"Apa Khabar Mak Abah?" Awareness Campaign- TENA Malaysia - Sebrinah Yeo

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Thursday, 9 August 2018

"Apa Khabar Mak Abah?" Awareness Campaign- TENA Malaysia

Was glad to be here at this event by TENA Malaysia. I remember seeing their latest advertisement video on Facebook about how real this issue is amongst the elderly and it was never talked about ever. Almost as if it was a taboo. The embarrassment is definitely there in all of us deep down. But this campaign today stood out and inspires to make a difference in this topic or in this situation. To be honest, not many will speak up and tell anyone they have an incontinence problem.


What is incontinence?
It is the inability to control yourself on passing motions.



When I stated anyone, I literally meant everyone no matter the age! Because this incontinence problem does not just affect the elderly. Some younger adults do experience this too.


It's also frequent amongst woman especially after birth; This is due to their weak pelvic floor muscles. But this is not some kind of disease or plague but be warned, as it can lead to those if it is left untreated!


YES! It can be cured!

The TENA advertisement video I saw on Facebook really hit a core in my soft spot. I cried because it's really touching to see how the elderly parent and adult child bonded over this matter. It is not an easy journey and everyone facing issues like this will be in denial at the start.


Juriah bt Jalalus Shuti shared her story of how she started noticing things and how she managed to resolve things between her and her mom's incontinence situation. In fact, it was Juriah that was in denial because her mom is a single supermom. It wasn't until one day her mom couldn't control herself and suddenly had a go at it at the kitchen near the fridge. They were embarrassed. But she brushed it off. After 6 months, she then realized something was wrong. She was in denial but had to do something, so she discussed with her sister. She hired a part time maid to clean the house in the morning but in the afternoon it goes back to square one. They talked about it but her mom was also in denial and Juriah had to be careful of her words when she talk to mom.


So in order to make her accept reality. Everyday, after work & after picking her 3 kids up; They'd go to her mom's place to mop the floor and wash her clothes & sheets. Until she got so tired and fed up, that one day, she stopped going over for a month. So her mom asked her sister what happened to Juriah. Then after that, Juriah came back and her mom was still in denial. Until finally she manage to convince her to accept reality and wants her to move in with her. She manage to invite her home with her AFTER she renovated her house and added 2 rooms, one of it right next to the toilet. She thought the issue was over until one day she hurt her lower back due to excessive moping as she will head home from office several times a day. That is when Juriah and her sister decided to let her try TENA. And now the problem is finally resolved temporary. You must be persistent, said Juriah.


It is advised by Dr. Peter Ng (Consultant Urologist & President of the Continence Foundation Malaysia) to go seek help and support those who are affected! Usually incontinence happens due to certain medical conditions that causes it. For example, I have been coughing for 2 months and it was so bad that I sometimes leak when I'm coughing badly non-stop, many people (including me) feel it's minor and it'll get better soon. But little did I know that as a person (especially women) gets older they will leak. Because their pelvic floor muscles has weaken.


The good news is, 80% of incontinence cases are curable. And the method of curing is really simple, you either take medication, you practice bladder training, do kegal exercise and if needed, a small surgical to insert a string in a small part of the vagina, will do it's magic to cure this incontinence issue once and for all! There are some side effects to surgical method but it is very minimal and rare.


Andrew Yap shared about how his mom (60s), when she goes for exercises and walking up the hill, she has to wear sanitary pads. And it leaks because she has to walk up and down the hill. Her friends noticed it first that her pants are wet after coming down from the hill. So she has been suffering alone for quite awhile. Andrew was studying overseas at that time and busy with his life out there in the world. Then when he finally came back, he noticed there was urine scent and also a lot of sanitary pads stocked-up at home. Over the years later, he did notice the issue but was not aware of what to do and the first person that found out, is the family GP. The GP told her to speak to her son to support her and bring her to check up at the hospital. That was when his mom finally spoke up about her incontinence problem and they went to the hospital together. She used to use the Tena after finding out about it. And after getting proper help at the hospital, her incontinence issue is now almost cured. So it can be rectified. Go to the doctor together with your loved ones. Keep providing them support, even though they won't tell you upfront of their issue. Follow them until you find the root cause with them and support them throughout.


As mentioned also by Dr. Peter Ng, incontinence depending on which type, can be cured. For example, stress incontinence (like prolong coughing or exercising or even laughing or sneezing) can be cured through "Kegel" exercise! Which is also mentioned in the Caring 101 book where you can download it on TENA website. A quick Google search will show you many results about this beneficial exercise for women out there! It was also the only exercise I did while expecting my babies because it's meant to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Another method is the surgical part which takes about 20minutes or so and it will be cured.


An overactive bladder on the other hand is slightly different but can be cured with medication or bladder training. This bladder training can be done on your own and it helps to hold your urine better. And with a proper training, you won't need any drugs to cure it!


Some simple Bladder Training steps to take note :
1. Take your phone, set the timer to 1 hour.
2. For a week, everytime your phone timer rings every 1 hour; Go to the toilet and try to pee (regardless or not you have pee)
3. The following week, set your timer to 1 hour and 15 minutes, then repeat the same action.
4. Keep increasing the timer for several weeks until you get to 3 to 4 hours apart.

It's as simple as that.

Please don't use sanitary pads, it is to hold blood and not to hold water. TENA has a technology to hold water and keep the surface dry. AND it must be dry and not wet, because if it's wet, it will affect your skin and more problems may arise down below! TENA can hold up to 400 - 600ml of urine. It will stay dry, but if it feels wet then it needs to be changed (means full already lah).


It is good to know about all these strategy, investment and knowledge that will empower you. It'll even help save your money. The cure is there and it is very rare that a doctor will just ask you to wear a pad for good.


Do You Know?
Midnight trip to the toilet is the most dangerous trip. Because it is dark, you woke up feeling groggy, the bathroom floor wet, it is dangerous; And most elderly folks are like beautiful Ming vases, there are no resilience. You see, your body will regenerate when you are unwell because you got no reserves. So you and your body are very fragile!

If midnight toilet trip is needed, get a urinal for your parents! It's safer then moving them next to the bathroom!


To be honest, if I weren't here today, I'd never know that it can be cured and it ain't a disease. It's nothing to be ashamed about, because nobody is perfect at the end of the day.

What can you do as a caregiver/friend/relative/son/daughter/in-law?


As mentioned by Evelyn Chan (Marketing Director, Vinda Group Southeast Asia) you can explore the following :
1. Take the self check list HERE
2. Download the Caring 101 handbook HERE
3. Speak to someone, a toll-free helpline is available 1-800-88-9988 or Facebook chat available for assistance from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.


Visit TENA for more educational material and video

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