The Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence is High among Nursing Home Residents

Urinary incontinence and behavioral problems that come with dementia are frequently cited among the most common markers necessitating nursing home placement for elderly patients. A study analyzed urinary incontinence prevalence in 321 older adult nursing home residents (average age 81.5 years) in a large city in Brazil. The overall urinary incontinence prevalence was 58.88%. A number of variables were associated with an increased rate of urinary incontinence, including white ethnicity, little to no physical activity, stroke, mobility impairment, and cognitive decline. Although urgency urinary incontinence is usually the most common form in community dwelling older adults, functional incontinence because of mobility or cognitive issues was most common in this group of people.

It is important to note that only 8% of these incontinent nursing home residents were treated with standardized toileting interventions and the only kind provided was prompted voiding, even with a substantial amount of research showing the efficacy of various kinds of interventions in nursing homes. Unfortunately, most nonprofit nursing homes in Brazil do not have physicians or physician oversight, which may influence these results. Furthermore, higher urinary incontinence rates were observed in white participants, which was probably a reflection of increased debility. This finding likely reflects the disparities in nursing home placement by ethnicity in this area. Therefore, ethnicity was a proxy factor for socioeconomic status because wealthier individuals were usually not admitted to nursing homes until they were significantly debilitated and suffered more critical urinary incontinence.