Incontinence is a common concern for seniors with dementia. Families providing Philadelphia dementia care should be aware of the causes of incontinence along with the most effective strategies for making their senior loved ones more comfortable.
Treat Underlying Physical Conditions
A senior with dementia may not always be able to clearly describe when something is wrong. An undiagnosed urinary infection sometimes results in incontinence. Mentioning this concern at your loved one’s annual physical exam may provide a quick solution to incontinence.
Find Out About Medication Side Effects
Seniors with dementia are often prescribed medications that affect their ability to hold their urine. For example, anti-anxiety medicine and sleeping pills have a relaxing effect on the bladder that increases the risk of accidents. Though your loved one may still have to take the medication, knowing it is the cause of the incontinence provides reassurance it is out of his or her control.
Schedule Regular Restroom Trips
The memory loss associated with dementia can make it harder for seniors to remember to go to the bathroom. They may also start heading for the bathroom but forget where they are going. Plan regular bathroom trips as part of your loved one’s normal daily routine and provide assistance with getting to the facility.
Foster Effective Communication
A senior with dementia may forget the words for needing to go to the restroom, or he or she may use a different term completely. Philadelphia, PA, caregivers should strive to learn the preferred terminology and physical cues that indicate a need to go. For example, your loved one may exhibit agitation or tug at his or her clothes.
Make It Easier to Use the Restroom
Many incidents of incontinence are due to timing. A senior with dementia may get distracted by an object along the way to the bathroom or be unable to remove his or her clothing fast enough to prevent an accident. Choose clothing with simple fasteners that allows your loved one to easily prepare for using the restroom, and keep a clear path all the way to the toileting area.
Incontinence is just one of many potential dementia side effects your loved one may need help managing. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers are experts in elderly dementia care and can provide mental and social stimulation, drive your loved one to medical appointments, and help with tasks like bathing and grooming. For more information on the home care Philadelphia seniors and their families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (215) 645-4663 to schedule a free consultation.