The plight of a reasonably healthy adult who is facing incontinence issues is quite miserable. The physical symptoms have a far reaching effect. The patient suffers from intermittent urinary or fecal incontinence. Mild adult continence is where the patient experiences a small amount of urine leakage that happens upon sneezing, coughing, or laughing loudly. Moderate incontinence is the term given to the problem when an adult cannot hold urine or feces and the urge to void is uncontrollable. The heavy incontinence sufferers are generally not aware of the problem and relieve themselves just about anywhere and at anytime. This situation may be attributed to reduced sensation in the lower body or a neural deficit like dementia.
Why am I incontinent? The truth behind adult incontinence
There are several reasons to incontinence. Incontinence in women is largely due to child birth issues. The pelvic floor muscles become damaged and result in mild incontinence. Old age, diseases like prostrate inflammation or cancer, neural deficiencies, and mental health issues are the primary contributors towards incontinence. But whatever is the reason for incontinence, the patient undergoing it suffers very deeply.
A patient with major physical or mental disabilities is often found bound to his or her bed. In such cases, the mental agony is omnipresent but the patient himself is often unaware of his own predicament. The worst psychological sufferer is the patient with mild incontinence. He is physically quite active and is in a position to maintain an active social life. The lack of confidence and the inability to handle the drawbacks of incontinence makes the patient reclusive and withdrawn. It has a sweeping effect on the life of the patient, and all loved ones alike.
The psychological impact of adult incontinence in day to day life
Those suffering from incontinence are low on confidence and have a general feeling of anger or sadness. Very commonly, they tend to be depressed and manifest social isolation. The reasons are a feeling of inadequacy to deal with the frequent stains and leaks. Another major issue is the odor of stale urine that permeates their clothing and furniture. This very real situation makes an otherwise active person full of stress and anxiety.
Likewise, stress incontinence forces a woman to curtail her social and sexual life due to fear of leakages. It leaves her with a total lack of self-image. The fear of intimacy and sexual contact strips such patients of any vestige of confidence. It has been found that a majority of these incontinent women are too embarrassed or depressed to comprehend that they can be helped. In their case, significant improvement can be achieved with the right medical and psychological help.
The steps to freedom from issues related to incontinence
Once a patient is encouraged to seek medical health, the status of her incontinence related woes have to be reviewed thoroughly. The adequate medical intervention may help in minimizing the symptoms or even curing the problem through exercise, medicines or even surgery in extreme cases. Once the physical symptoms are dealt with, the psychological analysis of the sufferer’s mental health issues like depression, social isolation, and intimacy issues can be delved into.
The help of health practitioners is invaluable as they help patients choose the best ways to cope with leaks and stains. They would advise them on how to choose the best incontinence products like liners, pads or adult diapers to help manage leaks and stains. Medication may help resolve the issue of odors as well. Today, incontinence products that absorb odors and even deodorize the smell are available freely in the market. The challenge is to choose the best suited and most affordable products. You have to keep in mind that this is a long lasting issue and the financial impact is also a recurrent one. Most health insurance companies do not reimburse disposable products so it is important to invest in them after thorough research and planning.
Grabbing back your life from incontinence
Are you or your loved one suffering from incontinence? Once you are on the path of recovery and out fitted with the most suitable incontinence product to ensure that no embarrassing moments will mar your entry into the social scene, it is time to get on with your life.
Simple exercises like kegels not only strengthen the pelvic floor muscles but also improve upon your sex life. Take the plunge and regenerate your interest. Try and regain the lost intimacy with your partner. Make him a part of your therapy classes and do not shy away from asking him for physical and mental support.
Once the leaks stop, your fear of bad smells will automatically recede. Take the initiative to get your house super clean. Carpets and furnishings are the worst sufferers. Splurge on a new sofa and carpet. These new additions in your personal setting will not only look good and smell clean, but also cheer you up. It may also be the step towards social inclusion.
Make sure that the incontinence products are disposed properly in separate covered bins to avoid bad odors.
These small but significant changes are the catalyst in building confidence and help patients regain their zest for life. With positive steps in place, they can restart light to moderate activities like going for walks, going out on a dinner date, or for long awaited vacations. In short, the list of possibilities is endless once the physical symptoms are arrested.
Incontinence issues with bedridden patients’ needs caregiver intervention
It may be an accident, a stroke or surgery that has left you highly incontinent. There is not much that be done to restore normal function, but suitable incontinence products are available to keep you safe and dry. Your caregiver can ascertain the kind of product you need to stay in comfort across the day and night. Counseling may also help in accepting the condition and moving on with it. A combination of physical therapy and psychological counseling may be of immense help to regain at least a semblance of normality.
In the case of the mental health deficient patients, it is an easier task because the patient is no longer able to comprehend his condition and is in no position to get embarrassed.
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