The Benefits of Treating Light Bladder Leakage

Can you laugh without leaking? 
Over 13 million people suffer from some degree of incontinence. There are many types and levels of severity. Urge incontinence when the bladder muscle controlling the release of urine is overactive and contracts involuntarily, and stress incontinence, when the closure of the bladder neck is inadequate are the two most common forms.

For many women who have had children, stress incontinence is a part of daily life. Laughing, sneezing, jumping, or even yelling can cause little leaks of urine to occur. For some this happens infrequently and episodes are minor. This may be considered light incontinence.

2 Rules and 2 Products Help Women with LBL Wear Summer Fashions with Confidence

Don't miss out on summer fun!

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

When lightweight summer fashions show more skin and outdoor events mean bathrooms are farther away, following two simple rules and using the right products for light bladder leakage (LBL) can make fun in the sun a breeze.

What's The Big Secret?

20% of women over 40 experience anal bowel leakage
Nearly one in five women over the age of 40 has reported an episode of accidental bowel leakage (ABL). And it affects men at similar rates. And no one is talking about it.

Inflammatory bowel disease to childbirth, obesity, chronic diarrhea

There are many factors that can cause ABL, from inflammatory bowel disease to childbirth, obesity, chronic diarrhea and more. Tens of millions of men and women experience ABL, and yet it is kept a big secret. Not only do too few talk about it, but too few seek care. is a site dedicated to spreading the word and starting the conversation about ABL. is everything ABL and is sharing valuable information so that all of those millions of people with ABL can manage their symptoms and get treatment.

Incontinence- A Social and Medical Condition You Don't Have to Live With

Seeking treatment and management tools can help. 
Over 13 million US adults suffer from incontinence, which means it is a common problem, but that does not make it normal. In fact, it is not something you have to live with or accept as inevitable, no matter how old you are, or what your health is like. Seeking treatment and management tools can help with this condition. 

Socially incontinence can be just as bad as medically. Not only do social problems often lead to more serious medical conditions, but the social problems involved with incontinence often lead to individuals simply coping with the problem rather than treating it.

85% of Seniors Want to Remain in Their Homes

Loss of independence is a senior's worst fear. 
Older people have common issues, and most of them don't want to be admitted into an assisted living facility. It's natural for them to want to stay at home and take care of themselves on their own. Unfortunately, they can't. Seniors need proper care to get by the day and lead a fulfilling lifestyle. There's no better place like home though. The problem is many seniors have to abide by the rules and accept their relatives' decision to place them in hospices and nursing homes. All of them want to stay at home but very few have the courage to express their feelings out loud. 

This is What Incontinence Looks Like, But it Doesn't Have to.

Take three steps to avoid embarrassment and frustration.
Accidental leaking. Social anxiety. Silent sufferers. Skin irritation. Sleep loss. Frustration. These are only a few of the symptoms of the 3 million American adults that suffer from incontinence are feeling. 

Light bladder leakage, anal leaking, or any kind of loss of control over bladder or bowel can be not just frustrating, but a real challenge to deal with. Every day life goes on, even if you don’t feel comfortable.

Incontinence is the secret condition millions face. In fact, most women wait over 6-years to speak to a physician and seek treatment. Men a little less, but still years. Why wait? Why suffer needlessly? Bladder and bowel control problems aren’t something you just have to live with. There are treatment and management options that can improve symptoms, and help sufferers lead a life with normalcy and dignity. But the first step is talking to a health care professional and seeking treatment.

What If You Had a Week to Find a Place to Live?

Use technology to find the right housing.
by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

If you had to find housing quickly, where would you start? Today’s seniors and their families take advantage of online tools and trusted third-party sites to help research and find living arrangements that best suit their needs and budgets.

What is Causing Your Urinary and Fecal incontinence?

Finding the cause of your incontinence can help with treatment.
If you are among the millions of adult Americans suffering from urinary or fecal incontinence, chances are you are looking for a solution. Bladder and bowel symptoms and problems are not easy to deal with. Often finding the cause can help with treatment. 

While there are times when the cause is readily evident, there are other times when it can be more difficult to pinpoint why you are suffering from this condition. Some of the common causes of incontinence include:

What the Healthiest Senior's Caregivers are Doing for Them at Night

5 things caregivers can do to increase nighttime safety. 
Caregivers know that senior safety is important, and one of the biggest problems for seniors is safety at night. Low lights impact depth perception, so seniors are far more likely to experience falls. And because it is often several hours before someone else will be there to help, these falls can have dire consequences, from dehydration to much worse. 

