Urinary incontinence is an important issue for the patients themselves, their families and friends, and for their care givers.
It also has a huge social and economic impact on the budget and on health.
Approximately 18-40% of men and 24-46% women who live in care homes for the elderly are affected by incontinence.
Some of these elderly people may be experiencing what is known as “transient incontinence”. This type of incontinence is caused by acute pathological conditions, psychological reactions, iatrogenic factors such as the side effects of medication, especially sedatives, anti-depressants and sleep-inducing medicines.
Immobility and being bedridden are additional causes of incontinence, as are incomplete bowel movements and fecal impaction. These conditions, if treated properly and promptly, can solve the problem.
There are also cases of what is known as “functional urinary incontinence”, due to the bad mobility of the elderly, which makes it impossible for them to reach the toilet on time.
These cases include neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, and fractures, injuries and rheumatoid diseases that limit movement.
Rarely, urinary incontinence is a sign of depression, anger or suppressed animosity towards family members that cannot be otherwise expressed.
Kindly contributed by Urologist – Andrologist Surgeon, Dr Charalambos P. Asvestis