Aging and Incontinence
According to the Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey, 16% of men and 33% of women over the age of 40 experience symptoms of urinary incontinence.
As we age our bodies naturally become more susceptible to medical conditions that can cause incontinence. Like any other medical condition, incontinence is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Through the guidance of trained medical practioners and the use of incontinence products, incontinence can be discretely managed, allowing seniors and the elderly to continue living their lives comfortably.
As we grow older, changes in our body affecting the lower urinary tract often contribute to urinary incontinence. The volume the bladder is able to hold, and the pressure on the urethra decrease with age, while the detrusor muscle (a muscle within the wall of the bladder than relaxes and constricts to store and release urine) becomes overworked and grows fatigued.
Muscles that make up the pelvic floor, including the levator ani and coccygeus, also weaken with age. The pelvic floor supports organs such as the bladder, bowels, and rectum. It also aids in the control of these organs through nerve signals it sends to the brain. If the pelvic floor weakens or if the nerves become damaged, then the loss of control of the bladder and/or bowels may occur resulting in urinary or bowel incontinence. Weakened pelvic floor muscles often cause stress incontinence (the involuntary leakage of urine during physical acitivity, such as exercise, coughing, sneezing, or laughing)
The bladder's capacity also decreases with age, effectively making the bladder smaller. The resulting decrease in the volume of urine that the bladder is able to hold can cause urge urinary incontinence (a strong, sudden need to urinate accompanied by involuntary leakage).
Other conditions brought on through old age, such as arthritis, dementia, and impaired mobility or dexterity can also cause functional incontinence (an inability to physically get to the bathroom in time). Incontinence can be comfortably and discretely managed through the guidance of your profession health care practitioner and through the use of absorbent incontinence products such as:
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