Looking after a loved one with dementia is a journey of adjustments. It above all requires patience and compassion, as any caregiver will know. Incontinence can be especially troubling for the loved one that you care for.
Incontinence is common for individuals with dementia, and can happen for a number of reasons. Prescription drugs, UTIs, forgetting where the washroom is, or failing to find the ability to communicate are all factors that affect patients with dementia. It is important to remember at all times that it is not the individual’s fault, and that it is upsetting for them to experience this.
There are a number of things you can do to help:
- Clearly label the washroom, and the route towards it.
- Use night-lights to ensure the washroom can be safely found at night.
- Pick clothes that they can easily remove on their own. Many individuals with dementia or other health problems will struggle with belts, buttons, or zippers at times.
- Be keenly aware of physical signs of needing the washroom – fidgeting, standing up and down, or even the knowledge of how much liquid they’ve had recently.
- Ensure that your washroom is appropriately fitted for safety and ease of use.