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Incontinence: nothing to sneeze at

It doesn’t kill you, but it can make your life hell. Incontinence affects 55 per cent of women over 60 and can have devastating emotional, social and physical consequences, such as falling, isolation and depression.

“One study shows it will take an average of 7 years for a woman to talk to a health professional about her incontinence,” says Chantal Dumoulin, researcher at the Institut Universitaire de Gériatrie de Montréal.

Dumoulin and her team are trying to refine and target treatments more accurately.

“If we learn to better identify those who will benefit most from pelvic floor exercises, then it will be easier to get funding from the government to treat these women,” Dumoulin said. Right now, 70 per cent of women do improve with exercise, but in the other 30 per cent, the cause may be neurological, requiring a different approach.

“My primary training is in physiotherapy,” Dumoulin explains. “I look at the patient in terms of general function. We found that incontinent women will stay home more, have less strength in their legs and are at a greater risk for falling.” Dumoulin is inviting women, both continent and incontinent, to form exercise classes that may treat or prevent this insidious problem.

“We evaluate the pelvic floor muscle and leg strength, provide training and follow up two to five years later to see if their risk of falling has diminished.”

Classes are formed as soon as there are enough participants.

To join a class call 514-340-3540 ext. 4129



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