|Incontinence Associated with Dementia
Dementia Awareness Week, 18th – 24th May 2014
Dementia Awareness Week is a week dedicated to sharing information
Dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause memory loss, confusion, mood
Incontinence and toilet problems associated with Dementia
Accidents and problems with incontinence can be a caused by;
- Slower reaction time to the sensation of needing the toilet
- Mobility problems, arthritis, etc. may result in failure to get to the toilet in time
- Inability to find, recognise or use a toilet. Unfamiliar surroundings may confuse someone with Dementia, causing them to urinate in an inappropriate place (such as a wastepaper basket) because they mistake it for a toilet.
- Not understanding prompts from someone to use a toilet
- Not managing personal aspects of toileting, such as undoing clothing and personal hygiene
- Embarrassment leading to not allowing someone to help with toileting
- Not attempting to find a toilet due to lack of motivation or depression
In more advanced forms of Dementia, damage to the nerve pathways that tell the brain that the bladder/bowel is full can be a cause of incontinence.
Night time incontinence
Many older people awake during the night, someone with dementia may awake feeling disorientated and therefore unable to act quickly enough to get to the toilet. The following may help with this;
- Motion sensor lights/night lights in the bedroom, corridors and bathroom to help guide the way.
- A urinal or commode by the bed.
- Avoiding drinking 2 hours before going to bed.
Incontinence can cause skin irritation and a general feeling of discomfort. It is important to act quickly after an accident to ensure the person feels comfortable and clean.
- When wet or soiled, a person should wash with mild soap and warm water. Dry carefully (patting is recommended) and put on clean clothes and fresh pads.
- Soiled clothing, bedding, reusable pads etc should be washed immediately or soaked until they are washed.
- Used pads should be stored in an appropriate container and disposed of quickly. Click here to view our disposal products.
- Moist tissues and wipes may be used for minor accidents, click here to view our wipes range.
Here at incontinencesupermarket.co.uk we are pleased to be able to offer a wide selection of products to help you best manage incontinence. From pads and pants to toilet and bathroom aids.
We have set up our website to make it as easy as possible for you to select the product that is right for you.
You can shop by the following options:
By brand : If you already know what product you’re looking for
By level of incontinence : To help you identify the products that are best suited to your needs
By style : So if you know you prefer a pad to an all-in-one product, you can select just the style for you
We are always looking to provide the best product range at the best possible prices, so if you can’t see what you’re looking for, please get in touch. Or if you have found a like for like product at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%!
Healthy Bladder and Bowels are important
The first step to preventing toilet problems and incontinence is keeping the urinary tract and bowels healthy.
The following advice can help with this;
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids each day, not drinking enough for long periods of time can cause urinary tract infections and constipation. It is advisable to drink more if the individual has hard stools.
- A balance diet including at least five daily portions of fruits and vegetables as well as plenty of fibre ensures regular bowel movements.
- Mobility helps with bowel movements; if possible, walking each day will be beneficial.
Carers can help to reduce accidents
Follow these tips to make it easy for an individual to identify and use the toilet;
- Door signs, including bright, bold words and pictures placed within the persons line of sight ensure identification is quick and easy.
- Check placement of mirrors inside the bathroom. A person with dementia may confuse their reflection with someone else, mistaking the bathroom as occupied and so not using the toilet.
- Ensure the bathroom/toilet is easily accessible. Move any obstructions such as furniture and ensure any doors that may be difficult to open are kept ajar. Well lit corridors and rooms are also key, especially at night time.
- For individuals with mobility problems there are various bathroom aids to help. See our range of bathroom aids here, including toilet frames, urinals and commodes.
- Make sure clothing can be easily removed by the person themselves. Elasticated waists and Velcro fastenings in place of zips and buttons can be a help.
- Give regular reminders about going to the toilet (eg, every 2-4 hours)
- Prompting should be done sensitively so as not to come across as patronising or annoying. Watch discreetly for signs that the person needs the toilet, such as fidgeting, pacing, getting up and down or pulling at clothes
- Check the person has been to the toilet and has not forgotten or become distracted
Given the right advice and patience accidents and incontinence can be managed and sometimes cured. Seeking professional help can be difficult, it may feel like a loss of dignity but is the first step towards making life easier.
A GP will be able to review symptoms and identify any underlying medical conditions, diet or medications that may be causing problems.
GPs are able to refer you to a continence advisor if you are unable to resolve things. There may be a wait for these services, however the continence advisor will assess the problems and put together a continence care plan for you to follow that is tailored to the individual.
Other health professionals can make home visits and offer support, you can be referred to these by your GP;
- Community nurses
- Occupational therapists
- Community psychiatric nurses
- Community mental health team