Incontinence and UTIs

This page is part of the Carers checklist guide and was last updated on October 29, 2020
Carers checklist Guide Index

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.

get_appBed 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.
get_appChange 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.
get_appOdour neutralising sprays
Pet shops are a useful source for sprays that neutralise odour.
get_appIndications 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.