Elder care

Treating Incontinence in the Elderly

Incontinence is one of the most embarrassing health problems you could have. Even if you’re elderly, the idea of not being able to control your bladder can be mortifying. If you’re suffering from this ailment, don’t feel like there’s nothing you can to help yourself.

Despite the fact that incontinence is common, it’s not normal, and you don’t have to suffer in silence.There are a variety of treatments out there to help you cope and possibly even cure you.

urinal-incontinence

Behavioral Therapies

Before your health care provider jumps towards medication or more invasive procedures, they will want to begin with behavioral therapies. These can include pelvic floor strenghtening exercises, scheduled bathroom trips to keep the bladder voided as much as possible, and diet/fluid management. Bladder training has also shown to be quite effective, as it teaches your bladder to empty twice in one bathroom trip, ensuring your bladder is as empty as it can possibly be.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

It’s possible your incontinence is caused by a hormone imbalance or a lack of hormones. Sometimes taking a hormone replacement can help with the atrophy of the skin that lines the bladder and urethra that is caused by menopause. Your doctor can prescribe a vaginal ring, a cream, or even a patch to replace missing estrogen.

Muscle Relaxers

In the case of incontinence in men, it’s usually caused by an enlarged prostate. Muscle relaxers will shrink the prostate and allow the muscles responsible for urination to relax. If the bladder is unable to contract doctors can prescribe a medication to help the bladder muscles contract.

Medical Devices for Women

If medication isn’t enough, medical inserts can be used to help prevent urine leakage. Urethral inserts look like tampons and are inserted into the urethra during activities that promote leaking, like running. They aren’t commonly prescribed because they have to be removed to urinate and they can sometimes cause discomfort. A pessary resembles a diaphragm and is inserted into the vagina to support the bladder. It’s put in by a medical professional but you’ll have to go in every three months to have it cleaned, inspected, and replaced.

Surgery

Surgery is a last ditch effort to treat your incontinence and isn’t performed without careful consideration between your doctor and you. Sling procedures treat stress incontinence by creating a hammock underneath the urethra, keeping it closed when you laugh or sneeze. Some doctors perform nerve stimulation for overactive bladders where small electrodes are placed under the skin near the buttocks that signal the body when the bladder needs to be voided.

According to the Dri Sleeper website, stopping incontinence, especially when it leads to bed-wetting, is a team effort that must be performed with your loved ones and your doctor. Like most serious health conditions, if it’s negatively impacting your life, you must seek the guidance of a medical expert who knows the way to help you. With the advice of your doctor, you can find relief from this very embarrassing health problem and live a normal and happy life.

A post by LarryAlton (7 Posts)

LarryAlton is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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