Dietary Choices Can Impact Incontinence in Elderly People

May 22, 2017

Incontinence in elderly people can be an issue.

Unfortunately, incontinence in elderly individuals is not an uncommon occurrence, and it tends to become more likely the older a person gets. Nevertheless, there are some steps that people can take to help lessen the chance of incontinence in elderly loved ones — and paying attention to what a person consumes is one of those steps.

Diet Matters

Diet tends to have some impact on almost all aspects of health, but the connection with incontinence is perhaps the clearest. What goes into the body affects what comes out.

With that in mind, making a few of the following adjustments may help reduce incontinence in elderly individuals.

  • Non-citrus fruits. Fruits tend to be high in fiber, which has a beneficial health effect in general and can play a role in strengthening the urinary system as well. But citrus fruits are acidic, and often foods that have a high acid content can become a trigger for incontinence in elderly loved ones.
  • Non-caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is an irritant that increases the need to vacate the bladder. Sodas should be avoided, both because of their sugar and their caffeine. But teas and coffees can be enjoyed — if they are herbal teas or caffeine-free coffees.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is another of the more popular urinary triggers, so it’s a good idea to go easy on beers, wines, and cocktails — and not just for incontinence issues!
  • Water. On the other hand, drinking more water can in many cases HELP with incontinence. The bladder is made healthier by water intake. The key is to use good judgement; don’t drink 2 or 3 glasses at once, but space them out.
  • Olive oil. Using olive oil when cooking can be a plus. Olive oil tends to have a soothing effect on the bladder.
  • Nuts and seeds. Snacking on a handful of almonds and sunflower seeds often is beneficial to those with a sensitive bladder. But be aware that some people find that certain nuts have a negative effect on their bladder issues.

Before making any dietary changes to address incontinence in elderly loved ones, it’s important to check with a doctor.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

Hollie Bradley, Owner

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior who could benefit from our vast array of home care services in the Newport News & Williamsburg area, please call us at 800.371.1194 or email us. We work with most long term care insurance companies and have a staff of 130 trained home care personnel covering the Newport News, Virginia area.

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