Dealing with incontinence is not a fun issue, but once your senior realizes that some of her food and drink choices can contribute, that might mean some changes. Keeping a food diary can help determine which foods and drinks are triggering for your elderly family member.
Beverages that have a diuretic effect can cause the fluids to move through your senior’s body more quickly than she wants. They can also stimulate her bladder to go more frequently than she normally would. Many diuretic beverages, such as coffee, also contain quite a bit of caffeine, which can also stimulate the bladder. Keeping track of how much coffee, tea, and other diuretic beverages your senior is consuming is a good idea.
Alcoholic beverages fall under the heading of diuretic drinks, but they can create other issues with incontinence. Because alcohol can affect your senior’s decision-making abilities, she may miss signals from her body that let her know it’s time to use the bathroom. She can also experience reduced bladder control after drinking just a little bit of alcohol.
Spicy or Acidic Foods
Some people find that foods that are spicy or have a high acid content can be stimulating to the bladder, too. If your aging family member enjoys eating spicy foods, consider finding ways for her to back down on the spice a bit without sacrificing too much in the way of flavor. Acidic foods might include anything that contains vinegar, such as pickles, or even citrus fruits.
Sweeteners and Sugary Food and Drink
Sweeteners, both artificial and natural, can make incontinence issues worse. Cutting back on drinks and foods that are high in sugar can definitely help all sorts of issues, not just incontinence. Check the labels on some of your elderly family member’s favorite foods and drinks to see whether or not they have higher levels of sugar than she expects.
Something about carbonation can be irritating to your senior’s bladder, too. Your elderly family member might think she’s safe by drinking carbonated beverages like club soda or seltzer that don’t contain caffeine, but the carbonation itself could be the problem. Stick to a limited number of carbonated beverages for the best results.
Once you and your senior figure out which foods and drinks trigger incontinence for her, make sure you share that information. Elderly care providers and other family members can help your senior to watch out for these triggering beverages and foods so that she doesn’t experience an episode she’s not prepared to experience.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in East Meadow, NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions. Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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