Causes of Urinary Incontinence in Seniors

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control one’s bladder. It includes a variety of situations ranging from occasional, mild difficulty to complete loss of control.

Homecare in Melrose MA: Urinary Incontinence
Homecare in Melrose MA: Urinary Incontinence

Some Signs include…

  • Occasional leaks or dribbles
  • Being aware of the need to urinate, but unable to get to the toilet on time
  • Being completely unaware of one’s need to urinate
  • Being completely unable to control the bladder


Types of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is classified by type.


Stress Incontinence
Stress incontinence has nothing to do with mental stress. It refers to stress upon the bladder, which occurs with coughing, sneezing, laughing or some exercise. During these activities, small amounts of urine might escape.

Stress incontinence is especially common in women who have given birth. It often occurs starting in middle age.


Urge Incontinence
Urge incontinence occurs when someone experiences a sudden, intense need to expel a large amount of urine, and they cannot hold it long enough to get to the toilet.

Diabetes, Stroke, or Parkinson’s Disease are among the conditions that can contribute to urge incontinence.


Overflow Incontinence

In overflow incontinence, the bladder is constantly full, and sometimes small amounts of urine leak out.
Prostate problems, diabetes, or spinal cord injuries are often behind overflow incontinence.


Functional Incontinence

When incontinence occurs as a result of being physically unable to get to the toilet on time, it is called functional incontinence.

Severe pain, fatigue, or inability to walk or move quickly can lead to functional incontinence.


Reasons for Urinary Incontinence in Seniors

Incontinence is not a normal part of aging, although it is common among older adults for a variety of reasons, such as:

    • Urinary tract infection
    • Constipation
    • Certain medications
    • Weak muscles in or around the bladder
    • Overactive muscles in the bladder
    • Nerve damage resulting from injury, surgery or medical conditions like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease or
    • multiple sclerosis
    • Enlarged prostate gland in men
    • Pelvic organs which have shifted out of their normal positions
    • Difficulty moving quickly due to pain, fatigue or medical conditions
    • Changes to the brain from dementia


Talk to the Doctor About Incontinence

It is important for seniors to discuss incontinence with their doctors.

Many of these causes can be reduced – or even reversed – with proper treatment. Medications, surgeries and special exercises can make a big difference, depending on the cause of the incontinence.
Incontinence can be Managed with the Right Approach
It’s extremely important to take care of incontinence appropriately to avoid serious complications like infections.

Incontinence can impact a senior’s social life, mental wellness, and dignity. It is the second most common reason that families make the difficult decision to move someone into a long term care facility.

However, with proper treatment, knowledge and senior care incontinence can often be managed at home.

A huge selection of products to manage incontinence is available. It can be overwhelming at first, but help is available.


A helpful place to start is to consult a professional senior care agency.

Senior care services specialize in assisting older adults in their homes with all kinds of senior care needs, including incontinence management.

Having the right treatment, the right supplies, and the right support will make all the difference.


If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Homecare in Melrose, MA, please contact the caring staff at Visiting Nurse & Community Care today. (781) 643-6090