One of the most difficult topics for many family members to talk about is the issue of incontinence. With the possibility of being thrust into a caregiver role in the near future, this is a topic you'll
want need to become familiar with (and comfortable dealing with). Incontinence affects millions of elderly people in all walks of life, AND it's nothing to be embarrassed about.
The CDC did a study last year titled “Prevalence of Incontinence Among Older Americans“. The report “uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to present national estimates of incontinence prevalence among persons aged 65 and over.” In addition to the obvious health issues associated with incontinence, there is an additional burden… A social stigma that is difficult to parse from the issue itself.
Individuals who are incontinent may carry an emotional burden of shame and embarrassment in addition to the physical discomfort and disruption of their lives that occur with episodes of incontinence. – CDC Report, Prevalence of Incontinence Among Older Americans
Here are a few statistics about the prevalence of incontinence in older adults from the CDC. First, here's a breakdown of people 65+ reporting incontinence issues while living at home.
And here are a few statistics about the prevalence of incontinence in older adults (65+) reported by those living in a residential care facility.
For some really great practical tips on managing incontinence, we're happy to share a wonderful video from the good folks at the Family Caregiver Alliance. For more great caregiver tips, visit The Family Caregiver Alliance on YouTube.