Tackling Bladder and Bowel Problems with the Elderly: Five Concerns

Bladder and bowel problems are not uncommon in the elderly. As we age, our bodies change, our muscles weaken and our immunity may decline due to various underlying issues. These problems cause repeat hospitalizations for many elderly across the world. What and how can we prevent those? 

Here are some key takeaways :

  1. Adequate and right input of fluids is critical and varies according to underlying health conditions. Caregivers and families must be aware of these and must adhere to the recommendations of the health care professional. Not all foods have fluids, water is not the only fluid we take in daily. Some medications may cause loss of fluids from our bodies, and can sometimes lead to extremes of dehydration and affect human body organs acutely or chronically.  
  2. Swallowing, and thirst sensation problems can affect the bladder and bowel. The elderly might have speech impairment which one might not realize, choking, and aspiration is common hazards of such underlying causes. 
  3. Diet is critical but what kind, and which foods to include have a direct impact as well. Not all constipation is constipation in reality. Advice from healthcare professionals to promote bowel regularity is important.  
  4. Personal hygiene plays an important role, inabilities to practice this can affect health in direct and indirect ways. Extraneous things like catheters and their care are critical. Prompt change of diapers and hygiene products is necessary. 
  5. Medications,  taken for underlying infection or for other chronic conditions, may or may not also have an effect on bowel and bladder health. Care must be taken to seek the help of healthcare professionals. 

There are many more different ways that bowel and bladder health can be affected.  Geriatric care can be very complicated and caution must be used in finding, addressing, and treating those conditions affecting the above. Healthy practices, timely care, can be preventative and a better approach for the elderly already compromised by multiple underlying comorbidities. 

Hope this blog helped you in caring for your elderly in ways, we would love to see your comments, questions, or ideas. We are happy to address those in the future blog series on this. Thank you as always for sharing, it is the essence of mihygge, a new way of caring and living for our elderly.   

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