Incontinence – The Problem Older People Don’t Talk About & Younger People Don’t Offer Enough Support
April 19th, 2017
Representational Image: Chitralekha
It is said that old age is a second childhood. It is a time when the ones who have spent most of their lives caring for their children, become children themselves.
When adults enter this phase of life, they go through many changes – both physical and emotional. Among all the things new to them, there is one they talk about the least – loss of bladder control. Apart from feeling embarrassed to discuss it, youngsters not offering support adds to their woes. But we need to realise that losing control of one’s bladder in old age is a natural phenomenon that can be dealt with.
Friends Adult Diapers is starting an important discourse on this topic. They are urging young adults to take time off their daily lives and #MakeAFriend of their seniors to help them overcome the reluctance to talk about incontinence.
As one age, changes in the body can make elderly urinary incontinence a more likely occurrence. There are different stages of the condition, but it is not something impossible to control – either with adult diapers or treatment.
Most of us in our 20s, the prime of life, are wary of old age. We view elders as different from us, as people who won’t ‘get us’. There are times we shun old people, thinking they come from a world different than ours. We are sceptical of spending time with them or including them in our lives. But sometimes seniors are most comfortable talking about bladder control (incontinence) with their children, who can help them overcome the stigma.
Our parents did everything for us when we were young – they would feed us, get us new clothes, change our diapers, etc. Friends Adult Diapers is urging us to remember those times and treat our elders as responsible individuals who lived to accomplish goals, thus gained respect and recognition.
As seniors don’t feel comfortable discussing bladder control, they live their lives trapped in their own homes, often inviting even more physical and emotional issues. They avoid talking about their problems because we don’t give them the space to do so.
The issue of incontinence should be discussed in the open. It is the same as talking about infants wearing diapers or women wearing sanitary pads – a natural process. We need to befriend our elders and ensure that they don’t feel excluded. We need to be their companions in this new world they have entered.
Friends Adult Diapers is doing a wonderful deed by helping us shake our conscious and do what’s right. We were children once and now it the turn of our elders to be children. Let us help them on this journey by ending our own biases. All of us are prejudiced against something, it is time we shed our biases one by one and openly talk about incontinence within our homes. This is the very least we can do for our seniors.