Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI), a common problem among the elderly, inhibits the quality of life for many seniors and creates unique care giving demands. According to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), UI, or the unintentional loss of urine, is a problem for more than 13 million Americans-85 percent of them women (AHCPR, 1996). Although about half of the elderly have episodes of incontinence, bladder problems are not a natural consequence of again, and they are not exclusively a problem of the elderly.

The AHCPR guidelines on managing acute and chronic urinary incontinence indicate that for persons over the age of 60 living in the community, the prevalence of urinary incontinence can be as high as 15 to 35 percent.

Caregivers report that approximately 53 percent of the homebound elderly are incontinent, with urinary incontinence tanking as one of the 10 leading diagnoses for homebound individuals. This condition also ranks first in total charges to Medicare for nursing services per person served in home care programs. UI often leads to institutionalization, with at least 50 percent of nursing facility admission listing a diagnosis of incontinence.

The above information was provided by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA)