The Clinical Corner – Age and Incontinence

July 19, 2023

Welcome back to the Clinical Corner, everyone!

Last month, we talked about the power of vitamin D – a fatigue-fighting energy booster that’s capable of stomping away some of the most common age-related ailments. And while I wouldn’t blame you for not talking through some of these ailments at the dinner table, it’s important that we become comfortable with opening a dialogue about the changes we experience as we age – especially if you’re in the business of caring for others.

We might be hesitant to talk about it at first, but health issues caused by clinical conditions (diabetes, cardiac, etc.) can become increasingly prevalent as we go about our life journey. One such issue that commonly arises is urinary incontinence.

Urinary incontinence is not some embarrassing or unusual phenomenon. In fact, having an overactive bladder  is a common affliction for older adults – especially women Thankfully, there are steps we can take to control all types of incontinence, including:

Stress urinary incontinence. Those afflicted may experience bladder control issues when faced with active situations – like laughing at a joke or tossing a ball with the grandkids. This is caused by a weakened pelvic area – but it can be improved with some basic pelvic exercises at home. Visit the National Institute on Aging’s full article for additional details.

Urge urinary incontinence. This is another type of overactive bladder commonly experienced among women.  

If you’re a diabetic, you can treat this at home simply by keeping your diet healthy and blood sugars under control. Additionally, consider cutting back on alcohol and caffeine and avoiding activities that stimulate your bladder.

Combinations have been known to happen – so if you’re experiencing symptoms from both types of overactive bladder described, please consider seeing a physician. There’s no reason to feel shame or anxiety with something that is so common and readily treatable – and there’s no reason you should feel uncomfortable discussing it with us or a loved one.

Until we talk next month!


-Rhonda Dempsey

Chief Nursing Officer

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