Myth or Fact: “Incontinence is a natural part of aging and is inevitable.”


By Christine Pruneau, RN, BSN

Myth or Fact? The Truth about Incontinence: “Incontinence is a natural part of aging and is inevitable.”

MYTH!

Many people believe that urinary incontinence is a normal part of aging. Though it is somewhat common, it is not considered normal by medical experts. Incontinence is very manageable.

People (often Seniors) with urinary incontinence don’t always seek advice from professionals. They try to deal with the problem themselves but are not always successful. They may limit trips outside their homes and needlessly isolate themselves from friends and family. Falls and fractures are not uncommon as they race to a bathroom so as not to embarrass themselves by being wet. Other conditions such as urinary tract infections and skin breakdown are a result of poor management of incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is not a normal part of aging. To help, start by bringing up the subject with your doctor or a nurse. Once health care professionals are informed of a potential issue, they can pursue the matter in a tactful and helpful way. Many primary care practitioners already inquire about incontinence during patient visits. Tell them the truth about what you are experiencing. They have many ways they can help.

This web site has a number of helpful hints to manage urinary incontinence at home. Read this post from January 13th, 2010 for helpful hints about talking to your healthcare professional. You might also read the Jan. 5th posting about foods and beverages that can influence urinary incontinence. Kimberly Crew’s “Incontinence Product Overview” can guide you as to how to find the proper products to manage any difficulties.

 

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