Incontinence Care for Those with Dementia
When performing incontinence care to individuals with confusion or dementia, there are some key points to keep in mind in order to provide the utmost respect and consideration for those who suffer from incontinence.
Most importantly, reassure the person with incontinence and always avoid any type of embarrassing dialogue and/or speaking down to a person with incontinence as though he/she is not an adult.
Use a matter of fact tone when providing incontinence care, and avoid any conversation that would cause guilt or shame. Provide as much privacy as possible.
Be tuned into the person with incontinence so you know which words he/she uses when needing to use the rest room. When disorientation and confusion are factors in incontinence, words that have nothing to do with using the toilet may be used as an indicator that the person really has to urinate. Watch for nonverbal cues that the person with incontinence has to use the bathroom, such as tugging on clothing, restlessness, facial expressions (such as grimacing) or pacing.
Never Withhold Fluids from those with Incontinence
Never withhold fluids from someone with incontinence-this could actually worsen the condition and lead to medical complications such as urinary tract infections. It is okay however, to offer more fluids during the day, and suggest limiting fluid intake around bedtime.
Incontinence care involves reminding the person to use the bathroom frequently. Consider suggesting a regular schedule to use the bathroom-such as every 3 hours.
Incontinence Care Safety Factors
Keep a clear pathway and the door open to the bathroom. This will provide quick access and provide safety (falls prevention) for the person who has incontinence. Keep the toilet seat raised for immediate access and be sure to install grab bars for those who have an unsteady gait or are prone to falls.
If the bathroom is really far away from the bedroom, consider a portable commode at the bedside for quick access and safe transfers.
Keep a night light on at all times to avoid tripping and fumbling around looking for the light switch-which could be a safety hazard and result in taking too much time to get to the bathroom.
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