Incontinence is still a taboo subject. The Incontinence Working Group of the German Geriatric Society (DGG) has therefore published an updated guideline on urinary incontinence in geriatric patients.
It is estimated that around 40% of people over 70 in Germany are incontinent. According to the study authors, a geriatric patient is characterized by vulnerability, multi-morbidity and is significantly older than 65+, namely over 80 years. They therefore checked all study results carefully to see whether they are relevant for geriatric patients. For example, high-end surgical methods such as sacral neuromodulation (“pacemaker”) would not be suitable for geriatric patients.
In contrast, toilet training is particularly important. Various methods fall under this collective term. This can be the way to the toilet at fixed times. But the regular question of whether the person affected is urge to urinate is also an important intervention.
Focus on drug side effects
Another focus of the guideline is the investigation of drug side effects. For example, certain antidepressants can block the bladder. But even classic drugs for incontinence should only be used with caution in geriatric patients. Some of these so-called anticholinergics change cognition and can lead to an increased risk of falling. You can find the new guideline here. (pm)