Aging Better is a practical guide for living your best life as an older adult. Every month we’ll share tips and information on staying healthy as you age.
Do you sometimes pee when you laugh? Have you been having trouble making it to the bathroom in time? You’re not alone! Research tells us that up to 30 per cent of men and up to 50 per cent of women experience incontinence in their later years.
If you feel embarrassed about the topic, you’re not alone there, either.
“I think one of the main reasons older adults don’t seek medical help for their incontinence is the fact that it’s a sensitive topic and can be difficult to talk about,” says Mary Kjorven, a clinical nurse specialist for Interior Health.
Another reason why so many older adults are suffering with urinary issues is that there tends to be a common misunderstanding that this is all part of the aging process.
“Incontinence is a symptom that something isn’t working properly,” says Mary. “It might be common, but it’s by no means a typical part of getting older. It’s important that your doctor understands you’re experiencing this, so they can look into what might be causing this symptom. I’ve found that so many people are surprised to hear there are many effective treatment options available. In most cases, you don’t have to live with incontinence.”
So the next time you find yourself in the drug store reaching for a box of incontinence products, think about giving your doctor or nurse practitioner a call, too.