Managing and Living Life with Incontinence
Managing, Living, Life, Incontinence, Bladder
How can I prevent and manage accidents?
A weakened or overactive bladder doesn’t have to keep you from living your life. There are steps you can take to prevent accidents or to manage them discreetly when they do happen.
- Make simple changes
- Keep the path to the bathroom clear and well lit at night.
- Wear easy-to-open clothes.
- Empty your bladder before bed, a big meeting or a trip.
- Use the right incontinent product. Depend® Brand offers many styles and products designed to fit your needs and lifestyle. We have a comprehensive range of sizes and absorbency levels. Use our product finder to find the most appropriate products for your needs.
- Minimize odors Though you can’t prevent odor completely, you can curb it. First, stay hydrated. The more concentrated your urine is, the stronger it smells. Next, consider taking urine-deodorizing tablets, such as vitamin C, or supplements made for this purpose. You can also help reduce urine odor by drinking apple, pear, cherry or other non-citrus juices.
- Stay sensibly hydrated Drink at least six to seven 8-oz. glasses of water a day to keep your bladder healthy. When you drink less water, your urine is more concentrated and may irritate the lining of the urethra and bladder.
- Pay attention to your diet A lot of things—including caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods (like tomatoes and citrus fruits) and drinks, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, hot spices and carbonated drinks—can irritate your bladder. Take time to learn what foods and drinks trigger your leakage and then remove them from your diet.
- Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles You can do Kegels anywhere, without anyone noticing. With a little practice, Kegels can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles—and that can help reduce feelings of urgency, the need to frequently urinate and accidents.
How do I get a good night’s sleep?
Preparation is everything. Take these steps to prevent accidents from happening:
- Limit your fluid intake before bedtime, try not to drink liquids after 6 p.m.
- Avoid bladder-irritating foods and beverages. This includes caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods (like tomatoes and citrus fruits) and drinks, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, hot spices and carbonated drinks.
- Urinate twice right before bed
- Do pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels)
- Use the right incontinent product. Modern incontinence products, like Depend®, Brand, use super absorbent polymers (SAP) that lock in urine and hold more fluid so they’re more protective. Depend® Brand offers many sizes, styles and absorbency levels designed to fit your lifestyle. Use our product finder to find the most appropriate products for your needs.
How do I talk to my loved ones about incontinence?
First, figure out a good time and place to talk. Look for a quiet, comfortable environment where you’ll have privacy—and be sure to give yourselves enough time. Think about what you’re going to say in advance. You’ll want to explain the nature of your condition, why it has happened, how it affects you, and what treatment you’re trying.
Plan to give your loved ones a chance to ask questions. Experts say people with incontinence often overestimate how much the news will embarrass or upset their loved ones. And by trusting them enough to tell them, you could make your relationship much stronger than before.
How do I manage incontinence at work?
- Use the right incontinence product. Modern incontinence solutions, like Depend® Brand products, use super absorbent polymers (SAP) that lock in urine and hold more fluid so they’re more protective. We have a comprehensive range of styles, sizes and absorbency levels designed to fit your needs and lifestyle. Use our product finder to find the most appropriate products for your needs.
- Avoid the caffeine or water. The caffeine in coffee makes it diuretic, which increases your need to go.
- Wear dark-colored business attire. It’s a timeless look, and it hides a multitude of problems, including little stains.
- Practice pelvic floor exercises (Kegels)—even in meetings. To do Kegels, contract the muscles that you would use to stop the flow of urine. Hold the contraction for three seconds and then relax. Do this eight to 10 times, at least three times a week.
How do I do Kegels (pelvic floor muscle exercises)? And do they help?
Kegel exercises help tighten your pelvic floor muscles. They work the muscles that you use to stop urinating, making these muscles stronger helps you hold urine in your bladder longer.
Locate the pelvic muscles by pretending to stop the flow of urine. Squeeze and hold these muscles for three seconds, then relax for a count of three. Your goal is to try to do 10 tightening/relaxing exercises for a set. Rest and then do two more sets (30 exercises total) each day. Your doctor can give you more exact directions.
Yes, exercises often help, particularly for persons with the stress type of bladder problem. You should consult with your doctor about the type of bladder weakness you have, and which exercises are best for you.
How long before Kegel exercises begin to help?
Depending on the type of bladder weakness you have, you may begin to feel the benefit of exercises after just a few weeks, and after eight to 12 months there is a good chance you’ll have reduced symptoms or even be symptom-free. Even if you’re not symptom-free, exercises may improve your situation and, with the right products to help you, you can regain your confidence. The sooner you act, the better. Most people wait so long that it takes the body some time to get back to earlier routines. Please consult your doctor about your particular situation.
How do I control odor?
The best way to control odors is a combination of good hygiene, overall body cleanliness, staying properly hydrated, and using fresh, clean undergarments. Dispose of products in an airtight container. When traveling or sharing a house with others, dispose of each incontinence garment in a plastic bag with a zip-style seal. Also consider taking urine-deodorizing tablets, such as vitamin C, or supplements made for this purpose. You can also help reduce urine odor by drinking apple, pear, cherry or other non-citrus juices. Finally, because sometimes people are not aware that an odor is present, find someone you trust to tell you honestly if there is any odor anywhere.
I have a pretty active life. Do you have any tips for changing on the go?
Yes. Here are some simple things you can do to always make sure you’re ready, no matter where you are.
- Carry a Spare. Keep a change in your purse or in a stylish make-up bag.
- Keep plastic bags on hand for disposal. Get the darker blue kind to mask what’s inside if you need to toss it out in public. You’ll be able to find these bags, or special deodorized disposal bags, in most stores or online.
- Keep a couple of “emergency” changes in your glove box.
- Keep a gym bag full of essentials in your trunk.
- Set a schedule for regular changes
- Locate bathrooms ahead of time—especially in places you visit frequently. Planning ahead makes all the difference.
About the Author
Jeff has been the CEO of Senior.com for 12 years. Senior.com has grown under Jeff’s leadership, in fact when the website was first launched, the member base grew form Zero to over 700,000 in less the 3 years. Current, has over 1,600,000 registered members.
Jeff received his MBA degree in Managerial Finance and Investor Relations from the University of Phoenix and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.View All Articles