What Is Dementia?
There are many forms of Dementia – in fact over 200 different types of Dementia have been diagnosed in patients.
However simply put Dementia is a disease that affects the brain. Our brains are made up of nerve cells that send messages all over our body and keep it functioning well.
Dementia damages the nerve cells in the brain so the messages do not travel to and from the brain effectively which means that the body does not function properly.
As every person is unique with their own personality you will find that everyone will experience Dementia in their own way.
When first diagnosed those with Dementia will be able to live their lives as normal but as time progresses unfortunately more assistance will be needed to continue to live life as normally as possible.
One of the main symptoms of Dementia is short term memory loss.
As time goes on those with Dementia can find that their short term memory loss becomes so poor that they can forget when they last went to the toilet which can cause accidents at home or when they are out and about.
This loss of control of bladder and bowel movements can be very embarrassing & distressing for someone with dementia. They can feel a loss of dignity and themselves.
That is why it very important that those caring from someone with Dementia are supportive, understanding and non-judgemental when an accident occurs and to also follow some tips to try to avoid any accidents occurring.
Top 10 Tips For Those Caring For Someone With Dementia & Incontinence
Incontinence is a loss of Bladder and Bowel control which leads to leakage of urine & faeces.
Incontinence in all people can cause problems with the body if not dealt with effectively – it can cause the following issues:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UIT’s) – UTI’s can cause sudden confusion (Delerium) in people. For someone with Dementia this can be very difficult as their symptoms may become worse, they can become agitated and withdrawn.
That is why it is more important to ensure that if you are caring for someone with Dementia their incontinence is properly dealt with and monitored.
- Constipation – Constipation can put extra pressure on the bladder leading to further urinary incontinence. Constipation can also lead to a worsening of someone’s confusion and make them aggressive and more irritable.
As it can be seen the two medical conditions that can arise from Incontinence not been dealt with properly can lead to a worsening of the Dementia symptoms – that is why it is so important that all Carers monitor incontinence properly and hopefully the Top 10 tips below can help:
- Be patient and understanding of someone who has Dementia and is now struggling with Incontinence.
- Keep the Toilet door open and the light on at night so the toilet can be found easily.
- Look for signs that someone needs to toilet such as fidgeting or standing up or down a lot.
- Remind every few hours about toileting and encourage to visit if they have not been for more than 3 hours.
- Keep the person you are caring for hydrated with plenty of fluids 1.5-2 litres of water per day.
- Check that the person diet is healthy & fibre-rich to avoid Constipation.
- Try to keep the person active by walking around. A daily walk helps with regular bowel movements.
- Make going to the toilet part of a daily routine at set times of the day – breakfast, lunch & dinner and before bed perhaps.
- Make sure the bathroom is a safe place with plenty of grab rails near the toilet and door.
- Make use of Continence products such as Pads, Pull Up Pants and Adult Nappies. Bed & Chair protection can also be a help.
The most important tip above is No.1 Be patient and Understanding. Someone with Dementia is finding that their world is changing – things that were once easy and second nature such as going to the toilet now can be a challenge. Accidents that happen can be very embarrassing and may make some feel that they are losing their dignity that is why it is important to try to remember the tips above and help all those we care for keep their Dignity.
Your Comfort Healthcare offer a wide range of Incontinence Products and our best sellers are our Forma-Care Premium Dry Pull Up Pants – to see our full Incontinence range click on our link below: