There are many reasons why someone might be diagnosed with incontinence and none of those causes are due to age.
Around 5 million Australians have trouble with controlling their bladder or bowel. In 2016, there were 3.7 million people aged 65+, with around just over 7% of them suffering severe incontinence.
While there is a heavy skew toward older Australians with urinary or faecal incontinence, correlation definitely does not equal causation.
First, let’s take a look at one of the most obvious questions.
Why do many older people suffer from incontinence?
As we get older, we are more likely to develop conditions ranging from arthritis to dementia.
Arthritis can affect the hands of a sufferer. They might be about to make their way to the bathroom but have trouble unzipping or unbuttoning their pants, therefore experience loss of control.
Decreased mobility is similar. A person might know that they need to make toilet but can’t reach the toilet in time.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s can affect incontinence sufferers in a different way – they can simply forget that they need to go.
These three issues are commonly experienced by older people (remembering younger people can be diagnosed with them too), which is why you see an older skew. Around 1 in 4 people aged 85+ suffer heavy incontinence.
How can younger people develop incontinence?
Around 1 in 166 people under 65 in Australia suffer from severe incontinence. This might seem rare, but there are many more people who suffer from mild to moderate loss of control.
Childbirth is one cause of incontinence in women – many finding that they will lose control of their bladder (or bowel) when laughing or under some form of physical stress. Around 37% of Australian women suffer from urinary incontinence.
Prostate issues can affect men of all ages and the treatment (or lack of) can see males urinate at unwanted times. Approximately 13% of men have trouble controlling their bladder.
Weak pelvic floor muscles – they can be strengthened. Put simply, your pelvic floor muscles help you to hold on. If you’re trying to hold in a movement, these muscles will be vital!
Psychological problems can occur at any age. We won’t dive too far into this as there are many causes, however, to summarise: Mood, medications, poor physical heath and lifestyle choices as a result of a mental illness can see someone become incontinent.
As you have just read, incontinence isn’t an older person condition. People of any age can develop mental health issues and arthritis, and young mothers everywhere can start to develop a loss of control at any stage.
Whatever your age, whatever your story, we have a product that can help with your condition. We offer very affordable products that are made even more cost effective when you buy in bulk, and, if you’re unsure which product is right for you, there’s a very handy sample option. See more in the Holistic Incontinence online store.
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