The Elderly and Incontinence

If you want to find a topic NOBODY wants to talk about, just say the words “Adult Incontinence” says Bobby Rich of MixFM. But here we go:

15-20% of adults over the age of 65 are incontinent. We’d be willing to bet that many of our readers are nodding their heads in recognition. It may be your mom or dad, or it may be you.

If you are elderly and ill, there are many items that Medicare won’t cover, and that supplemental insurance will cover only partially, if at all. Medications are one of those items. A great deal of in-home care is another. (Ironically, the far more costly institutional care is more often covered.)

Diapers / incontinence supplies are on that list as well. Adult incontinence supplies cost $100 per month. With the average social security benefit at $874/month, spending $100 for incontinence supplies is just not possible. And so folks simply do without.

Because they can’t afford incontinence supplies, many incontinent but otherwise healthy adults stop leaving the house for fear of having an accident, a common cause of folks becoming “shut-ins.” On the flip side, for those folks who do become seriously ill late in life, the portion of their care that isn’t covered by Medicare and other insurance – like incontinence supplies – often means a catastrophic depletion of their life savings, no matter how well they planned for their retirement. And unlike most babies, who will someday grow out of diapers, incontinent adults will generally bear this cost for the rest of their lives.