Urinary incontinence (UI) is a bothersome involuntary loss of urine. It is estimated that about two thirds of adults experience UI and as such is sometimes considered as being a normal consequence of aging, which is not the case. Although there are various treatment options for UI, UI is not adequately assessed in older adults. UI may be acute or chronic. There are three types of UI namely:
1) Stress UI. This is an involuntary urine loss that is associated with activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure,
2) Urge UI. This is an involuntary urine loss that is associated with having a strong desire to void.
3) Mixed UI. This is a combination of the above two types of UI (Padrós, et al., 2008).
Goal: the goal of this paper is to perform a search on aging adults and find out more about UI.
We carried out a search on older adults during the normal clinical rotation to evaluate whether they are suffering from UI and if they are, they type and kind of UI. The nursing staff will collaborate with other members to identify and document the type of UI the person is suffering from.
Although most people felt uncomfortable discussing the inconsistence, we found out that most people affected by UI were only afraid of contacting medical services. We evaluated an old woman aged 65 years old called Benny (my grandmother). We started with a hearty laugh to make her comfortable enough to talk to us. She said that while having a serious laugh with her friends or family members, she experiences a little leak. She confessed that when we started the evaluation, she in fact had a small leak. She also noted that while bending to pick something heavy, she will wet her inner clothes. She said that if she had a sudden urge to visit the restroom, she may be unable to get there in time. She gave other symptom including the following:
- When coughing or sneezing suddenly, she will wet her innerwear
- She frequently wakes up on the middle of the night to use the bathroom
- She experiences urine loss when she changes her position from a lying or sitting position to standing
- When she drinks enough water during the day, she will experience continuous bladder leakage.
We had a bladder diary which recorded the patient’s daily real time bladder data activity. The data below was recorded:
- The number of times she visited the bathroom to urinate
- The number of episodes she had a leak and the amount of the leak
- Reasons for the said leak e.g. through a sneeze, cough or forced leak
- The amount of drink she had
- The number of times she visited the toilet for bowel movement
- The number of times she used the UI pads.
We did a one week assessment. From the assessment, we realized Benny suffers from stress UI. Her urine loss is usually as a result of increased intra-abdominal pressure. However, we realized that she may be developing urge UI as she sometimes may have an urge to visit the bathroom at night (but not so frequent) especially when she uses drinks during the day.
Sadly, Benny and many more other aging adults experience UI but do not either have the confidence to face the doctor or are unaware that their weakened bladder can be restored. Asking Benny how she adjusts her live to accommodate the UI, she indicated that she never travels far or if she has important outings away from her home she uses liners or adult pads. She also indicated that she avoids taking drinks, she avoids public places or else she is the subject of embarrassment. On why she has never seen a specialist, she interjected that UI is an adult condition and therefore she saw no need (Dowling-Castronovo & Specht, 2009).