How to Manage Functional Urinary Incontinence
by Gary Sattin on Aug 29, 2022
Urinary incontinence limits far too many people from living the life they want. It arises from neurological problems, urinary tract infections, and many other potential factors. One of these noteworthy factors is impaired mobility, which falls under the umbrella category of functional incontinence. People with functional incontinence possess a healthy urinary system but an inability to access a bathroom when they need one.
A recent study found 42 percent of women age 75 to 85 experience urinary incontinence, with a strong correlation between urinary incontinence and both slow walking speed and poor balance. While this rate is high, people with impaired mobility who experience these symptoms are not without hope. To discover how to manage functional urinary incontinence, read our brief guide on the topic.
Make Getting to the Bathroom Easy
First, you should remove any barriers from your home or your loved one’s environment. While impaired mobility is an unavoidable problem, you need not exacerbate the situation by living with a poor house setup. Make the path to the bathroom clear and wide enough for a walker or wheelchair. Place the bed as close to the bathroom as possible and install railings where helpful. These would especially help near the toilet itself to provide stability while sitting down and standing up.
A further step to take is utilizing personal support for your loved one. This could involve enlisting the help of a professional caregiver or simply being around more to help them transition to the bathroom.
Establish a Bathroom Routine
Another strategy for managing functional urinary incontinence well is getting into a bathroom routine. If mobility is a significant issue, be realistic but insistent about your goals. Schedule times to go to the bathroom that pre-empt accidents. This gives people a chance to go before it’s too late to get up and make the minutes-long transition. It’s helpful to record these bathroom visits in a journal to keep everything regular and clear among caregivers.
Prepare With Incontinence Products
While these strategies are important, preparing for an accident is prudent when someone has impaired mobility. There are a range of incontinence products that mitigate the effects of an accident. Wearing absorbent pads is the first line of defense. A further measure that maintains you or your loved one’s comfort is waterproof sheeting fabric. This can cover any surface, often a bed, and trap the smell and fight against potentially harmful bacteria. These products promote quality of life for anyone suffering from the stress and cumulative effects of functional incontinence.