What are caregivers doing right?

The Secret Issue Women Face

Your LBL doesn't have to be a secret.
It wasn’t all that long ago that bladder health, and issues like involuntary urine loss, or bladder control and incontinence were only things whispered about in confidence. Women would wait an average of 6 years from their first incontinent episode to talk to a doctor about it. That is an awfully long time to live with occasional leaks before seeking help. 

Beginner's Guide to Managing Your Incontinence

Use The Incontinence Product Finder
to help you find the right product.
Almost 25 million adult Americans experience some level of incontinence. With so many sufferers you would think management strategies would be widely known, however, most individuals keep their condition private, and due to the personal and embarrassing nature, often do not talk about it. However, there are things any sufferer should do. If you are new to experiencing the symptoms of bladder control consider the following:

The 3 Things Every Bed-Wetter's Parents Should Do

A few tips for parents of bed-wetters.
If you have a child who persistently wets the bed, especially if they are starting to get a little older, it can be very frustrating. Most doctors will tell you that it is something they need to grow out of. And thus the waiting begins, and the sheet washing. In some cases medication or other interventions prove helpful, but more the majority of people time is the best remedy. 

If you are a parent to a bed-wetter, here are a few things you can do:

Does What You Eat Really Matter for Bladder Health?

Avoid foods that produce more gas.
Incontinence is an involuntary condition, and while it is often treatable and not something you just have to “live with” it will impact your life. Some things are outside your control, while others are not. One area you may want to consider making a few changes is your diet.

The way we eat impacts almost everything we do, from our energy levels to our fat stores. And what you eat and when you eat it can help to improve incontinence or worsen the symptoms.

The CareGiver Partnership Becomes a Leading Source of Family Caregiving Information In Only 4 Years

Lynn Wilson

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

While we may have a niche audience of people interested in reading about incontinence, fall prevention and other home health care issues, our blog’s wide variety of topics for seniors and caregivers has resulted in sizable readership growth year after year. 

Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid to Live With Light Bladder Leakage

You can regain confidence with better incontinence management. 
Too many people with light bladder leakage to more severe levels of incontinence find themselves limiting their social life and experiences because of their condition. Not just things like visiting trampoline parks either. Often those with LBL avoid any social situation that lasts too long, does not have great bathroom access, or could prove to be embarrassing in some way. 

With 25 million sufferers nationwide, it is time to stop living with leaks, and start living despite them. You can change your life, regain confidence, and be social rather than isolated with better incontinence management.

When Babies Mess With Your Bladder

What can you do when babies mess with your bladder? 
Babies are such a joy to have around, but let’s face facts, pregnancy and child birth can do a number on your body. Weight gain and stretch marks are only part of the package. For many women, light urinary incontinence may also occur after pregnancy and delivery. This can be caused by nerve damage, or simply stretching and weakening the muscles of the pelvic floor.

The Worst Father's Day Talk With Dad

Visiting Angels created a program to help families address
"the car keys conversation" with mom or dad. 
Guest blog post by Visiting Angels

(FATHER'S DAY, SUNDAY JUNE 15th) - It’s the great debate – who’s the better driver? Mom or Dad? This Father’s Day, dads will love to hear in a recent national survey 63% of adult children say Dad’s a better driver than Mom. However, if adult children had to take away Dad’s car keys because he’s unsafe to drive, many fear Dad would get so angry he’d cut them out of the will.

How Exercise Helps Aging Adults- What to Know About This Study

Getting older adults to exercise requires consistency and a plan. 
Guest post by Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH, Geriatrician and Caregiver educator 

Reposted with permission. Originally posted at

If you’ve been wondering whether it’s worth your while to encourage an older person to start exercising — or what might happen if they do stick with exercise — then I have some exciting news to share.

This week, the top-notch journal JAMA published the results of a fantastic research project: a study in which 1635 sedentary older adults (aged 70-89) were assigned to get either a structured exercise program, or a program of “successful aging” health education. The researchers called it the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study.

Specifically, the researchers found that 30% of the exercisers experienced a period of major disability, compared to 35.5% of the seniors enrolled in the healthy aging education program.

This is a very encouraging finding! That said, it’s also a bit sobering to realize that even with exercise, almost 1 in 3 older adults experienced a period of limited mobility, of which half lasted 6 months or more.

In this post, I’ll share some more details on this study, because the results provide a wonderful wealth of information that can be helpful to older adults, family caregivers, and even geriatricians such as myself.


