According to the CDC, incontinence affects about 50% of Americans age 65 and older. Due to its prevalence, many people assume that incontinence is just a normal part of the aging process. But incontinence isn’t an isolated issue. Older adults suffering from incontinence may also find themselves isolated and depressed. In fact, there is a direct correlation between incontinence and depression. For many people, having an accident in public is highly embarrassing, and in order to avoid a chance for that type of incident to occur, people suffering from incontinence end up staying home, becoming less social, and therefore becoming depressed.
Understanding the Options
The key to avoiding the pitfalls of incontinence comes in understanding the nature of the issue and seeking treatment, rather than allowing acceptance.
There are four types of incontinence:
- Stress incontinence: Leakage occurs when exercising, sneezing, coughing or laughing.
- Urge incontinence: A person has a sudden need to urinate and can’t hold it.
- Overflow incontinence: urine leaks for a bladder which is always full. This can be from an enlarged prostrate, or an effect of diabetes or a spinal cord injury.
- Functional incontinence: Arthritis or another medical issue makes it hard to get to the bathroom in time.
For all four types of incontinence, there are treatments available. Some people find great help in behavioral therapies, which includes a schedule for going to the bathroom. There are also exercises that can help strengthen bladder control, medicines to control symptoms, and even surgery as an option.
Also, improved incontinence products are helping older Americans avoid the social isolation and depression linked with incontinence. Products that look and feel like underwear make people feel more comfortable going out in public even if there’s a chance of an accident. There are even services that can deliver these products to your door, to avoid the embarrassment of making purchases at the store.
Don’t Let Incontinence Keep You Home
At Piedmont Home Health, our priority is helping our clients lead healthy lives and continue to participate in activities they enjoy as long as they are able. Sometimes that includes helping clients understand their incontinence symptoms and learn ways to manage or treat them.
We also understand that many children with elderly parents might feel uncomfortable dealing with the effects of incontinence as their parents age, and that’s where our services can be of help.