Dementia and incontinence phomecare ndis support
If you are an NDIS participant and suffer incontinence due to your disability, you may be able to access bladder and bowel health support phome care can help you. When a person is living with dementia, incontinence may become more of a challenge. Because of changes to their brain, the person may be disoriented and unable to find the toilet. They
may resist or refuse assistance with toileting. They might also feel ashamed of having to be helped. A professional continence assessment is required to plan appropriate management of co‑existing health problems and behaviour factors.
Check the person’s individual care plan to see if there are specific instructions on assisting them with toileting.
Urinary incontinence may be a small occasional leak of pee, a continued leak after peeing, or total loss of bladder control.
There are several types of urinary incontinence. One of these – especially common in people with dementia – is an overactive bladder. This causes the feeling of a sudden and intense need to pee, and frequent peeing.
Women are also at particular risk of a type of urinary incontinence called stress incontinence, often caused by pregnancy and childbirth. This is when a cough, sneeze or laugh causes a small leak of pee.
Faecal incontinence can range from accidentally leaking a small amount of poo when breaking wind, to having no bowel control at all. Faecal incontinence is less common than urinary incontinence. It affects men and women about equally.
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Incontinence and toilet problems in people with dementia
A person with dementia is more likely to have accidents, incontinence or difficulties using the toilet than a person of the same age who doesn’t have dementia.
For some people, incontinence develops because messages between the brain and the bladder or bowel don’t work properly. They may not recognise that they have a full bladder or bowel, or be able to control them. Other reasons include:
- not reacting quickly enough to the sensation of needing to use the toilet
- not getting to the toilet in time – for example, because of limited mobility
- not being able to tell someone that they need to go to the toilet because of difficulty communicating
- not understanding a prompt from someone to use the toilet
- not being able to find, recognise or use the toilet. If someone becomes confused about their surroundings, they may pee in an inappropriate place (such as a wastepaper basket) because they have mistaken it for a toilet
- not being able to, or forgetting how to, do things needed to use the toilet, such as undoing clothing
- not letting others help with going to the toilet or refusing to use it – this could be due to embarrassment or not understanding an offer of help
- not making any attempt to find the toilet – this could be due to depression or a lack of motivation, or because the person is distracted embarrassment after an accident, which the person unsuccessfully tries to manage. For example, they may try to hide wet or soiled clothes at the back of a drawer to deal with later, and then forget they’ve put them there.