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What is incontinence?

Elderly woman laughing with younger woman - understanding incontinence and its causes

Learn more about incontinence

You may have noticed your loved one always needing to go to the toilet. Or perhaps they’ve wet or soiled themselves. If so, they have incontinence. Although it’s a taboo subject that people don’t want to talk about, many have incontinence – especially in older age. It’s a medical condition where someone can’t control their bladder or bowel.
 
The good news is, there are things you can do to help your loved one manage it. There are a few types of incontinence, each with different symptoms and causes. Some are quite common – urinary incontinence, for example, which affects one in three people around the world. It can happen at any age.
 
To help your loved one, start by learning more about incontinence on the following pages:
 
 
You’ll probably come across unfamiliar terms when learning about incontinence. Look them up in our Glossary, which includes explanations of different types of incontinence products.

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