Good bladder health is important to everyone, but as a person ages, their bladder changes. The bladder is located in the pelvis and is made up of muscular tissue. It’s shaped like a balloon and helps the body to rid itself of waste products. Unlike other parts of the excretory system, like the kidneys, a person can control the emptying of the bladder. Keeping the bladder healthy allows older adults to more reliably control when their bladder function.
Below are some tips for helping seniors to keep their bladders healthy.
Experts say that most adults should try to drink between six and eight glasses of liquid per day. Water is the best choice for hydration, but other liquids also count. However, at least half of each day’s liquids should be water. People with certain conditions may need less or more water, so check with the doctor to determine the amount that is right for your aging family member.
-Empty the Bladder Completely
Stopping urination before the bladder is completely empty can make a person more prone to urinary tract infections. This is because when a person contracts their muscles to stop urination, the urine that hasn’t left the body yet moves back toward the bladder, bringing bacteria with it.
-Take Up Walking
People who are sedentary sometimes have fluid build up in their legs during the day. At night, the fluid may cause them to have to urinate more frequently, which could interrupt sleep. Walking more during the day can prevent fluid retention. If the older adult isn’t able to walk, flexing the calf muscles and elevating the legs to waist level can help.
-Use the Bathroom Frequently
Holding urine in can lead to bladder infections. Older adults should urinate at least every three to four hours.
Smoking is a risk factor for bladder cancer. The risk for bladder cancer is increased by up to three times higher in people who smoke versus those who don’t.
Drink Cranberry Juice
For seniors who have frequent urinary tract infections, drinking a glass or two of cranberry juice per day may help prevent infections. Studies have indicated that cranberry juice or cranberry tablets are most effective for women who experience frequent infections. However, cranberries may interact with certain medications, so check with the doctor first.
If you’re concerned about the bladder health of an older adult family member, a home care provider can help them to practice good bladder health habits. Home care providers can offer seniors liquids to drink several times throughout the day and monitor how much they are drinking. Home care providers can also go for walks with seniors who suffer from water retention. If the older adult has difficulty walking, a home care provider can help them to get safely to and from the bathroom.
If you or an aging family member are considering hiring elder care in Wasilla, AK, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care today.