Aging can be a difficult, delicate process.\nAs your parent or loved one gets older, you watch tasks that used to come easily for them slip away. You likely want to help them maintain their quality of life and keep their dignity at the same time.\nA common issue many elderly face is bladder incontinence, though some also experience bowel incontinence.\nThe inability to control their bladder or bowel movements can greatly compromise their dignity. Just coming to terms with incontinence is hard since it\u2019s such a very personal topic.\nHowever, it\u2019s important to note that incontinence is not the affected person\u2019s fault. People can address this problem in an effective and dignified manner.\nRELATED:\u00a0How Balance Therapy Helps Seniors with Fall Risk\nFactors that Cause Incontinence\nLoss of bladder control is very common, especially among women.\nThings that lead to incontinence in middle-aged women include:\n\nPregnancy\nChildbirth\nMenopause\n\nIn the elderly, the most common reason for bladder leakage is weakening of the bladder and pelvic muscles. This occurs naturally in both men and women as they age, and simply means it is more difficult to keep from urinating.\nMany elderly people experience bladder incontinence, but knowing how to address it can be confusing and embarrassing.\nFind a UPMC primary care doctor:\n\nCall 1-855-676-UPMC (8762).\nVisit\u00a0UPMC Find a Doctor.\nLearn more at the\u00a0UPMC Primary Care website.\n\nWhen Is It Time for Adult Diapers?\nAdult diapers \u2014 also called briefs and incontinence pads \u2014 provide a great solution for many people.\nBut there are a few steps to take before turning to diapers.\nIf you or a loved one is experiencing bladder leakage, consider the following.\nFor younger or middle-aged women with incontinence due to childbirth:\n\nA thin panty liner or protector in the underwear can be enough for accidental leaks during a sneeze or laugh attack.\n\nFor elderly people or those with persistent, significant incontinence:\n\nA doctor can perform urodynamic tests to learn the underlying cause of the leakage.\nTesting involves both physical exams and urine measurement.\nIn some cases, medicine or other treatment can resolve the issue.\n\nBut sometimes, medicine can\u2019t help incontinence due to aging.\nAs they age, an elderly loved one\u2019s bladder leakage may result in an unpleasant odor, or cause them to wet the bed.\nSome people need to strategically plan car trips and social events to stay close to a bathroom and avoid embarrassing leakage. They may start to wear clothing that hides wet stains.\nIt may be time to talk to your loved one about wearing adult diapers when:\n\nIncontinence begins interfering with their daily life.\nTheir doctor determines no other treatments can help control leakage.\n\nRELATED: Physical Therapy for Incontinence\nBeginning to Wear Adult Diapers\nBladder leakage is embarrassing, and many people are sensitive to the word \u201cdiaper\u201d due to its connection with babies. If this is the case for your loved one, try changing your language and using a different term.\nTalk with them about their concerns and help them see the benefits of adult diapers, including:\n\nComfort \u2014 wearing a diaper can help avoid much of the discomfort felt when bladder leaks happen in regular clothing.\nLess stress \u2014 with adult diapers, the worry of clothing stains goes down. They also resolve the anxiety of constantly searching for a bathroom nearby when leaks happen.\nStyle \u2014 most adult diapers today are absorbent while still being thin and discreet under many types of clothing.\nConvenience \u2014 modern adult diapers usually pull on and off in the same way as underwear, so they\u2019re easy to change.\n\nConsider the following items before starting to wear adult diapers:\n\nTake body measurements to make sure you\u2019re getting the right sized diaper.\nIn contrast to all-plastic diapers, breathable briefs may be a less bulky and noisy option.\nIt may take some trial and error to learn what clothing you can wear without noticing a diaper underneath.\nBuying diapers online can be discrete and provide some privacy.\n\nDuring the loss of independence that comes with aging, the loss of bladder control is perhaps the hardest to deal with.\nWhether you or a loved one suffers from incontinence, it helps to understand the benefits adult diapers can provide. Realizing it\u2019s time to transition to wearing adult diapers may not be as tough as you think.