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Managing Dementia and Incontinence

Akanksha Nigam

Urinary incontinence becomes a common issue for people with dementia and can range from mild to severe leakage of urine. It seldom includes bowel leakage or fecal incontinence, where there is an occasional or total loss of control over the bowel. 

The psychological and social impacts of incontinence can be burdensome for family members and caregivers. It disrupts daily life, sleep patterns, outings, and even relationships and gets even worse when accompanied by dementia. Research states that Incontinence with dementia can be a precursor to loss of independence and nursing home admission in some cases.  

Symptoms of Dementia 

Dementia is a progressive disease that interferes with mental ability and disrupts daily life. The symptoms worsen as the condition progresses. According to Alzheimer’s Association, incontinence occurs in the middle and late stages and occurs because the messages between the brain and the bladder or bowel do not work properly. This can lead to symptoms like:

  • Inability to react to the urge to use a bathroom
  • Forgetting where a toilet is
  • Mobility issues
  • Inability  to communicate the need for a toilet
  • Forgetting how to use a toilet

All of these instances can lead to embarrassment and low self-esteem.

Functional Incontinence Symptoms

Some research suggests that Alzheimer's patients are aware of the need to urinate but cannot reach the bathroom on time. This is known as functional incontinence. It is associated with cognitive decline and is often a result of reduced motivation and mobility. 

Incontinence can be caused by other medical issues like:

Some Incontinence Care Tips For Dementia Caregivers

Before working on a treatment plan, it is important to understand the patient’s mental and emotional state. Because they are already puzzled and overwhelmed by memory loss, body control, and forgetfulness, undesired leakages make it more troublesome. 

Here are some ways you can manage incontinence and dementia - 

1. Empathy and Understanding 

Always remember that it is very important to treat patients with the utmost love, care, and compassion. Find ways to safeguard their dignity, do not scold or make them feel guilty, and respect the need for privacy.

Communicate with the patient frequently and encourage them to notify you if they need to use the toilet. Watch for hints such as restlessness, pacing, or sudden silence, which may signify the urge to use a toilet. You can also remind them to use the bathroom often.

2. Help them maintain bladder health

Fluid intake is also important. However, ensure they do not consume caffeinated drinks and limit liquid intake before bed.

Eliminate spicy and acidic foods as they irritate the urinary tract. Instead, feed a fiber-rich diet, including fruits and vegetables, to avoid constipation. 

Have them engage in pelvic exercises to strengthen their core and pelvic muscles. This will train the bladder to learn control.

3. Use Incontinence Products

As they might not remember using the bathroom, keep a supply of incontinence products like absorbent underwear, underpads, diapers, and briefs. 

Consistent moisture can damage perineal skin and lead to inflammation, rashes, and infections. Therefore, it is helpful to have supplies such as wipes and washcloths, skin creams and ointments, and perineal washes on hand to keep their skin moisture-free and comfortable.

4. Avoid accidents in public

When going out or traveling, it is always helpful to plan. Take regular bathroom breaks in between and keep a kit ready with perineal skin care items, underwear, pads, and an extra set of clothing.

Where to buy Incontinence Supplies?

HPFY carries a wide range of products to help with each aspect of incontinence. Some of our best sellers are:

1. Attends Premier Briefs – Overnight Absorbency

FSA Approved

Attends' is the softest and most absorbent product line. Designed to provide overnight protection from leakage, these briefs wick away moisture and keep the user dry, ensuring peaceful and relaxing sleep.

Features of Attends Premier Briefs – Overnight Absorbency

  • Locks away liquid quickly
  • Day and night wetness protection
  • 100% breathable material
  • 8 hours of odor protection
Attends Premier Briefs -Overnight Absorbency

 

 

2. Becks Classic Birdseye Reusable Underpads – Heavy Absorbency

FSA Approved Made In USA

Bid adieu to bed wetting with these underpads. These bed pads for incontinence protect bed linens and mattresses from moisture and staining. Three absorbent layers prevent leakage and wick away moisture from the skin for a dry and fresh feeling.

Features of Becks Classic Birdseye Reusable Underpads – Heavy Absorbency

  • Heavy absorbency
  • Protect sensitive skin from moisture
  • 3 layers of soft and thick quilt
  • 5-thread safety stretch for durability
Becks Classic Birdseye Reusable Underpads - Heavy Absorbency

 

 

3. Medline CountourPlus Bladder Control Pads

FSA Approved

Super absorbent core locks in fluid and protects skin from moisture. These incontinence pads have elasticated leg gathers and a contoured design that creates a discreet, secure, and comfortable fit.

Features of Medline CountourPlus Bladder Control Pads

  • Comfortable fabric provides all-day comfort
  • Protects clothing
  • Flexible for easy movement while wearing
  • The adhesive strip secures the pad in place
Medline ContourPlus Bladder Control Pads

 

 

4. Tranquility Premium Overnight Disposable Absorbent Underwear

FSA Approved Made In USA

Protect your clothing and linen from leakage with this absorbent incontinence underwear. The leg cuffs consist of Kufguards that channel the liquid to the core. Designed as nighttime wear, this underwear can also be used as extended wear when needed.

Features of Tranquility Premium Overnight Disposable Absorbent Underwear

  • Offers odor and leak security
  • Wicks away moisture
  • Provides 6-8 hours of protection
  • Soft, breathable material allows air flow to keep the user comfortable
Tranquility Premium OverNight Disposable Absorbent Underwear

 

 

5. Medline Ultrasorbs Air Permeable Disposable Drypads

FSA Approved

Lock away moisture and odor with these disposable dry pads. These bed pads for incontinence also prevent moisture-related pressure ulcers and skin damage. They provide waterproof protection for mattresses.

Features of Medline Ultrasorbs Air Permeable Disposable Drypads

  • Reduces friction and shear 
  • Ultra-soft, non-woven top sheet for patient comfort
  • Air-permeable back sheet keeps the skin dry
  • Fold-over edges offer added protection against leaks
Medline Ultrasorbs Air Permeable Disposable Drypads

 

 

Caring for a person suffering from dementia and incontinence is challenging. You need to look after their hygiene needs as well as other physical needs. Make sure to stay in regular touch with a healthcare professional to share updates about any new developments and also to learn new methods for treating the condition.

 

Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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