Dementia and Continence
It can be hard to seek professional help for incontinence. Many people do so only at a point of crisis, as it may feel to the person with dementia like they are losing their dignity. Some may see incontinence as inevitable, but for many people with dementia, given the right advice and patience, accidents and incontinence can be managed or sometimes even cured.
The continence adviser will assess the person’s problems and how they are affecting their quality of life, as well as yours. It is common to be asked to keep a chart of toilet habits.
After a thorough assessment the continence adviser will write up a continence care plan tailored to the individual. This should include things that the person with dementia and any carer can do to help. It should also describe the support that professionals should provide, as well as follow-up and next steps.
The aim should be to cure toilet problems or incontinence wherever possible. This should be agreed with the person with dementia and their carer. In many cases, identifying and addressing practical issues, changing medications or making simple changes to lifestyle can help to achieve this.
In a few cases, the person may need to be referred to a further specialist. For some people, advice will focus not on curing but rather on containing the incontinence as comfortably as possible using aids.