Do
Make sure your other family caregivers are using the same procedures. This promotes regularity and avoids confusion. If you have enlisted the aid of a senior care provider, they can set the schedule and maintain it. Having cared for many, they know the problems seniors have and the concerns they face. In addition to keeping procedures in check, they can assist with dressing and bathing, light housekeeping, errand running, grocery shopping and meal preparation, as well as transportation and providing that all-important element—camaraderie.

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Beaver, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551

WebMD; Health Day News; Over half of seniors plagued by incontinence; Steven Reinberg; 06/2014