If you suffer from incontinence, you may feel embarrassed or ashamed, but many seniors suffer from this. Almost half of those over the age of 85 suffer from urinary incontinence and overall, about a third of men and women in the United States have urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, since many people are embarrassed and don’t want to talk about it, they simply suffer in silence, when there are steps that could be easily taken to increase comfort and reduce anxiety. Speaking to your doctor about it can lead to treatment and relieving urinary incontinence. Methods like diapers for adults, disposable bed pads for incontinence, or mattress protectors can all help control urinary incontinence as well. But what causes this? What are some common treatments?
How can you alleviate symptoms?
What to Know About Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence basically means that there’s urine leaking that you can’t control. It can have negative effects on emotional and social level for those experiencing it and many people may not seek help.
There’s no specific thing that causes urinary incontinence, but there are certainly factors that can increase your risk of developing it. Aging is a primary factor. Being obese can increase your risk as well. For women, the number of times you’ve been pregnant and delivered a child can also impact your risk — the more children, the higher your risk. Since pregnancy tends to put excess stress on your bladder, that’s not too surprising. For males, men who experience issues with their prostate can have a higher risk of developing it and some medication can make you more at risk as well.
Having a generally unhealthy lifestyle — heavy drinking, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., — can also contribute to your increased risk.
How Can I Tell At the Onset?
There are a couple things that signal you may have urinary incontinence. Leaking urine is one of them. If you’re wetting the bed or can’t stop leaking urine while you’re active, that may be one sign. The intense need to urinate is another sign and the urge may cause you to urinate without realizing. In some cases, these two things may happen simultaneously.
It’s important to note that UTI’s for women can be a sign of temporary incontinence and should be taken care of — damage can be done if UTI’s aren’t treated, and they can be painful if left alone.
So if you’re noticing that you’re dribbling urine or urinating frequently in small amounts, those can be signs that you are suffering from urinary incontinence. At this point, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor and see what you can do. There are a number of ways to make it more comfortable for you, such as disposable mattress pads– you don’t have to suffer in silence! We’ll discuss those methods below.
How Can I Manage My Incontinence?
One of the simplest ways — and more unobtrusive ways — is to use absorbent materials like diapers for adults, washable bed pads for incontinence, or even just panty liners. Diapers for adults can be found in any drug store or big retailer — you can even order them online if you don’t want to be seen checking out with them. It’s a good way to keep your privacy and dignity, if you’re embarrassed.
Catheters with urine drainage bags are another option, though these are more obvious. But if your incontinence is really bad, this is a practical option, especially as you sleep. These collect your urine and can be disposed of in the morning. Catheters are also used for those who are bedridden.
Commodes, bedpans, and urinals are other options if getting to the bathroom quickly isn’t possible, as they can easily be stored near the bed for easy access and don’t take up much space.
And of course, there are a variety of medications that your doctor may be able to recommend to treat urinary incontinence. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.
If you have urinary incontinence, seek treatment! You can easily go about your daily routine with no embarrassment or shame, when you know how to manage it, either through diapers for adults or medication.