Helpful information from repuatable sources about caring for yourself or a loved one who has a debilitating condition.

urinary incontinence

What Is Urinary Incontinence?

Urinary incontinence means a person leaks urine by accident. Urinary incontinence is a common bladder problem as people age. Women are more likely than men to leak urine. If this problem is happening to you, there is help. Urinary incontinence can often be controlled. Talk to your health care provider about what you can do.

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pelvic floor muscle exercises

Pelvic floor muscle exercises can help both men and women who leak urine by making the muscles that hold urine in the bladder stronger.

Here’s how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises.

  1. Tighten the pelvic muscles that you use to prevent gas from escaping.
  2. Continue tightening the muscles going to the front of the pelvic area.
  3. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds before releasing. (If 5 seconds is too long, hold for as long as you can. Over time, try to hold longer until you reach 5 seconds.)
  4. Repeat 5 to 10 times. (If you can’t do 5 sets, start with 1 or 2. Over time, try to increase to 5.)

Also practice contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles quickly for 10 seconds. (If 10 seconds is too long, start with less time.) Do this 5 to 10 times. (If you can’t make it to 5 sets, start with fewer sets.)

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There are steps everyone can take to improve bladder health.

Drink enough fluids -- especially water.

Drink enough fluids so that the bladder needs to be emptied every 3 to 4 hours. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best fluid for bladder health. At least half of fluid intake should be water. 

(Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions. For example, if you have kidney failure or heart disease, you should not drink this much fluid. Ask your health care provider how much fluid is healthy for you.)

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shingles vaccine


Shingles, a painful skin disease, affects about half of older adults by the time they are 80 years old. A vaccine is now available to protect against shingles. Who should get the shot?

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What is dry mouth?

Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet. Everyone has dry mouth once in a while -- if they are nervous, upset, or under stress. But if you have dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and lead to serious health problems. Though many older adults have dry mouth, it is not a normal part of aging.

Saliva helps digest food and helps us chew and swallow. Saliva is involved in taste perception as well. Each of these functions of saliva is hampered when a person has dry mouth.

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How Alcohol Affects the Body

Drinking alcohol affects the body in many ways. These effects can lead to physical and mental changes that can put alcohol users and others at risk of injury or death. Possible dangers include falls, household accidents, and car crashes.

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My late husband took 16 medications a day. Some had low co-pays, and a 3-month supply was only $10 to $20. His most expensive prescription drug was Revatio, which required a co-pay of $1,250 for a 3-month supply. The middle-ground co-pays were on average $300 for a 3-month supply. The total expense was staggering, and only a fraction of his total medical expenses. I managed to buy all of the drugs he needed, but I had to use a variety of methods to do so.

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