A GP guide to incontinence in the elderly

With advances in minimally invasive treatment procedures, elderly and frail women experiencing urinary incontinence have more options than ever.

Need to know:

  • Incontinence is a significant health condition that affects the majority of women over 65, but many patients are too embarrassed to raise issues and are unaware of available treatment options.
  • Incontinence treatment is available for both community-dwelling and nursing home-resident populations.
  • If conservative treatments fail, minimally invasive local anaesthesia incontinence procedures are available for frail and elderly patients.
  • Treatments for stress incontinence include urethral injectable bulking agents and mid-urethral mesh slings.
  • Treatments for overactive bladder include pharmacotherapies, botulinum toxin A injections, sacral neuromodulation and percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS).
  • Incontinence treatments can greatly improve patients’ quality of life and reduce costs and burden of care.
  • Treatment advances mean symptoms should not be dismissed in this