Wee Answer Wednesday: Election Edition
1.Is incontinence a normal part of aging?
NO. I repeat… IT IS NOT A NORMAL PART OF AGING!!!
Got it? See the answer below from Dr. Leslie Kernisan who is a senior medical editor at Caring.com and a clinical instructor in the University of California, San Francisco, Division of Geriatrics. “Anyone can develop it — the loss of bladder or bowel control causing leakage — although certain groups are at higher risk. But it’s a myth that incontinence is an expected part of growing older. It isn’t normal; but reflects an underlying problem. It is a symptom, not a disease.
“What is true is that the odds of developing incontinence increase with age. There are several reasons for this:
- With aging, there is more wear-and-tear on the muscles and other tissues involved with urination and elimination, causing them to weaken and lessening their control.
- Older men are more likely to have prostate problems, such as an enlarged prostate, which can block urine flow.
- Increasing age makes one more likely to have had surgeries, such as a hysterectomy or colorectal surgery that affects the relevant structures.”
2. As a caregiver, how can I lessen embarrassment for an incontinent person?
The best response will likely vary based on your relationship with the person. The best default is just to show no embarrassment yourself. If you treat it as a matter of fact thing that has to be dealt with then they will likely follow your lead. Avoid joking unless you’re really secure in your relationship with that person as it’s easy to cause offense about such a sensitive subject.
3. What are the most common causes of bladder incontinence in older men?
Anyone can develop it. There are two broad categories – long term and short term. Common reasons for temporary incontinence can include a medication side effect, drinking too much caffeine or alcohol or a urinary tract infection. When the situation changes or is treated, the incontinence tends to end quickly.
The five most common causes of longer term urinary incontinence in men are:
Urge incontinence: This is a sudden, strong need to urinate before the leakage. People with urge incontinence may always feel a need to “go,” but then they may not feel the need once they’re in a bathroom. Or they may feel a need to urinate frequently, especially at night. Even after voiding, the urine may continue to dribble out. Some common causes include Parkinson’s Disease, an enlarged prostate, diabetes or stroke.
Overflow incontinence: This is when you never feel the urge to urinate and the bladder simply keeps filling, until small amounts literally overflow the bladder and leak out. This is commonly associated with nerve damage that interrupts the signals to the brain or an enlarged prostate.
Functional incontinence: This means there is nothing wrong with your bladder but physical limitations impair the ability to use a toilet promptly. This can be the result of arthritis or Parkinson’s Disease, which makes it difficult to move quickly and efficiently. Those suffering from dementia may have incontinence if they forget or don’t notice their need to go to the bathroom.
Stress incontinence: This kind of incontinence occurs when pressure (the “stress” in its name) is put on the abdomen, such as when sneezing, coughing, getting out of bed or a chair, laughing, or doing some kinds of exercise. The musculature involved may weaken with age or from damage following surgery, such as colorectal surgery or prostate cancer surgery.
Mixed incontinence: Many older people have a combination of types of incontinence, such as stress incontinence with urge incontinence, or urge incontinence with functional incontinence.
Well, it’s the day after the election and we hope you voted! Either way, now the election is over and we look forward to returning to our regularly scheduled television programming!
And in honor of the election, here are few political questions…
4. Will health care reform change my ability to get Men’s Liberty at little to no out-of-pocket cost?
Nope. Men’s Liberty is covered by Medicare, most state Medicaids, VA/TriCare and most private insurance plans right now.
5. If I have to stand in line for hours, can I wear my Men’s Liberty when I go to vote?
Absolutely! Men’s Liberty can be worn anytime you’re going to be away from a bathroom, even if you’re not incontinent.