Toileting and incontinence
Dementia can affect many aspects of a person's daily routine, including control over urination or defecation (incontinence). For a lot of us, this can be a touchy or awkward subject because it can be difficult to accept help in this intimate area of our lives, particularly from someone we’re close to.
Tips for reducing accidents
In some situations, bowel or bladder control issues may be preventable. If toileting becomes a challenge, try the following to help with your specific situation:
|Is urine being released with the pressure of a sneeze, cough or laugh? Is the person taking medication that may be causing them to need to go to the bathroom often?||
|Can the person communicate that they need to go?||
|Do they understand the body’s message that it is time to go?||
|Can the person find the bathroom? Are other objects being mistaken for a toilet? Is the person more confused at night?||
|Is it difficult for the person to get up from their bed or chair?||
|Are they able to undress in time?||
|Is going to the toilet too complicated? Is the person able to go through all the steps, for example, finding the toilet, undressing, etc.?||
Dealing with accidents
Accidents happen. Stay calm and try to ease any embarrassment the person might be feeling.
Keep the person dry and clean. If accidents continue, disposable underwear, panty liners (for women) or protective bedding might be helpful. Use them only if necessary and continue to take the person to the bathroom regularly.
Download our printable tip sheet When Toileting Becomes a Challenge: Tips and Strategies or connect with the staff at your local Alzheimer Society for more information and support.
Last Updated: 11/08/2017