Incontinence and UTIs

Care & SupportGeneral Health
This page is part of the Carers checklist guide and was last updated on December 11, 2019
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  1. Carers checklist
  2. Money matters
  3. Working and caring
  4. Legal matters
  5. Getting support with caring
  6. Home adaptations and telecare
  7. Mobility
  8. Driving
  9. Staying connected
  10. Peer support for carers
  11. Respite and creative breaks
  12. Home design
  13. Incontinence and UTIs
  14. Pain
  15. Going missing
  16. Transition to care

Incontinence (UTIs) may occur later on in dementia, but not necessarily. If it is an issue for you, ask the District or Community Nurses attached to your GP practice for a referral to the Continence Service. The Service will write a prescription for pads (pants are not generally available on the NHS although some practices make an exception).

The pads will be delivered to you each month by courier. The service is free. Remember that weight gains and losses might require a different size of pad.

infoBed pads

Washable absorbent bed pads (known as ‘Kylie’ sheets) are a good investment if you need to protect your mattress, but they are not available on the NHS. You can buy them online – for example, Amazon and eBay are good places to compare prices.

infoChange toilet seats

Men with dementia sometimes struggle to differentiate a white seat from the toilet bowl. Encourage sitting rather than standing, if possible. Red toilet seats make the toilet easier to see.

infoOdour neutralising sprays

Pet shops are a useful source for sprays that neutralise odour.

infoIndications of UTIs

UTIs occur mainly because people with dementia do not drink enough fluid. Tea and coffee are diuretics so it is better to prompt with water or diluting juice or fruit juices diluted with water. UTIs present with increased confusion, ‘gobbledegook’, and urine with a strong smell and a dark colour. If UTIs are caught early, they are easily treated with antibiotics.