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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Seeking Out The Clues /   Editorial List

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 Seeking Out The Clues

The September-October edition of Today’s Caregiver magazine contains our annual incontinence special focus. We started running this focus many years ago (as well as our upcoming Best practices: Incontinence Care webinar) because of how life altering incontinence can be for a family caregiver.

Incontinence affects 13 million people in the United States alone and is one of the primary reasons for long-term care placement. Yet, just as with the first signs of memory challenges which so often are the result of medications, stress or reasons other than the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, incontinence may actually be treatable if a proper diagnosis is made in time.

In some instances, incontinence may be due to weakening of the pelvic walls which might be alleviated with proper exercise; the culprit may be medications that our loved ones are taking, the food they eat, what they drink, and any combination of those things. The first rule for any Fearless Caregiver is not to take the easy answer. Make sure that an assessment is made by a specialist with a lot of experience dealing with incontinence. If you are told that it is just a side effect of aging, find a new doctor and get a second opinion.

Once incontinence is a suspect, you need to don your Sherlock Holmes Burberry cloak, call Watson, grab your magnifying glass and follow your own instincts to discover the truth about your options.

Gary Barg

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