Incontinence Community

The Relationship Between Incontinence and Accidental Falls

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
01/25/16  9:51 AM PST
Incontinence and Accidental Falls

Urinary incontinence can contribute to accidental falls in several ways. See how incontinence and accidental falls are connected:

• Incontinence episodes may lead to slips on wet floor surfaces.

• Urge incontinence may increase fall risk when a person hurries to the toilet to avoid wetting themselves.

• Episodes of urinary incontinence may be transitory and often related to acute illness, such as urinary tract infections that can cause incontinence, delirium, drowsiness and hypotension.

• Medications used to treat incontinence, such as anticholinergics or alpha blockers, can cause postural hypotension.

• Waking up to urinate at night can result in poor sleep, which is associated with increased fall risk.

• Making frequent bathroom trips at night, through a poorly lit or obstructed pathway, may increase fall risk.


Strategies to reduce fall risk:

• Ensure the person is wearing suitable clothes that can be easily removed by his- or herself or by a loved one, and that s/he wears footwear to reduce slipping on urine.

• Consider a non-slip mat on the floor beside the bed for people who experience urinary incontinence when transferring from bed.

• Keep the pathway to the toilet obstacle free and leave a night light on in the bedroom/bathroom at night.

• Assess whether the use of absorbent products such as adult diapers, undergarments or underpads is necessary.

Click here for a room-by-room checklist to fall-proof the home: Preventing Falls at Home: A Safety Checklist


1 Comment

  1. Patricia Belyeu
    Posted March 2, 2016 at 5:13 pm PDT

    I have urge incontinence, &Shieldhealth care is wonderful. I wish I could continue to use them;The State of California is trying to charge me $1,592, per month for my supplies & help…. If this mess is straightneed out,I will use SHIELD HEALTHCARE, again…

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