Treating Urinary Incontinence in Home Care

August 2, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Treating urinary incontinence in home care clients “should be a priority,” writes the author of a pair of articles in the May 2013 and July 2013 Home Healthcare Nurse. An estimated 51% of older women and 14% of older men have urinary incontinence. It is often undiagnosed by clinicians and underreported by older adults, the author states, and treating incontinence is important to improving clients’ quality of life, finances, and overall health and reducing their risk for medical complications (e.g., skin breakdown, falls). Part 1 describes the differences between stress, urge, mixed, and functional incontinence and reviews risk factors. Treatment methods depend on the client’s type of incontinence, age, and general health and mobility; the three categories of methods are behavioral, pharmacologic, and surgical. Keeping a voidingdiary can help the client track fluid intake and voiding and identify triggers. Patients can be taught to avoid substances that irritate the bladder, such as caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and several other foods.

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