Bladder control is a common problem among seniors, and it can’t almost always be treated or cured, but it can be managed. Also, bladder incontinence as a bladder control problem isn’t a disease, but a symptom of other problems in the body. A bladder control problem is one that allows urine to escape involuntarily. The problem with incontinence or lack of bladder control is that it can have a negative effect on the life of a senior. It can affect feelings of well-being as well cause social embarrassment too.
There are a number of options which can help to restore the quality of life here, but first, the types of incontinence:
Types of incontinence
There are four types of incontinence which causes seniors problems. They are stress, urge, overflow and functional. These may occur in a combination or just alone. Below are the explanations of the difference between the types of bladder incontinence issues:
- Stress incontinence: This type occurs when there is increased pressure on the bladder. A small amount of urine will leak when a person laughs, sneezes, coughs or lifts something heavy. It’s more common in senior women because childbirth when younger causes these muscles to relax with age. It will sometimes occur in men who have had prostate surgery.
- Urge incontinence: This is caused when a person can’t reach the toilet in time when the urge to urinate hits. This accounts for about 60-70 % of seniors with incontinence problems.
- Overflow incontinence: This occurs about 15-20% of the time in seniors who have urinary incontinence. The senior has an obstruction in the bladder, and it will cause the bladder to overfill. Usually there isn’t a sensation that the bladder is full so when the bladder has a contraction the urine is released.
- Functional incontinence: This happens in about 25% of incontinence situations in institutions. The person has a hard time moving from one place to another. In addition, the person may have a vision or physical problem which may cause an issue with reaching the bathroom in time. This type of incontinence can also occur at home.
Causes of incontinence
There are different causes of incontinence, and these are not always caused by aging. Some of the causes are diseases such as muscular sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and diabetes to name a few. Other causes can be weakened pelvic floor muscles, a stroke or the side effects of surgery or injuries. Also, certain medications can cause sudden incontinence such as a diuretic. In addition, constipation, bladder infections, and drinking a large amount of fluids can contribute to incontinence.
Treatment options for incontinence
There are treatments for incontinence which can help. These treatments include doing Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Bladder retraining is another option as well as changes in the diet. In addition, modifying surroundings so that the person has an easier time reaching the toilet as well as wearing easy to remove clothing can be done. There are also surgical solutions such as bladder suspension, artificial sphincter placement and collagen injections.
If bladder control problems are an issue, there are treatments options which may help. Incontinence, in most cases, can be treated, managed or cured.