Urinary incontinence is a very common problem, especially among older people. Urinary incontinence involves a loss of bladder control that ranges from minor leaking to a heavier flow of urine. While incontinence often happens as people age, it can happen at any stage of life.
While there are several causes and numerous treatments for incontinence, Botox is a surprising new procedure that has gained popularity in easing this issue.
Urinary incontinence is most often caused from weak or overactive bladder muscles. Weak muscles are not able to keep the bladder closed, resulting in leaks from laughing, sneezing, or strenuous activity. Again, the urine flow can be mild to heavy.
Over-active bladder muscles cause a person to feel a very strong urge to urinate when there is only a small amount of urine in the bladder. This is often referred to as "overactive bladder" and can also result in accidents.
There are a number of treatments to choose from to ease this problem. Pelvic floor exercises, called Kegels, help strengthen the urethra over time, resulting in less urine leakage. Other simple lifestyle changes include limiting liquids before bed and diet adjustments. If these changes do not improve the condition, there is medication to ease incontinence.
The medications work by either tightening the bladder muscles to prevent leaks or stopping the contractions in the bladder that give a person the strong urge to urinate.
Devices can also be inserted to combat urinary incontinence. A urine seal is a disposable device made of a foam pad that is positioned over the urethra opening. A urethral insert is actually placed inside of the urethra to stop leaking. Both devices are to be removed before urination.
A more permanent solution is a pessary, which is a device that is inserted into the vagina and holds up the bladder. Another inserted device is the bladder neck support, which does exactly what the name suggests. The device elevates the bladder neck to restore the proper position between the bladder and urethra.
When medication and devices are not enough, surgery can be done as a last resort.
There are a number of different procedures to choose from, such as the placement of slings under the bladder or urethra to combat the physical stress of keeping urine in during daily activities.
In extreme cases, a bladder enlargement surgery is done to increase the size of the bladder with a small piece of intestine. However, this procedure is considered major surgery and usually requires patients to use a catheter the rest of their lives. Some of the procedures offer up to a 90% success rate, but involve major abdominal surgery.
Botox has proved to be an effective form of treatment for incontinence. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of Botox on patients with neurological issues such as multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. While the FDA has not yet approved the drug for use in the elderly, Botox has been used effectively on older people and may possibly result in an approval.
Botox was first introduced as facial wrinkle filler to be administered by plastic surgeons only. The use of Botox has since expanded to treat migraines, severe sweating in underarms, and various kinds of muscle stiffness. Botox is now being used to treat incontinence by relaxing the muscles in the bladder. The relaxed bladder is able to hold more urine with fewer contractions that signal a very strong urge to urinate.
The Botox is injected into the bladder and may require general anesthesia. The procedure is done using cystoscopy, which allows doctors to view the bladder while performing the injection. The Botox injection lasts approximately ten months.
To date, the only side effects patients have reported are urinary tract infections and urinary retention, which can be alleviated through self-catheterization.
Two clinical studies of 691 people have concluded the safety and effectiveness of this treatment. Healthy seniors who can tolerate general anesthesia may greatly benefit from this procedure.
To find out more visit Plastic Surgery Guide.
Campaigns & Issues
Woodland Court staff face secure future thanks to Brunelcare
Residents and staff at a retirement village in Downend have finally reached the end of two years of uncertainty, following the acquisition of Woodland Court by Brunelcare.
Previous owners of the 57 apartment village, Care Village Group, went into administration in June 2011, leaving the residents and staff with an uncertain future.
The top priority for the Bristol based charity has been to retain all 27 members of staff to ensure that the support services are maintained, whilst minimising any disruption to the residents.
Stamping their feet
THOUSANDS OF Post Office staff have taken part in strikes across the country following a dispute about closures, jobs and pay.
A staggering 88 per cent of Communication Workers Union members voted in favour of strike action, following a refusal from the Post Office to negotiate terms.
The 4,000 workers, from 373 offices, took part in the strikes in opposition to plans to close 76 offices.
They hope to protect jobs and services and secure a fair pay rise for Post Office staff - who have not had a wage increase since April 2011.
Competitions & Fun
Win a Doro PhoneEasy 515 handset!
We’ve teamed up with Doro to give four very lucky Mature Times readers the chance to win a Doro PhoneEasy 515 mobile phone.
The Doro PhoneEasy 515 has been designed to provide an easy-to-use mobile for people who might find mainstream handsets difficult or confusing to use. This beautifully stylish candybar phone features an easy-to-use camera enabling you to capture those spontaneous photos quickly and easily before sharing them with others.
The Doro PhoneEasy 515 has several user-friendly functions including a direct SMS key and a charging cradle to make charging hassle free. It also has a large keypad, enlarged text for easy dialing and messaging and a loud, clear sound.
Win a prize at home or away in this month's prize draw with Silver Travel Advisor!
Enter now and you could win a prize at home or away! How about a 7 night break for 2, with flights included, in beautiful Slovenia? Or a trip to London’s glitzy theatreland, staying in a 4* hotel? Both fabulous treats which must be won!
Silver Travel Advisor is a friendly website packed with advice, tips, information and honest reviews written by and for silver travellers (aged over 50). A team of advisors are on hand to answer queries (for free), and you can share your own experiences too.
Health & Wellbeing
Loneliness is a ‘ticking time bomb’
One in three people over the age of 50 struggles with loneliness – fuelled partly by a rise in later life divorces, according to an official study. Figures show almost seven million members of the baby-boomer generation and above admit to feeling lonely.
Research published as part of David Cameron’s plan to measure the nation’s ‘happiness’ said almost half of people over 80 feel lonely - many “much of the time”.
Campaigns groups say the study, by the Office for National Statistics, suggests the generation approaching retirement will be a “loneliness time bomb”.
Property & Finance
15 per cent of population claim financial worries are affecting their health
aspect of their lives
Leisure and Lifestyle
Singing you heart out
Music sensation Billy Ocean takes time out talk to Laura Heads about the release of his latest album and how making music has changed dramatically during his 40 year career.
The star has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime and has collected a pile of Gold and Platinum awards across the world. Billy’s unique reggae infused voice and musical style, representing his Trinidadian roots, are recognisable anywhere and it is that which has earned him his well-deserved number ones.
And the well-loved singer-song writer said that the way music is made has changed a lot since he first began in the 1970s. He said: “Music is now controlled by technology. New artists allow technology to control what they are doing.
New guide to travel insurance launched
THIS IS A handy to use and easy to read guide packed with tips aimed at helping older travellers when considering the purchase of travel insurance.
The guide came about as a result of the numerous enquiries we received here at the Mature Times’ offices regarding travel insurance for older people. MT Editor Andrew Young says ‘We receive many, many e-mails, letters and telephone calls from our readers regarding this subject. We know that as you get older travel insurance becomes more expensive, but there are ways that you can try to help offset some of these increases – and this guide can help you do that.’
I have received a copy of you paper from our Community Centre for the last two years and really look foreword to reading it. Thank you!