Who would have thunk that there were so many variations of incontinence? Today I will be focusing on flooding incontinence which is just how it sounds – a high volume type of incontinence. This is where urine simply runs right down one’s leg. It is most commonly due to involuntary bladder contractions but can also be due to an overactive bladder. (This being the focus of certain TV commercials.)
If your client involuntarily urinates (termed enuresis), you can reassure them this is quite typical in elderly individuals. By letting them in on the little secret that they are quite far from being alone helps to prove to them that you believe that With Age Comes Respect – especially if you display the fact that you are studying up on these issues to help them feel more secure in an older form of the previous selves.
Because bladder issues are embarrassing, like I have stated before, many times clients will not want to discuss the issues – more likely with you though than even their medical doctor. That is why you may have to communicate (CAREFULLY!) some of what you have learned to their doctor.
For instance, it can be pretty darn embarrassing that your client may suffer from incontinence during intercourse (yes, elderly individuals still have sex!). As you can imagine, this embarrassment can lead to distress; distress not only because of the incontinence, but can be because of stress incontinence or Overactive Bladder Disorder (OAB).
This can be diagnosed easier if you can get your client to explain about the leakage; how much; does it happen with each thrust; so on. If the leakage does occur with each thrust from her partner, it is most likely stress incontinence but also may be a cystocele (the weakening between a woman’s bladder and vagina which allows the bladder to droop into the vagina causing urine leakage and incomplete emptying of the bladder during the urination process).
Because of all of this, even after the sex is over, if she still leaks, it may mean that an involuntary bladder contraction has been triggered and may cause flooding incontinence.