Incontinence is an issue that not many people like to discuss. It’s more prevalent than you may think, with more than 12 million United States residents suffering from it every single day. People of all ages can suffer from the inconvenient and embarrassing condition, however the majority of people who do feel the effects of it are over the age of sixty. It is also a lot more common in women than it is in men. This really is largely owing to the fact that it’s the females who have children and therefore the muscles that control leakage from the bladder often let them down. If you’re planning to or already do look after the elderly then it is an issue you will probably have to face sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately, the elderly are at risk of having a minimum of one of the numerous causes of incontinence. These include, but aren’t limited to weakened pelvic muscles, urinary tract infections, an enlarged prostate gland in men, diabetes, high calcium levels within the body, a thinning of the vagina wall in women as well as an inability to move about. Most seniors have a minimum of one of the above, or even a mix of them and therefore they can’t control their urinary functioning.

There are four different sorts of incontinence, and the elderly may suffer with all four if their pelvic muscles are particularly weak. They are stress, urge, functional and overflow. The pressure placed on the bladder from the stomach muscles when laughing or sneezing usually causes stress incontinence. Functional incontinence occurs when somebody cannot reach the toilet in time but generally has good bladder control. Overflow incontinence predominantly occurs in males with an enlarged prostate, which blocks the urinary tract to the point that bladder actually becomes overly full. Every one of these occur in the elderly, however the most common form of it is urge incontinence, where the person is not actually given enough warning before they need to go.

Unfortunately, incontinence is not necessarily treatable in seniors. Younger people who have problems with incontinence can perform a series of exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles or practice bladder control exercises. However, it is unreasonable to count on the elderly to do this. Prescription medication is available to help to stem the problem, especially if the senior in question possesses a bladder, kidney or urinary tract infection, but it is not advisable for diabetics to take it and itmay actually make symptoms worse. It is a natural part of aging and really should be accepted as such reality.

This doesn’t help you if you’re caring for someone who is suffering from incontinence. You may well end up changing her or him every hour or so, which would also produce a sense of embarrassment and discomfort for the individual involved. This also runs the risk of getting pressure sores. However, you can buy incontinence pads that actually work much the same as nappies, absorbing moisture and sealing it away from the body. Although it may not feel comfortable to wear them, it may certainly be much better than soaking in wet clothes.

Incontinence is an unfortunate problem for many members of the elderly population because it’s a result of the body breaking down. It is just a matter of learning how to cope with it without making the senior you care for feel too embarrassed and ashamed. That’s totally dependent on the individual.

These are powerful points we wrote in our article, but it would be a mistake to believe that this is all there is to this subject.  We have found other places like this one about senior care that you might find useful too.  If liked the article please share it with your friends on Facebook.

 

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