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How Dementia Affects Continence

People with dementia have memory loss and may be confused performing daily tasks – this includes toileting which leads to incontinence. They may not know they need to go to the toilet, have trouble finding a toilet and then not be able to undress appropriately in time.

Continence treatment for people with dementia may differ from those without, but there are still ways to provide dignity and comfort.

  • Most people have a toileting pattern so it can help to take note of the times the person goes to the toilet and pre-empting their needs. As an example, a common time for bowel motions is soon after a meal, usually breakfast.
  • Watch for signs of needing to go to the toilet such as restlessness and pulling at their clothing.
  • Ensure the pathway to the toilet is clear so it is easy to find. A night light can help when it’s dark.
  • Dress the person with incontinence appropriately – elastic waisted pants are best.
  • Provide the person with appropriate continence products such as pads, pull ups, waterproof chair and bed pads.
  • Monitor the person’s fluid intake which can keep the bladder healthy and assist in bowel movements. Caffeine is known to upset the bladder so it’s a good idea to avoid it. 
  • Be sincere and respond to the person’s needs in a kind way.
  • Seek help from your doctor and take advantage of outside help. Help may be available with laundry, shopping and respite.
  • The National Continence Helpline offers free advice, resources and information about local services.

Our fully trained staff can give you advice on the best continence products for your needs. Just give us a call or pop in to one of our stores in Port Macquarie, Forster or Taree.

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