Aging comes with increased health problems, including limited mobility, cognitive decline, and bladder health. Issues with their bladder can result in seniors withdrawing from social situations due to embarrassment or increased doctor visits due to infections. Seniors deserve a supportive in-home care provider to assist them with these issues and increase their chances of better bladder health.
Why Does the Bladder Weaken With Age?
The bladder changes as people age. These changes occur when the bladder’s elastic tissue hardens, causing it to lose some of its elasticity. With age, bladders may need to be emptied more frequently because they are less flexible and can no longer hold as much urine as they once could. Additionally, weakness in the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder wall may make it more difficult to completely empty the bladder, leading to urine leakage.
Steps Toward a Health Bladder
While seniors cannot control changes that happen, there are steps they may be able to take to hold off changes as long as possible. Tips for a healthy bladder are listed below.
- Use the bathroom often – holding urine weakens the bladder over time
- Don’t stress while using the bathroom – relax the muscles around the bladder and sit fully on the toilet
- Take time to fully empty the bladder – rushing may can inadequate emptying. Wait a few seconds before rushing off to the next activity to ensure the bladder is empty
- Ensure proper wiping – wiping from front to back will help decrease the risk of infection
- Add pelvic floor muscle exercises to the daily routine and exercise regularly
- Wear cotton underwear and loose clothing to eliminate bacteria from trapped moisture
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Continue drinking enough water – while going to the bathroom more might seem like a pain, it is better to continually flush the system
- Avoid constipation – when constipated, the colon adds pressure to the bladder
A Healthy Bladder Starts With a Healthy Diet
Certain foods can help increase bladder health. These include berries, which contain flavanol for fighting off infections, such as bacterial infections in the urinary tract. Yogurt is also a great addition to the diet for optimum bladder health. Probiotics in yogurt increase gut health and aid in digestion, which means less constipation and a healthier bladder.
When cooking, consider adding garlic. Garlic has been shown to reduce the risk of kidney infections. Garlic supplements may also have an effect. Talk with medical professionals about this and other advantages that garlic may have. Adding whole-grain foods to the diet can increase bladder health because they are high in fiber and assist with digestion. As stated above, when the colon is unhealthy, it can become inflamed, adding pressure to the bladder and weakening bladder walls.
How Can In-Home Care Help Increase Bladder Health
Adding in-home care allows seniors to be monitored for optimum bladder health. In-home care providers can gently remind seniors to be well-hydrated and use the bathroom consistently throughout the day. In addition, in-home care providers can offer healthy tips for meal planning that help seniors add healthy bladder food to their daily diets. The increased socialization also helps seniors feel more comfortable and adds much-needed companionship.