Seniors and Continence

Incontinence is a health issue that affects many people. It is not a part of normal aging and there are many treatment options available. There’s a lot you can do to help yourself and experts can help you find the treatment that is right for you.

Facts
Types of Incontinence
Contributing Factors
Treatment Options
Resources

Facts

  • 55% of women and 30% of men over 65 have urinary incontinence (Canadian Urinary Bladder Survey, 2003)
  • Three out of four people with incontinence don’t seek help
  • Seniors with incontinence have twice the rate of depression than those who do not have the condition
  • Urinary incontinence, dementia and stroke are the three chronic conditions that most adversely affect an individual’s health-related quality of life
  • Incontinence affects all parts of a person’s life including social interactions, sex life, ability to work, travel, play sports, participation in community life

Types of Incontinence

  • Stress Incontinence Link to external site: leakage when coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting or other activity that causes abdominal pressure to be stronger than the bladder’s closure mechanism
  • Urge Incontinence Link to external site: a strong desire to urinate and the inability to delay voiding long enough to get to a toilet
  • Overflow Incontinence Link to external site: frequent leakage of urine without the urge to void or the inability to urinate normal volumes
  • Functional Incontinence Link to external site: normal bladder function but cannot get to the toilet in time due to problems moving, thinking or communicating

Contributing Factors

Treatment Options

  • Consultation with continence advisor (see Resources)
  • Exercise to strengthen the pelvic muscles
  • Medication (from physician)
  • Surgery (in some cases)
  • Absorbent products or collection devices (it’s important to have the product that is right for you)
Discuss all treatment options with your health care professional. Something new may have been developed which may be appropriate for you.

Resources