Incontinence can be an embarrassing health condition that plagues many seniors. According to HealthDay, as many as 35 percent of seniors living by themselves suffer from some degree of incontinence. Although living with this condition can be very frustrating at times, it can be controlled. Here are six ways seniors can manage urinary incontinence:
1. Try kegal exercises
If you suffer from urinary incontinence, doing kegal exercises every day can help. These exercises improve incontinence by strengthening the muscles that control the urethra. To do this exercise, pull in and squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine. WebMD recommends squeezing for 10 seconds and then resting for 10 seconds. If you do three to four sets of kegal exercises each day, you should notice results in three to six weeks.
2. Drink plenty of water
When you are incontinent, you may think it's best to drink less water. In reality, not drinking enough fluids can make your urine more concentrated, which can irritate your bladder. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
"Kegal exercises strengthen the muscles that control the urethra."
3. Avoid certain foods
Some foods can make urinary incontinence worse, so it is a good idea to limit them as much as possible. According to WebMD, spicy foods, sugar, alcoholic beverages, citrus fruits and caffeinated beverages can irritate the bladder.
4. Keep your weight under control
Carrying extra weight not only increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes, it can also lead to urinary incontinence. Excess weight increases abdominal pressure, raising your risk of incontinence. Lose weight by reducing your calorie intake and exercising four to five days a week.
5. Check your medications
The medicines you take could contribute to your urinary incontinence. According to the Cleveland Clinic, alpha blockers, diuretics, sedatives, antidepressants and pain medications can lead to incontinence. If you take any of these medications, ask your doctor at the retirement community if there are any alternatives.
6. Don't do any heavy lifting
Since lifting heavy items can put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, it is best to avoid it as much as possible. When you need something lifted, ask a friend or family member to do it for you.
If you follow these helpful tips, you can improve urinary incontinence and increase your self-esteem.