Who were the study volunteers? Whenever you read about a research study, it’s important to understand how the study volunteers compare to the older adults in *your* life. One of the many things I love about this study is that they purposefully enrolled older adults who were sedentary, and physically vulnerable. To identify vulnerable adults, the researchers looked for volunteers who could walk a quarter of a mile, but showed signs of physical weakness on a test known as the Short Physical Performance Battery.

Specific criteria for the study volunteers included:

  • Age 70-89 years
  • Sedentary at the start of the study, meaning less than 20 min/wk of regular exercise in the past month
  • Evidence of high risk for mobility disability, based on a score of 9 or less (out of 12) on the Short Physical Performance Battery. Results on this test have previously been shown to predict future disability.
  • Able to walk 400 m in less than 15 minutes, without a walker or the help of another person.
  • No major cognitive impairment (i.e. no Alzheimer’s or other dementia)

Ultimately, of the 1635 older adults who completed the study, about two thirds were women. I found the list of chronic medical conditions interesting: 70% had hypertension, about 25% had diabetes, and 15% had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

What was the exercise intervention? The older adults assigned to exercise received a very structured and organized program of physical activity. People were ramped up toward a goal of 150 minutes/wk of walking, along with additional activities to improve strength, balance, and flexibility. 

Here are some specifics:
  • In-person activity sessions at the study center twice a week, plus home-based activity 3-4x/week.
  • Daily walking at moderate intensity, goal of 30 minutes/day
  • Lower extremity strength training using ankle weights (2 sets of 10 repetitions), goal 10 minutes/day
  • Balance training and large muscle flexibility exercises, goal 10 minutes/day of activity
Of note, the study provided personalized assistance, and helped the older participants slowly work up to these goals. The study also included a protocol to safely restart the exercise program after a hospitalization or other interruption. (For more on the exercise protocol, see this journal article which describes it in detail.)

What was the health education intervention? Half of the study volunteers participated in a health education program focused on “successful aging,” rather than the exercise program. For the first 6 months, this involved weekly workshops on various topics related to health and aging, followed by monthly sessions thereafter.

Per the study report, these topics included “ how to effectively negotiate the health care system, how to travel safely, preventive services and screenings recommended at different ages, where to go for reliable health information, nutrition, etc.” The health education sessions also included 5-10 minutes of gentle exercises.

An informational brochure on physical activity was provided at the first successful aging session, but otherwise physical activity topics weren’t included in the workshops. However, the LIFE researchers noticed that many study volunteers in the health education group began exercising during the study.

Overall, the researchers noted that the physical activity group maintained an average of 218 min/week in walking and weight training activities, whereas the health education group maintained an average of 115 min/week.

What were the results? The main outcome of interest was whether study participants developed “major mobility disability,” which the researchers defined as being unable to walk 400 meters (a quarter of a mile) unassisted, within 15 minutes. Here’s what the researchers observed over the 2.5 year follow-up period:

  • Major mobility disability happened to 30% of the exercisers, versus 35.5% of the healthy aging education group.
  • Persistent major mobility disability — meaning disability lasting at least 6 months — happened to 14.7% of the execisers and 19.8% of the education group
  • “Serious adverse events” — usually a hospitalization — happened to 49.4% of the exercisers, and 45.7% of the health education group (a difference that was not statistically significant). The reasons for hospitalization were quite varied, and often seemed unrelated to the exercise study.
  • Among the exercisers, almost 60% had to go on medical leave at least once. Half of the medical leaves lasted longer than 49 days.
  • 5.1% of the exercisers died, compared to 5.9% in the health education group. (This difference was not statistically significant.)

The New York Times coverage of this study was titled “To Age Well, Walk.” It’s a good article and I agree with the media’s general conclusion, which is that a walking program is healthy and is doable, even in people who are older and start off with physical weaknesses.

That said, I think this study highlights many additional issues that family caregivers should keep in mind:

  • Getting an older person to exercise requires consistency and a plan. This study didn’t test how a structured program compares to a far more common scenario, which is that either a doctor, or an adult child (or both), tell a sedentary older adult to walk more.
If you want your older loved one to get moving, I recommend you start by asking the doctor about any contraindications or concerns. Assuming the doctor gives an ok, you’ll then want to think hard about how to make it feasible and sustainable. For example, people of all ages tend to find it easier to exercise with another person, or a group, because it helps maintain motivation. And don’t forget that slowly ramping up the activity will be important for most sedentary adults.

