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Tips for Managing Dementia-Related Incontinence

Planning ahead can minimize accidents and help a person maintain their dignity

By Family Caregiver Alliance

It's as embarrassing as any situation can be. You're caring for a person with dementia, and they lose control of their bladder or bowel.

Sometimes accidents result from environmental factors - the person you care for can’t remember where the bathroom is located or can’t get to it in time.

As challenging as it may be, your understanding, patience and reassurance can help the person you care for maintain dignity and minimize embarrassment. Here are some tips to reduce and manage dementia-related incontinence.

  •     Establish a routine for using the toilet.
  •     Try reminding the person or assisting her to the bathroom every two hours.‬
  •     Schedule fluid intake to ensure the confused person does not become dehydrated.
  •     Avoid drinks with a diuretic effect like coffee, tea, cola, or beer.
  •     Limit fluid intake in the evening before bedtime.‬
  •     Use‬ signs with illustrations to indicate which door leads to the bathroom.
  •     Leave a ‪commode, obtained at any medical supply store, in the bedroom at night for easy access.
  •     Use i‪ncontinence pads and products. A urologist may be able to prescribe a special product or treatment.‬
  •     Use‬ easy-to-remove clothing with elastic waistbands or Velcro closures
  •     Use clothes that are easily washable.

Handle dementia-related behaviors with compassion

By Family Caregiver Alliance

MissionFamily Caregiver Alliance is a public voice for caregivers, illuminating the daily challenges they face, offering them the assistance they so desperately need and deserve, and championing their cause through education, services, research and advocacy.    Who We Are Founded in 1977, Family Caregiver Alliance was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. Long recognized as a pioneer in health services, the alliance offers programs at national, state and local levels to support and sustain caregivers.National, State and Local Programs Uniting research, policy and practice, the alliance established the National Center on Caregiving to advance the development of high-quality, cost effective programs and policies for caregivers in every state in the country. The National Center on Caregiving sponsors the Family Care Navigator to help caregivers locate support services in their communities. Family Caregiver Alliance also oversees Link2Care, an Internet support and information system for clients of California's system of Caregiver Resource Centers and operates the Bay Area Caregiver Resource Center in the six-county San Francisco Bay Area. In that capacity, the alliance's staff social workers work closely with families caring for ill or elderly loved ones. Our services, education programs and publications are developed with their expressed needs in mind, to offer real support, essential information, and tools to manage the complex and demanding tasks of caregiving.

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