scattered and opened adult diapers resembling urinary incontinence in elders

Common Causes Of Urinary Incontinence In Seniors

Aging has its benefits, but also its challenges, especially when it comes to your physical health. As an example, nearly ‘40% of adults who live in a residential care facility report problems with incontinence’(either fecal, urinary, or both). While these statistics illustrate the point that incontinence is incredibly common, they do little to help with your own unique challenges, or those os a loved one. This is where the team of medical providers here at Lightyear Health comes in. To help you better understand why incontinence, namely urinary incontinence, is so prevalent among older people, we’ve pulled together a list of the more common drivers of this problem. Perhaps more importantly, we also outline some of the effective treatment options we offer to help you regain control of your bladder.

Understanding urinary incontinence

The first thing to understand about urinary incontinence is that there are a several different types, including:
  • Stress incontinence pressure on your bladder
  • Urge incontinence intense urges to urinate and the inability to control them
  • Mixed incontinence a combination of stress and urge incontinence
  • Overflow incontinence your bladder fails to completely void, causing dribbling
Urinary incontinence can also stem from a functional problem in which you’re unable to make it to the bathroom because of a physical incapacity.

Common causes of urinary incontinence in older adults

Older adults can experience both short- and long-term problems with urinary incontinence. When it comes to acute bouts of incontinence, this is usually due to:
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vaginal infections
  • Constipation
  • Prostatitis
More often than not, by treating the underlying infection or problem, the urinary incontinence resolves itself. Longer-term problems with urinary incontinence are most often caused by:
  • Weakened bladder muscles
  • Overactive bladder muscles
  • Enlarged prostate (benign prostate hyperplasia)
  • Lack of pelvic floor support for your bladder
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Nerve damage caused by conditions like diabetes, Parkinsons disease, and multiple sclerosis
Some medications, such as blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, and antidepressants, can also contribute to problems with urinary incontinence.

Treating your urinary incontinence

Since there are several different types of urinary incontinence and many different causes, our team needs to first evaluate your incontinence to identify the underlying cause. Once we have a better idea about whats behind your incontinence, we can address the problem with one or more of these common incontinence treatments:
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Medications
  • Biofeedback
  • Behavioral training
  • Lifestyle changes (such as avoiding caffeine)
  • Environmental interventions
  • Specialized equipment
Rest assured, we work with you to resolve the problem so that you can enjoy life again without the worry and discomfort that comes with urinary incontinence. Contact us for more information and to start treating you or your loved one’s urinary incontinence.

Subscribe to the
Lightyear Health Newsletter

We’re committed to helping patients and their loved ones. Get the latest research and advice sent directly to your inbox.