For many adults, the urge to go to the bathroom can be delayed, but for the more than 50% of elderly Americans suffering from incontinence, putting off elimination isn’t an option.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, about half of older Americans surveyed have experienced accidental urinary or bowel leakage; 25% had moderate to very severe urinary leakage, while 8% had moderate to very severe bowel leakage.
Incontinence basically occurs as a result of weakened muscles or feeble bladder control, combined with an overactive bladder. Accidental leakage occurs when the muscles are too frail to hold urine (or bowel). Urinary tract infections, high calcium intake, weaker pelvic muscles, a thinning and childbirth-induced loosening of the vagina wall in women, and an enlarged prostate gland in men, are also known contributing factors. Incontinence may also be caused by diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, or nerve damage caused by a stroke, a tumor, or injury in the spinal cord and brain.
Incontinence is a sensitive issue for the elderly as they start to feel a loss of control that can severely impact their lifestyle and their self-esteem. Many avoid embarrassment by declining help from other people, choosing to keep the problem to themselves. Consequently, with improper hygiene, the elderly develop skin infections and foul body odor.
Bladder and bowel incontinence is prevalent among the elderly; in many cases, however, incontinence can be treated with medication and certain exercises, or eased with the help of a nurse or caregiver. Elderly residents living in Fairfax, VA can benefit from in-home health care or assisted living services that local senior care companies, such as Comfort Keepers, provide.
Assisted living services are ideal for seniors who prefer to stay and live independently in their own homes in Fairfax. Caregivers are well-trained to assess the problems sensitively, and can recommend a care plan to alleviate their patient’s condition. In addition, in-home caregivers can assist in other day-to-day living tasks, such as meal preparation, medication intake, transportation, laundry, housekeeping, feeding, and many more. The goal is to enhance the overall life quality of the elderly without detriment to their dignity and sense of independence.
Source: Over Half of Seniors Plagued by Incontinence: CDC, Consumer Health Day
Source: Dealing with incontinence in the elderly, Elderly Care Tips