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Managing Incontinence Issues With Loved Ones

Merriam-Webster defines INCONTINENCE as follows: The inability of the body to control the evacuative functions of urination or defecation.

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.

Incontinence issues in the elderlyThe 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.

Incontinence statistics

And here are a few statistics about the prevalence of incontinence in older adults (65+) reported by those living in a residential care facility.

Incontinence issues in the elderly

An interesting note to the above statistics is that the rates of incontinence go up significantly as one progresses to a nursing home environment, and sky rockets when individuals enter hospice.

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.

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2 Comments

  1. On your Senior Discount List Taco Bell is listed with a 5%discount and/or free coffe or drink…..I discovered today when I stopped at a Taco Bell in Albuquerque (I live in Santa Fe) that they don’t give free Senior Coffee. After calling the 800 number for Taco Bell as their Web Page is being worked on I was told that only Franchised Taco Bells and NOT privately owned Taco Bells are the only ones that give FREE Senior Coffee…..Supposedly there is a list on their Web Site of Franchised Taco Bell’s, but you can’t get to them at the present time…..September 10, 2015…Albuquerque, New Mexico

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