What is incontinence?
Generally speaking, incontinence is the involuntary leaking of urine. Incontinence can affect people of all ages, but most prominently affects those over 65. Urinary incontinence is widely under-diagnosed and under-reported even though it affects up to 85% of seniors.
What causes incontinence?
There are four types of urinary incontinence. Each is diagnosed and treated differently. These types include stress, urge, mixed, overflow, and sometimes functional incontinence. The varying characteristics of each type make it difficult to identify the exact cause, as incontinence is usually a symptom of another issue.
Although we associate incontinence with older age, it can appear at any time. Usually the condition develops when bladder muscles are too weak or too active—young or old. It’s important to remember that there are circumstances aside from natural aging that cause incontinence. A woman can involuntarily leak urine after pelvic muscles stretch from childbirth. Prostate problems in men can cause incontinence. Diabetes, neurological disorders, and other diseases are also associated with incontinence. To determine the exact cause, it’s important to have a thorough physical exam with urinalysis as well as any other physician recommended ultrasounds and tests.
How is Incontinence Treated?
Depending on the type and severity, the condition may be treatable. There are a variety of products and techniques available. Treatment really boils down to your specific condition, overall health and what methods best suit your lifestyle. A doctor may recommend exercises, medication, medical equipment or in some cases surgery. Since most people experience either stress incontinence or urge incontinence, behavioral and lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, can provide some relief.
AT Home Care understands that many people are overwhelmed by incontinence, and are either too confused or embarrassed to seek treatment. Fortunately, when our experienced and compassionate staff treats patients in their homes, there is a comfortable environment to discuss and handle incontinence. The AT Home Care team is dedicated to uncovering how and why a person struggles with incontinence. Our goal is to subtly approach the issue, and treat it in a way that allows patients to retain a sense of dignity.