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Managing an Enlarged Prostate in the Senior Years

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate, affects more than 50 percent of men by their 60s and approximately 90 percent of men in their 70s. Although it is a benign condition, BPH can cause a variety of urinary symptoms, including a weak urine stream, urinary urgency and frequency, and incomplete bladder emptying. Here are a few steps your senior loved one can take to manage the symptoms of BPH.

Monitor Fluid Intake

Keeping daily fluid intake to around two quarts per day can relieve urinary urgency and frequency. Try to limit your loved one’s fluid intake between dinnertime and bedtime to prevent nighttime urination. It is good to avoid alcohol and coffee because they have a significant effect on urination. Making healthier lifestyle changes may relieve symptoms of incontinence.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Be Proactive

Men with BPH are often unable to empty their bladders completely, which leads to urinary frequency. Scheduled toileting may ease urgency and prevent embarrassing accidents. Encourage your loved one to urinate every two to three hours even if he does not feel the need. Also, encourage your loved one to use the bathroom before leaving the house and before bedtime.

Perform Bladder Exercises

Bladder strengthening exercises called Kegels may increase bladder control and prevent BPH symptoms such as leaking and dribbling. To perform a Kegel, your loved one should squeeze and contract the muscles that control urination, hold the position for 10 seconds, then relax. Help him complete three or four sets of ten contractions per day.

Eat Healthy

Certain foods may benefit prostate health such as:

  • Soy products
  • Green tea
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Cold water fish

The herbal supplement saw palmetto might reduce episodes of nighttime urination caused by BPH. Your loved one should talk to a healthcare provider before taking any supplement to make sure it is appropriate and will not interact with other medications.

Avoid Certain Medications

Over-the-counter allergy and cold medicines and decongestants may worsen urinary symptoms of BPH. Prescription diuretics and antidepressants may also increase urine flow. Men with BPH should consult their doctors before taking these medications.

Control Stress

Excessive stress and anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms of urinary frequency. Encourage your loved one to integrate stress reduction techniques into his daily routine. Some stress reduction techniques for seniors include:

  • Meditation
  • Focused breathing
  • Yoga
  • Low-impact exercise

Older adults should make these techniques part of their routine, and family caregivers can encourage them to exercise regularly. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Pawleys Island, SC, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

When to Speak to a Doctor

If ignored, BPH can lead to complications such as bladder stones or urinary tract infections. Men whose symptoms worsen or do not go away with conservative measures should speak with their healthcare providers to discuss possible treatment.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Pawleys Island seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. Call Home Care Assistance at (843) 353-3105 today and create a customized care plan for your senior loved one.