Gardening with Incontinence

14 May 2024

Gardening with Incontinence

Gardening is a wonderful, low-impact activity that drastically improves your quality of life. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting, understanding how to balance incontinence with gardening can be very fulfilling.

In this post, we'll explore how you can live with incontinence while pursuing your passion for gardening. Through practical advice on managing incontinence while gardening, you can learn how to thrive in your own green space.

What Causes Incontinence?

Incontinence can stem from various factors:

  • Weak pelvic floor muscles—Weak pelvic muscles can result from childbirth, surgery, or natural ageing and lead to stress incontinence, where coughing, sneezing, or lifting heavy objects trigger leaks.
  • Medical conditions - Diseases such as diabetes, stroke, or neurological conditions like Parkinson's disease can interfere with nerve signals related to bladder control, leading to urge incontinence.
  • Prostate issues - In men, an enlarged prostate gland or prostate surgery can contribute to incontinence.
  • Menopause - Hormonal changes during menopause can affect bladder control in women, increasing the incidence of incontinence.
  • Lifestyle factors - Obesity, heavy lifting, and certain types of medication can exacerbate the risk of developing incontinence.

Types of Incontinence Affecting Gardeners

Given the typical tasks and activities involved in gardening, there are two main types of incontinence common among gardeners.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity — such as bending over to pull weeds, lifting heavy pots or bags of soil, or even vigorous raking — puts pressure on the bladder, causing leakage.

Urge Incontinence

Also known as overactive bladder, urge incontinence involves a sudden, intense urge to urinate followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Rushing to the toilet can be challenging during gardening activities when you’re far away from the bathroom.

Benefits of Gardening for People with Incontinence

Gardening offers many benefits for people with incontinence. It is a low-impact exercise that provides excellent psychological and emotional relief. Here’s how gardening can positively influence those with incontinence.

Low-Impact Exercise

Gardening is a gentle way to stay active. It involves stretching, bending, and walking, which can strengthen the muscles in the pelvic area, improving bladder control and reducing the severity of incontinence symptoms.

Regular low-impact exercise like gardening increases overall physical health without putting too much strain on the body.

Psychological Benefits

Gardening is a deeply satisfying activity that can boost your mood and self-esteem. Garden tasks, such as planting seeds or pruning plants, provide a sense of accomplishment. Creating and nurturing life can also be a powerful distraction from any stress associated with incontinence.

The Therapeutic Effects of Being Outdoors

Being outdoors in a green environment has well-known therapeutic effects. Exposure to sunlight increases vitamin D levels, which are essential for bone health and overall well-being.

Natural settings also reduce mental fatigue and stress. This calming aspect of the outdoors can reduce the frequency of urge incontinence episodes by lowering anxiety and stress levels, which are often triggers for incontinence episodes.

When is the best time to garden with incontinence?

Timing can make or break your comfort when gardening with incontinence. Be sure to plan your gardening sessions after using the bathroom to lower the chance of any accidents.

Similarly, the early morning or late afternoon can be ideal, as the garden is often cooler during these times. Also, consider the forecast, as cooler, overcast days might mean you can stay outdoors in the garden longer without becoming uncomfortable.

Choosing the Right Gardening Gear for Incontinence

Wearing the right incontinence products can also make a world of difference when it comes to feeling secure and comfortable while gardening. Absorbent, discreet pads or incontinence pants are designed specifically for physical activity like gardening. These will prevent leakage and control odour, so you can focus on your garden tasks without worrying about accidents.

Use ergonomic, comfortable tools that make gardening more accessible, especially when bending or squatting. This includes tools with longer handles (e.g. hoes, forks, rakes) that can be used when standing up, so you don’t need to bend as much. Also, consider a garden kneeler with a handle to support getting up and down from the ground.

You can also adapt gardening methods to manage your incontinence symptoms and protect your physical health. Use raised beds or container gardens at waist height to reduce the need to stoop. Drip irrigation systems also minimise the need for frequent watering, reducing strain.

Enjoy gardening again with Incontinence Shop

At Incontinence Shop, we understand the challenges of gardening for those with incontinence problems and are here to help you manage your symptoms effectively.

Our wide range of incontinence products is designed to provide protection, comfort, and confidence, allowing you to garden with less fuss. Whether you're dealing with the occasional leak or more frequent episodes of urinary leakage, we have a solution tailored to your needs.

Explore our selection of absorbent pads, pants, protective underwear, and accessories, each designed to offer the best protection for different types of incontinence. With the right products, you can reduce the impact of urinary incontinence on your life, even when gardening.

And for prices lower than supermarket costs—even for the most premium brands like TENA and Drylife—Incontinence Shop is the best choice for those looking for incontinence products in bulk, such as nursing home caregivers.

Plus, if you subscribe to your incontinence product of choice, you can enjoy 10% off every order and convenient doorstep delivery.