Nocturnal enuresis in the elderly if often a greatly taboo subject, but one that causes significant distress in the sufferer which can often extend to his or her partner or family who may be acting as a carer. This problem can be more complicated than the generally simple bedwetting seen in young children.
In the elderly, wetting the bed or lacking control of urine can be caused by a number of conditions centering around urinary incontinence.
Thankfully, nocturnal enuresis itself is not considered common in elderly people (generally considered those to be 65 years and older), although experts acknowledge that gaining in depth statistics about the condition is not particularly easy.
There are many health disorders that can cause an older person to start experiencing occasional or regular bedwetting and more general incontinence. Obviously, a thorough examination and diagnostic should be undertaken by a physician to find out any underlying cause of enuresis in the elderly.
Often, a referral to a urologist will be ordered. Urinary tract infection or stones, bladder disorders, and prostate enlargement are just some of the many possibilities that can cause an onset of enuresis or incontinence in the elderly.
Reducing the symptoms of nocturnal enuresis in older people includes taking similar approaches to that of people of other ages: monitoring and controlling how much fluid is consumed, and eliminating caffeine and alcohol.
A bedwetting alarm system can also be utilized by older people while they are also receiving treatment from a physician for any underlying medical conditions. The goal of any additional bedwetting treatment at home for older people involves minimizing the embarrassment and discomfort of wetting the bed as much as possible.
As scientific studies indicate, a tailored treatment plan for an elderly person experiencing nocturnal enuresis, based on their own specific medical condition, is the way to achieve the best results for the individual.
Nocturnal enuresis in older adults – Lin AD, Lin AT, Chen KK, Chang LS. Journal of the Chinese Medical Association