Research suggests that in the UK alone, over 24% of the older generation are affected by urinary incontinence. In care homes, that figure rises to around 30-60% of elderly people who are affected by urinary incontinence and 25% by bowel incontinence, staggering statistics which mean choosing the right incontinence products is so important. Although the symptoms of incontinence vary in every individual case, selecting the best incontinence product is essential to relieving the stress and embarrassment often associated with the condition.
Symptoms of incontinence
Urinary incontinence is an increasingly common problem for the elderly and the condition is more likely to affect women, with over double the number of women believed to be affected by the condition than men.
One of the most common types of incontinence is related to stress. If the individual is suffering from stress incontinence, they are likely to leak or pass urine under small amounts of pressure such as coughing or sneezing. The pelvic floor muscles are too weak to hold in urine due to increased levels of stress on the body.
Urge incontinence is the sudden desire to pass urine and the inability to delay or hold in the urge. With this type of incontinence there is often only a few seconds between the urge to urinate and the release of urine. The urge to pass can be caused by a number of things such as hearing the sound of water or even a change in position.
Bowel incontinence is the inability to control bowel movements. The symptoms for bowel incontinence vary as there is many types of this condition. Some can experience what is known as urge bowel incontinence – the sudden urge of needing the toilet and the unintentional passing of the bowels before reaching the toilet. Others may experience passive incontinence whereby you feel no sudden urge for the toilet and unknowingly pass a stool.
All symptoms of incontinence are specific to the individual. Some may experience daily incontinence and others can only be affected by the condition from time to time. Generally, if you are having problems making it to the toilet on time, finding you have slight leakage in between toilet visits or you are becoming increasingly dependent on using incontinence products in day to day life, you should visit a GP for further advice.
Types of Incontinence Products
Fortunately for those suffering with incontinence symptoms, there are a number of incontinence aids that can help to control the condition and prevent accidents from affecting your daily life. The most effective products on the market are incontinence pads, pants and bedding.
Incontinence pads are the most commonly used aid for the condition. They are ideal for discreetly managing incontinence, and are suitable for both daily sufferers or those occasionally affected. Disposable pads are a highly convenient product providing low profile absorbency. The small pads fit to the user’s underwear much like a sanitary towel. The pads allow for easy, everyday use that prevents noticeable passing of urine and any odours that may occur as a result. After any unintentional passing of urine, the user can simply remove and dispose of the pad and replace with a fresh one. These pads are very cost effective and easy to use for both men and women.
Incontinence pants are another helpful aid to reliving the problems of the condition. The pants are a great solution for those who are fully mobile. The washable pants act as underwear, fitted with discreet built-in pads. It’s important to consider the right size, fit and thickness for your individual requirements when purchasing incontinence pants as a perfect fit well help to alleviate the problem more successfully.
Although incontinence bedding does not prevent accidental passes of urine or stools whilst active, it does help to protect your mattress during sleep. The protective layers help for a more comfortable night’s sleep for those who suffer with the condition. The bedding is best suited for those affected daily, serving as an extra help to stop incontinence during the night.
These are the main aids for incontinence but further aids such as incontinence chairs, floor pads and swimwear are also available aids to help if required.
Purchasing Incontinence Aids
Incontinence products vary from brand to brand so it is therefore important to consider the following features so you can feel assured you have the best product for your individual symptoms and needs.
Size: Incontinent pads and pants come in range of sizes. Make sure that you investigate the best size for you.
Absorbency: Symptoms of incontinence vary from person to person. For those who suffer minimal leakage, purchase the thinner, smaller pad/pant to relieve symptoms. If the leakage is quite a noticeable there are pads/pants on the market that are considerably more absorbent.
Gender specific: Some brands only cater for one gender. Be sure to purchase the correct product for you as gender specific products are designed to only meet the needs of that sex.
Dealing with incontinence
Incontinence doesn’t only affect you physically but also mentally. It can cause an individual to feel ashamed, embarrassed and avoid social occasions to minimise the risk of an accident in public. The extensive range of incontinence products that aim to help with a sufferers confidence are extremely helpful and if you feel like you are being affected by either urinal or bowel incontinence, browse our range of incontinence products for the most efficient aids in dealing with the condition.