Over ten million elderly Americans suffer from urinary incontinence. It is a symptom in which elders find it difficult to control their bladder. Hence, untimely accidents take place – sometimes it even affects the elderly person’s emotional disposition and self-esteem.
All Care Professional Home Health, Inc., a provider of Home Health Care Services in Arlington, Texas, lays down some basic facts you should know about urinary incontinence among the elderly.
The Function of the Urinary Bladder
The urinary bladder is responsible for storing urine. When we urinate, the muscles in the bladder tighten in order to move urine into the urethra. On the other hand, the muscles around the urethra relax so as to move urine outside of the body.
What Urinary Incontinence Does to the Bladder
People who suffer from urinary incontinence have weak muscles in and around the bladder. They do not work the way they should. They sometimes contract and relax without warning. This results in uncontrollable leaking of urine.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence in the elderly can take various forms. Here are the main types of urinary incontinence:
- Urge Incontinence.
This is also called as overactive bladder. This is caused by the involuntary contractions of the bladder, which makes elders experience the urge to urinate. They leak urine even before they arrive at the toilet.
- Stress Incontinence.
This happens when an increase in abdominal pressure interferes the closing pressure of the bladder. Thus, elders who suffer from stress incontinence can accidentally leak urine just be sneezing or getting out of a chair.
- Overflow Incontinence.
This occurs when the bladder does not completely empty. As a consequence, elders frequently feel the need to go to the bathroom.
- Functional Incontinence.
This is the type of urinary incontinence that is caused by certain disabilities, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and dementia. Elders feel like urinating but are unable to carry out a trip to the bathroom.
- Mixed Incontinence.
Some elders experience more than one type of urinary incontinence. For instance, an elder with Alzheimer’s disease typically suffers from both urge and functional incontinence.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence can happen for many reasons, such as:
- Old Age.
As a person ages, the bladder’s capacity to store urine decreases. Involuntary bladder contractions also become more frequent.
- Health Condition.
Urinary incontinence may be due to certain diseases and disorders. Some of the health conditions that can result in urinary incontinence include urinary tract infection and neurological disorders.
Some medications may have diuretic side effects.
What Urinary Incontinence Does to Elders
Urinary incontinence can lower an elders’ quality of life. A number of elders confess that they no longer want to attend social events for fear of being ridiculed when accidents take place. They are also scared of engaging in physical activities because it may prompt them lose control.
If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, contact your doctor right away. You may also want to seek the help of Health Care Professionals in Texas, like All Care Professional Home Health, Inc. There are several treatments available as well as medical supplies that can be used to help promote better urinary continence for the elderly. Your care provider can discuss this with you in more detail. Just ask!