Incontinence in the Elderly
Incontinence can happen at any age but is more common in aging adults. This common part of aging can sometimes cause stress and frustration. There are a variety of risk factors that lead to the development of this issue, but it could be caused by something as simple as not drinking enough fluids to inflammation in the bladder.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Elderly incontinence is not a one–size–fits–all concern. There are varying degrees of severity and degrees cause different symptoms.
These main types of urinary incontinence are:
- Urge Incontinence – This is the most common form and is characterized by sudden urges that lead to minor leaking before making it to the toilet.
- Stress Incontinence – This type occurs when there is abdominal pressure on the bladder and is most commonly caused by sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, or cancer.
- Overflow Incontinence – This is a rare form of incontinence and is caused by someone’s bladder never completely emptying.
- Functional Incontinence – This diagnosis is reserved for seniors that develop incontinence due to some other disability. This could include Alzheimer’s disease, MS, or stroke complications.
- Mixed Incontinence – This is when patients experience multiple types of incontinence. This is especially prominent in women.
Treatment and Management of Urinary Incontinence in Seniors
After being diagnosed, there are surgical treatments, medications, therapies, and medical devices that can help alleviate symptoms associated with incontinence. In most cases, it is very treatable for patients.
Some of the common options for treatment include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Bladder training
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Urethral inserts
The most important step is to seek help for urinary incontinence. Many times, there is embarrassment associated with these issues that prevents seniors from seeking help. Urinary incontinence is treatable for the elderly if diagnosed early.
Finding Senior Support from McGregor PACE
At McGregor PACE, we provide services that address the medical, rehabilitative, social, and personal care needs of Cuyahoga County’s seniors. It is our goal to offer the support and services that participants need most.