New Discovery that Physical Training Improves Incontinence

The February 2012 of Clinical Interventions in Aging published an article titled “Effect of Physical Training on Urinary Incontinence: A Randomized Parallel Group Trial in Nursing Homes.” While previous studies have proven that physical training and resistance exercises are effective in improving muscle strength, the significance of physical training in improving urinary incontinence was unknown thus far. After three months, the study was concluded and showed results to suggest that physical training does indeed have a positive effect on improving urinary incontinence in elderly adults.

Incontinence is a common, serious problem in skilled nursing facilities that is recognized as a loss in control of the bowel or the bladder. Regardless of the different diseases that sometimes contribute to the onset of incontinence, the nursing home is obligated to provide its patients with proper incontinence care, as to avoid the progression of any additional health complications, such as pressure ulcers and urinary tract infections.

Because incontinence often marks a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living, incontinent patients must rely on the nursing home staff to maintain their hygiene and help them use the toilet. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that the nursing home is not understaffed, so that incontinent patients can receive the care that they need. Furthermore, the mental well-being of incontinent patients is reliant on mental support from the nursing home staff. Because incontinence can often make patients feel embarrassed or ashamed, nurses must be encouraging to patients in order to help them maintain their dignity.

The study confirms that incontinence in nursing homes, unfortunately, worsens over time when left untreated. More optimistically, however, the study also reveals that it is possible to control or reverse the progression of incontinence. For this reason, it is extremely important that the nursing home staff begin treatment early. In addition to physical therapy, some other treatments include prompted voiding, pelvic muscle exercises, and changes in nutrition fluid intake. The patients in the study, however, were exclusively participating in physical training and not using any of these other treatments. The study suggests that in the future, a combination of physical therapy with these other, more established treatments may lead to even better results. Furthermore, the study strives to eventually develop and experiment with a physical training program that directly targets incontinence care, with the hope that such a program will improve incontinence even more.

Because the future of incontinence care appears to be so optimistic, as improvements in treatments are continually being discovered and implemented, there is no reason that your loved one should be denied of his or her proper care. In fact, inadequate incontinence care is an act of nursing home neglect and elder abuse that is in direct violation of your loved one’s rights.


If your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect as a result of understaffing, contact us today to see how we can help.