As a young person, you probably had a phase when you struggled with bed-wetting, which is perfectly normal. However, the same situation is not normal when it happens to you in adulthood.
There are plenty of reasons for the phenomenon, including infections, side effects of medications, prostate enlargement, and obstruction during sleep. If you visit a doctor, which is advisable in this scenario, they could do urine tests, physical exams, or urological tests to understand the reason for your elderly bed-wetting problem.
The literature below explains the intrigues behind elderly bed-wetting and some solutions to help manage or stop the issue entirely.
Why Do Seniors Wet the Bed?
Within the medical environment, the phenomenon goes by the name Nocturnal Enuresis (NE), and the reasons for it differ from person to person. Bed-wetting is the common name for the issue in young children and occurs at night. However, as a senior, you might involuntarily urinate on yourself in the daytime or nighttime while asleep. Whichever the case, the reasons for your inability to hold urine while sleeping could boil down to:
- Neurological disorders
- Overactive bladder
- Bladder cancer
- Acute anxiety
- Anatomical Abnormalities
- Emotional disorders
One or more of these issues could lead to several incontinence episodes, which are difficult to handle, especially when you sleep with a partner.
How To Comprehend your Bed-Wetting Situation
The best way to understand the reason behind your problem is to have a complete record of your habits that trigger bathroom visits. It is best to have a diary, where you record every bladder movement at night and hand it over to your doctor during a visit, or use it for personal non-invasive practices that might help prevent the phenomenon. The information to include in the diary should cover:
- Amount of fluids taken in a day, including the specific food taken and the accompanying beverages
- The number of bathroom visits in a day
- Any urinary tract diseases treated over the years
- What is the nature of your urine streams—is it consistent or in small bits?
- State whether you have anxiety, and the frequency in which you get attacks
- Show the nature of sleep at night, whether typical or sweaty
What Next After Collecting Data?
Hand over your urinary examination to your doctor, who will perform more tests. In addition to what you have given, it is imperative to include some family history of bed-wetting and medication you actively take for other conditions.
Your doctor will also want to know whether you have some chronic issues, so you have to supply a complete medical history while in hospital. Bed-wetting can also characterize other underlying problems not picked up before. You might have to undergo more tests to rule out any probabilities.
Normally, your doctor will conduct typical non-invasive tests after ruling out other possibilities, which might include taking a urine sample, neurological evaluations, and a physical examination.
A urine culture might give a clear picture, if not; your doctor might prefer a uroflowmetry test. The uroflowmetry carried out helps determine the flow rate of your urine, complete urination time, and the amount of urine passed in your quintessential bathroom breaks.
Your doctor, if not satisfied with the typical tests for the problem, might include an ultrasound to find out the amount of urine left in your bladder after a bathroom break. The ultrasound might pick up other issues which might be the underlying reason for bed-wetting.
Whatever the results, here are some solutions.
What Are Some Bed-wetting Solutions for The Elderly?
Medical professionals often provide a mix of home remedies that do not require medication for nighttime bed-wetting. You can also include some artificial methods to help control nighttime involuntary urine. Here are some natural and artificial remedies you can consider for bed-wetting.
Bed Wetting Alarm Systems
Through monitoring your urine, you should be able to tell the average time your body takes to process beverages into urine. You can use the data with the help of your doctor to have an alarm system set up in your home that might help prevent an extreme in your situation—repeated bed-wetting at night.
If you are lucky, you can catch the exact moment your body’s system wants to release urine, meaning you could wake up in a dry bed on some nights.
Alternatively, you could opt for underwear that has an inbuilt alarm system that rings on contact with fluids. Such a system helps create a conditioning cycle that can break the involuntary bed-wetting at night.
However, you must have the system running for some weeks before it can condition you into waking naturally just before wetting the bed. You could ditch the alarm systems once you find the correct rhythm.
Natural Remedies for Elderly Bed-Wetting
Self-Monitoring for Fluid Intake
While water and other beverages help your body move nutrients and other important stuff, it is beneficial to limit how much you consume in a day. Little fluid intake in the evenings and early meals, hours to bedtime, considerably cut the amount of urine passed at night.
Drinks such as alcohol and coffee have a bearing on the bladder’s ability to retain urine. The two cause a lot of irritation to the organ; you should have the drinks some hours before your bedtime if you must. Avoiding them altogether is a solution that can reverse your nighttime bed-wetting if the two beverages are the sole reason for the problem.
Remember to keep your body hydrated at all times, as it is a way to stay healthy in your senior years.
Interestingly, bladders have different capacities. Your small bladder capacity could be the reason for your nighttime troubles. However, training your bladder to keep as much fluid as possible can increase the capacity of your bladder, making you last for more extended hours before visiting the bathroom.
You can do this by having as many beverages as possible during the day. When the urge to urinate follows, break from the norm and delay the visit to relive yourself by some hours.
If your body allows, you could stretch the period to about three hours. Doing this frequently should increase the capacity of your bladder. However, consult a doctor before having such an exercise, especially if you have an enlarged prostate.
Nighttime bed-wetting is normal for young children and for seniors with some chronic issues that make them unable to control their bladders—whether at night or daytime. However, some instances of elderly bed-wetting boil down to personal behaviors such as drinking a lot of caffeinated drinks and alcohol. In addition, mental issues such as anxiety are a reason too.
Steps such as bladder training, and limiting the amounts of fluids work to remedy the situation. You could also use an alarm to manipulate your body clock, to wake up when your bladder wants to empty at night.