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Living Well with Urinary Incontinence

Written by: Amanda Davis

Urinary incontinence, or involuntary release of urine, is common among Canadian seniors – it’s estimated that one in five experiences difficulties with bladder control. This condition can be extremely distressing, and people often think nothing can be done. However, incontinence is not a normal part of aging. It can often be cured or controlled, so it’s important to seek medical advice.

Types of incontinence

There are four types of urinary incontinence. An individual can have one or more types.

Causes of incontinence

Urinary incontinence has many causes. Often, it improves when the underlying problem or problems are treated or better managed. Causes may include:

It is difficult to determine the reasons on your own, so be sure to consult a health professional. Don’t ignore or try to hide incontinence – people who have this stressful condition are vulnerable to skin problems and bladder infections. They may also feel ashamed, embarrassed, isolated and reluctant to socialize, and this can affect wellness and quality of life.

Treatments for incontinence

Treatment will depend on the cause or causes of incontinence. Your physician will review your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and ask questions to help identify potential causes. They may also test your urine to check for blood or an infection.

Physicians often ask patients to keep a journal for several days, noting when they use the washroom, any leakage and accidents, fluid intake and types of drinks. This can help determine patterns and causes.

These are common treatments for incontinence:

Other things you can do

If you or a loved one has urinary incontinence, try these ideas to make things easier:

Finding a solution for incontinence may take time, so try to be patient. It’s worth persisting, so that you or your loved one can continue to enjoy a comfortable and active life.



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