Some of the factors that could contribute to incontinence among older adults, like Mrs. Jones, include nerve damage, weakened pelvic muscle, medication, infection, and underlying conditions, such as stroke, diabetes or obesity. Incontinence can also be caused by psychological factors, such as depression or anxiety.
When responding to Ms. Jones, she should show empathy and assure her that it isn’t her fault. Nurses can provide strategies for managing incontinence. These include using absorbent pads and underwear, pelvic-floor exercises or avoiding specific foods and drinks that can cause irritation to the bladder. Nurses may recommend medical testing to find the root cause of incontinence. They can then explore various treatment options including medication, bladder retraining, or surgery. She should offer Mrs. Jones emotional support, and encourage her to express any concerns or feelings she may have.