Incontinence is the involuntary loss of stool (bowel) or urine (bladder) (1). Incontinence can negatively affect many parts of a person’s life such as their social interactions, sex life, work and travel (2). Incontinence is often not reported as some people are embarrassed about the topic, or incorrectly believe it is a normal part of the aging process (2). Incontinence is more common in older adults; however, it is not a normal part of aging and is often a sign of other health problems (1). For this reason, incontinence should always be assessed and diagnosed by a healthcare professional (1).
With the right treatment plan, incontinence can often be cured, improved or comfortably managed (1). There are many treatment and management options – if the person you are caring for is affected by incontinence, you can discuss a care plan with the family physician.