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Urinary Incontinence in the Elderly

  • Pat O’Donnell
Chapter

Abstract

Urinary incontinence (UI) is one of the most personally ­devastating diseases of the elderly. It has humiliating social consequences that touch every facet of the quality of life of the old person. One of the most debilitating consequences of UI in the elderly is a loss of self-esteem, which results in self-imposed social isolation. Elderly incontinent persons become prisoners in their own home due to the behavioral changes that occur from the personal fears and shame of UI. Many elderly people believe they are a victim of a disease without having any control over the personal and social consequences. As a result, they suffer in silence because of the shame and lack of awareness of successful treatment options. Because of the loss of self-esteem, treatment of UI in old people is usually deferred until the disease has become severe and the progressive symptoms have compromised many years of the life of the individual. Personal decisions about the treatment of UI often derive from feelings of desperation and shame rather than a careful consideration of the treatment options that meet the quality-of-life needs of the patient. Many elderly people have a strong reluctance to seek treatment or participate in treatment for incontinence because of personal feelings.

Keywords

Urinary Incontinence Benign Prostate Hyperplasia Stress Urinary Incontinence Elderly Woman Overactive Bladder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA

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