What urinary incontinence treatments exist for the elderly?
Whilst incontinence is NOT an inevitable part of ageing, changes that occur with the natural ageing process may contribute to incontinence. This means that many people find themselves suffering from symptoms of urinary incontinence as they get older. The good news is that there are treatments available, no matter what your age. This is not something that you just have to live with! So if you want to find a treatment for elderly urinary incontinence and start enjoying a better quality of life – keep reading!
What causes age incontinence?
Our bodies naturally change as we get older, which can lead to incontinence symptoms in some older people. For example, bladder problems can arise because of:
- The natural enlargement of the prostate in men
- The progressive decrease of oestrogen after the menopause in women
Saying that, you might be experiencing urinary incontinence for reasons that are not related to your age whatsoever. Incontinence can be caused by something as simple as drinking too much liquid, to something more serious like a problem with your urinary tract or reproductive organs. If you want to find out more, take a look at our dedicated section on the platform.
What urinary incontinence treatments are there for older people?
Some people assume that if you are elderly and suffering with incontinence, then the only treatments available are self-care products such as incontinence pads. But whilst these can be useful at moments, especially to help improve day-to-day confidence, there are many other options available. First of all, you can try pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen the muscles that control the release of urine. Even if you are not particularly active, this doesn’t mean you can’t try these easy exercises. They can be done when you are sitting down watching TV, or lying down in bed. They only take a few minutes a day – take a look at our resources on how men and women can do them correctly here.
In addition, there is a wide variety of medications, mechanical treatments (such as catheters and pessaries), and surgical interventions that can greatly improve the symptoms of urinary incontinence in the elderly. One example is sacral neuromodulation, which involves placing a small device into the lower back, next to the sacral nerve. The sacral nerve is involved in emptying the bladder, so by stimulating this with an electrical current, it is possible to restore the bladder to a healthier function. Whatever treatment you think may suit you or the person you care for, the first step is discussing your symptoms with a healthcare professional. Find out more detail on possible treatments and then get some advice on starting the conversation.
How can older people with urinary incontinence have a better quality of life and so live better?
If you suffer from bladder problems yourself, or you care for someone who does, then improving quality of life is probably top of your agenda. Urinary incontinence can cause stress and anxiety, making it harder for elderly people to socialise. Feeling comfortable to leave the house and meet friends and family is essential, (no matter how many candles you have on your birthday cake), so we want to give you all the support we can in achieving this. On the platform, you can find tips and advice for living with age incontinence that we hope you will find useful.
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