The actual inconveniences and psychological repercussions of incontinence can be overwhelming if one is not well-prepared to live with it. It is very sad to know that many are forced to forgo their original lifestyles they have been enjoying for years. These changes can lead to mental health problems if left unattended as the person gradually withdraw from the society and when loneliness sets-in…
Living with Incontinence: Don’t Let Embarrassment Dictate Your Lifestyle
The psychological repercussions of incontinence can be overwhelming, and many people choose to deal with them by withdrawing from social situations wherever they can. This situation – if left unaddressed – can lead to mental health problems, loneliness and implications for the sufferer’s professional life. According to NHS estimates, there are between three million and six million incontinence sufferers in the UK, and an estimated 1.4% of people over the age of 40 suffer with significant faecal incontinence. However, this doesn’t mean sufferers have to live in constant fear.
What Are the Causes of Incontinence?
Incontinence is the body’s inability to control the excretion of faeces or urine. And contrary to popular belief, it is not a disease. Incontinence is a side-effect of underlying health problems, lifestyle choices or physical defects.
In many cases, the onset of incontinence can be brought about by the regular consumption of caffeine-rich drinks such as tea, coffee and soft drinks. Other less serious causes of the problem include urinary tract infections, constipation, a lack of roughage in the diet and the taking of certain medicines. Addressing these issues is usually a case of making a few, long-term lifestyle changes.
There are occasions, however, when incontinence occurs as a result of a more serious, chronic health problem. Many women suffer with incontinence throughout pregnancy as a result of extra pressure on their bladder. And because the pelvic muscles can become weakened during pregnancy and childbirth, this can mean the condition persists long after a woman has had her baby. Older people develop incontinence problems for a number of reasons. In men, it is often down to an enlarged prostate; in women, it occurs because of hormonal changes during and after the menopause. Other causes of chronic incontinence include cancer, nerve damage and multiple sclerosis.
How Can Incontinence Sufferers Lead a Normal Life?
While many people are forced to live with incontinence as part of their daily lives, there are some innovative and effective aids on the market that are designed to give people back their independence. A range of incontinence products allow people to go about their daily life without having to constantly worry about an embarrassing accident in a public place.
Bed pads – These simple products include five layers that lock moisture away whilst keeping the user and the sheets underneath as dry as possible.
Vaginal cones – These innovative products are designed to strengthen the pelvic muscles by forcing them to contract constantly throughout the day. They are particularly popular with new mothers.
Stretch pants – Hidden away underneath clothing, stretch pants are designed to lock moisture away from the body in an absorbent pad. They are disposable and prevent odours from causing embarrassment.
Wrap-around blankets – These innovative products not only have a hidden layer of water-proof material, they keep the user warm whilst outside. They trap moisture and lock it away, and their natural, odour-proof qualities mean people can relax in the knowledge that any accidents will remain hidden.
Reusable seat pads – A seat pad can be adapted to most chairs and seats in the home. It provides protection to upholstery, whilst its absorption properties keep the user dry and odour-free.
Whilst many forms of incontinence can be treated quickly and effectively, some people are forced to live with the embarrassing condition every day – with little hope of a long-term solution. By utilising some relatively simple yet effective incontinence products, sufferers can live independent lives, free from fear and embarrassment.
Contributed by The Mobility Superstore, who supply an extensive range of mobility and daily living aids, including all the incontinence products above.