Why Access to Incontinence Care Should be Standard for Seniors

Posted on: 15th Dec, 2023


When it comes to promoting quality of life and personal well-being for senior citizens, age-related health conditions must naturally be addressed. For many, that includes symptoms of incontinence. While it’s not considered a normal part of aging because its cause is physiological, incontinence nevertheless can become an issue later in life. Access to effective incontinence care—truly effective care beyond adult diapers and medications—should be the standard for seniors. One such effective therapy that has immense promise for seniors is sacral neuromodulation, or SNM.

Understanding Sacral Neuromodulation

Sacral neuromodulation is a minimally invasive medical procedure that involves the implantation of a small device to modulate nerve activity in the sacral region, which plays a vital role in controlling bladder and bowel function. This therapy has been proven effective in treating conditions of bladder leakage, overactive bladder, urinary retention and fecal incontinence, which are prevalent among the senior population.

Access to SNM therapy offers seniors a renewed sense of control and independence by addressing the challenges associated with urinary and bowel dysfunction. Seniors often face limitations in daily activities due to these conditions, leading to a decline in overall quality of life. SNM can significantly mitigate the impact of these issues, allowing seniors to engage more fully in social, recreational, and daily activities, promoting mental and emotional well-being.

Many seniors with bladder and bowel disorders rely on medications that may have side effects and prove to be ineffective in the long run. Based on scientific evidence, both AARP and The American Geriatrics Society have warned against the routine use of common bladder-control medications called anticholinergics, which are associated with an increased risk of dementia among older people. SNM therapy provides an alternative, reducing dependence on medications and their associated complications. By directly targeting the nerves responsible for bladder and bowel control, SNM offers a more sustainable and tailored solution for seniors, enhancing their overall health and minimizing the risk of adverse drug reactions.

Seniors facing urinary and bowel challenges often experience embarrassment and shame, leading to social withdrawal and isolation. Access to SNM therapy can break down these barriers, enabling seniors to participate in social activities without fear of accidents or discomfort. This not only fosters a sense of belonging but also contributes to mental and emotional well-being, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety associated with these conditions.

Investing in access to SNM therapy for seniors can result in long-term economic benefits. By addressing the root causes of urinary and bowel dysfunction, seniors are less likely to purchase expensive pads and diapers, require frequent hospitalizations, or undergo less helpful medical interventions. This can lead to substantial cost savings in healthcare expenditures, making SNM therapy a cost-effective solution in the broader context of senior care.

The Bottom Line

Access to sacral neuromodulation therapy is a must for seniors seeking to enhance their quality of life and effectively manage urinary and bowel dysfunction. By advocating for widespread access to this innovative and minimally invasive treatment, we can empower seniors to lead fulfilling lives, reduce healthcare costs, and foster a society that values the well-being of its aging population. It is imperative that healthcare providers, policymakers, and the public recognize the importance of making SNM therapy accessible to seniors, ensuring that they enjoy their golden years with dignity and vitality.

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