Overactive Bladder

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The Home Health Aide and the Overactive Bladder

According to Mayo Clinic, an overactive bladder is just that: a bladder-storage problem resulting in sudden and frequent urges to urinate. Often these "urges" may be so strong that they cannot be stopped leading to incontinence.The amount of urine released may be a small trickle, or it may be a complete emptying of the bladder. The National Library of Medicine notes that the number of seniors with an overactive bladder continues to grow. It is well over 10 percent today and may reasonably be expected to reach a full quarter of seniors in the next two decades. The result of urinary incontinence in seniors is often social isolation, anxiety, fear, and depression linked to the embarrassment of having
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The challenge still lies in the severe under-reporting of urinary incontinence issues. After all, seniors cannot get help if nobody knows there is a problem.

If your senior loved one may be having trouble with urinary incontinence, it is important that they have their situation investigated. A full third of overactive bladder issues may be linked to lower urinary tract infections. Not only could the bladder problem be quickly reversed with a UTI treatment, but the pain and discomfort of the UTI would be addressed as well. Another significant percentage of overactive bladder issues is related to medications used to treat other medical conditions. If the doctor knew there was a problem with incontinence, they may have been able to prescribe a different medication.

The majority of overactive bladder situations not related to UTIs or medication can be addressed with behavioral and environmental changes. A home health aide can assist your senior loved one in making these changes. For example, if the problem typically occurs at night, which is the most common complaint in senior bladder issues, fluid may be restricted in the early to late evening. A diuretic may be taken in the late afternoon to encourage more urine to pass prior to bedtime, and physical changes such as wearing compression stockings during the day also

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