Monday, May 4, 2009

Managing Incontinence

You are not alone if you experience urinary or fecal incontinence. Research suggests that nearly 20 million people in the U.S. alone experience chronic or acute forms of incontinence. Incontinence is not a disease; it is a symptom. Tracking down what causes your incontinence is a journey worth taking as some of the causes can be serious. Some causes may not be treatable in a way that will eliminate this symptom.

So, today I write about living with incontinence while you are on the road to figuring out just how permanent the condition may be for you. There is no doubt that most adults cringe at the very topic. Regardless of the reason, most adults will feel some kind of embarrassment or shame at the idea of anyone learning that they are incontinent. Folks go to great lengths to hide it, ignore it, worry about it. We know many who will not go out because they fear exposure either through leakage, odor or the annoying crinkling sound that many adult briefs make beneath their clothes.
A few key strategies will help you face incontinence and manage it, regardless of how long the symptoms last.
  1. Workwith a physician or other health care professional first and foremost. Getting at the root of the problem is essential. Find a specialist if you know or believe that your incontinence is related to a specific condition. Follow the doctor's advice and take recommended prescriptions, even if you continue on your search for answers in other arenas.

  2. Do some research. There are dozens of products on the market. Of course, try the least expensive brands of adult briefs and pads first. If your situation can be managed this way, why not be as economical as you can. Be prepared, however, to spend a little more. There are some extremely great products available - some at premier prices - that match your specific needs. Work with someone in the business of handling incontinence and related products for advice on which product might work for your situation. Ask for samples. Most manufacturers offer free samples and most dealers of such products will have samples on hand for you to try out. Be very honest about issues like absorbency. If you underestimate your need, you are certain to be disappointed.

  3. Find a support group or someone you can trust to talk about your concerns.

  4. Stay active and involved. Secluding yourself will only create other problems, often much bigger ones. Isolation is one of the main causes of depression, which can lead to a host of other physical ailments.

At Capabilities we have expert staff trained in the use of so many products, including incontinence. We offer a selection of specialized brand options, products designed by manufacturers whose whole focus is incontinence, such as Tena and Dignity. Stay tuned for a special seminar in the works later this year on the topic of incontinence where we will feature specialists and an array of products with plenty of samples for you to try.

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