Health & Behaviour
People with dementia can experience difficulties with using the toilet. Accidents and incontinence can often cause problems. This can be upsetting for the person and those around them. It is a difficult and sensitive subject to talk about. Every Doctor’s surgery should have an Incontinence Nurse specialist and there are pads and aids available for free.
There are very useful links and advice on the Alzheimer's Society website https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/daily-living/toilet-problems-continence and Dementia UK website https://www.dementiauk.org/get-support/maintaining-health-in-dementia/continence/
Bladder and Bowel UK
Supporting people with bladder and bowel problems. Leave a message and they will get back to you, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There are links on the website to the Complete Care Shop making it possible to buy a range of products, or call 0330 053 5930.
BBUK have also launched a free Just Can’t Wait Card which you can apply for. This is recognised by many retail and service organisations, giving access to toilets not normally available to the general public.
Independent Living are a local company who will help, advise and deliver promptly. They offer free guidance on the phone or will visit. [See expanded information under Disability Aids above.]
Continence Product Advisor
An independent, not for profit organisation providing information and advice. They do not sell or provide products but provide a wealth of information on what is available.
The website provides advice and essential information about products for bowel, bladder and toileting problems.
(The information below is provided by Bucks Memory Support Service)
Frustration and increased agitation or aggression can be very common for people with dementia. It’s not a symptom as such, but we tend to see it more as a way of communicating underlying feelings or needs. When a person is unable to communicate verbally their feelings and wishes, it can turn to frustration and then agitation or aggression if these underlying needs are not met. As well as communication problems, it can be triggered by any number of things such as boredom, tiredness, a feeling of being told what to do, pain, sometimes it’s in response to a way a carer has unintentionally spoken to the person with dementia……any number of things. Looking for a trigger can be helpful, sometimes keeping a diary can help to recognise patterns.
In terms of being more receptive to carers helping with washing and dressing – sometimes trying a different time of the day may help. Always face the person for whom you are caring face on and try and engage with them visually to start with; it’s advisable not to approach from the side. Another thing which can also help is introducing some favourite music at this time, it can sometimes help to influence the person’s frame of mind in a positive way.
If a change in behaviour is sudden and persistent it’s always sensible to check with the GP to rule out a urine infection (UTI) as this can often present as a change in behaviour, increased confusion and agitation, so always worth checking that out if it’s a sudden change.
The online forum ‘Talking Point’ may also be a helpful place for carers to raise any questions they may have around this subject: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/dementia-talking-point-our-online-community
Bucks Memory Support Service, Alzheimer's Society 01296 331749