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.
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:
All of these instances can lead to embarrassment and low self-esteem.
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:
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 -
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.
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.
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.
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.
HPFY carries a wide range of products to help with each aspect of incontinence. Some of our best sellers are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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