You can certainly ask your loved one’s doctor for a recommendation on where to find an exercise program. But in my experience, most docs will not know where to send you, unless their own healthcare system has activity program for seniors. So you might have to sleuth around a bit to find something suitable.

Once you have a plan for exercise, try to find a way to track the daily exercise, via a pedometer or other device. (Those fancy new fitness trackers might come in handy for this purpose.) Most people like being able to see their progress, although they may not bother to track it unless the tracking is easy.

  • Physically vulnerable older adults are fairly likely to have a period of reduced mobility. I always tell people to hope for the best, but plan for the likely. Even with exercise, this study found that almost 1 in 3 seniors had a period of reduced walking ability. So I would recommend that all older adults and families consider what they’d do if this happened to them. Can the older person’s home be managed with a walker?

  • Hospitalizations are common. Almost half of the older adults in this study experienced at least one hospital stay, over 2.5 years. So if you are caring for someone similar to these study participants, it’s a good idea to have some planning in place, in case you have to help your older loved one through an emergency or a hospital stay. What does this type of planning look like? Well we could do a whole course on that topic, but at a minimum I would say:
    1. Make sure you have considered who will be involved in any surrogate decision-making; it’s very common for older adults to lose the ability to make decisions during a hospitalization.
    2. Be prepared to tell the hospital staff what the older person’s wishes are regarding resuscitation and ICU care. The ideal of course is to have completed a good process of advance care planning, but at a minimum you should be ready to answer the hospital’s questions regarding CPR and resuscitation.
    3. Plan to have a family member or advocate in the hospital with your older loved one, as much as possible.
    4. Learn to identify and minimize common hospital problems in older adults, such as delirium, falls, risky sedatives, and restraints.
    5. Educate yourself about the risks of hospitalization in general. Some good resources (for people of all ages) include the tip sheets on, as well as Elizabeth Bailey’s book on Hospital Checklists.

Leslie Kernisa, MD MPH
Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH, is a board-certified geriatrician with a special interest in helping family caregivers be proactive about health and aging. At Geriatrics for Caregivers, she provides practical, actionable information for caregivers, grounded in what geriatricians believe to be optimal healthcare for aging adults.

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.

Your Guide to Treating Bowel Incontinence

Bowel incontinence care disrupt life, lead to discomfort,
anxiety, and frustration. 
Bowel incontinence can really disrupt life, lead to discomfort, anxiety, and frustration. The following is a guide for treating bowel incontinence:

What is bowel incontinence?

Before you can treat it, you have to understand it. Bowel incontinence is the loss of bowel control, which leads to involuntary passing of stool. This can be an occasional leak of a small amount, possibly passed when passing gas, or it can be complete loss of control, or fall somewhere between the two.

Women are more likely to experience bowel incontinence than men after the age of 65.

Enter for Your Chance to Win a Prize Package from Fannypants

You could win 2 panties, 6 pads and a travel pouch!

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

As part of our “Helping You Get On With Life” sweepstakes, this month’s package includes prizes for the woman managing light incontinence on the go. Enter for your chance to win a SmartwearPanty prize bundle from Fannypants, a new line of premium-quality, machine-washable incontinence panties. 

Changing On the Go For the Active Incontinent

Tips for changing your absorbent products on the go. 
Bladder control would not be a big deal if you never had to go anywhere or do anything, but the fact is, most people have lives, jobs, activities, and things that require them to change their incontinence products on the go. 

Here are a few simple tips for changing your absorbent products on the go, and making sure you are ready for whatever is coming, no matter where you are.

Creating Solutions to Embarassing Light Bladder Leakage

There are solutions for your LBL.
I always thought only old ladies and grandmas experienced light bladder leakage. Unfortunately this is not the case. A friend asked if I wanted to attend an exercise class with her, and I gladly went. After five minutes of jumping rope, stepping up on to a step and down again, doing jumping jacks and other maneuvers for the class I knew I was in trouble. Each bounce meant a little leak, and with each leak I got a little wetter. 

Your Guide to Sleeping Well With Incontinence

5 tips to a good night's sleep with LBL
Those who suffer light bladder leakage know how hard it can be to get a good night’s sleep. Waking frequently to use the bathroom, or wetting and feeling uncomfortable can lead to disturbed sleep, and a decline in health. 

The following is a guide to a good night’s sleep with light bladder leakage:

What Causes Fecal Incontinence?

Fecal incontinence is a condition,
with many potential causes. 
Fecal incontinence occurs because of an underlying disease or illness. It is considered a condition, and has many potential causes. Figuring out what the cause is can help you to find a treatment for it.