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Addressing the impact of continence problems for people with dementia and carers

Part 2: Continence care at home

Many people with dementia live with relatives and friends who provide both dementia and continence care. Support for carers of people with dementia must therefore be part of any strategy to manage continence problems. This should include practical, emotional and financial support, and respite depending on each carer’s needs. Carers should be given training and have a named person to whom they can turn in case of difficulty. Many carers of people with dementia are older and have their own health issues (e.g. problems with eyesight, mobility, arthritis and even life-threatening diseases which affect their ability to look after another person). It is therefore essential that anyone helping you with continence problems seeks appropriate support.

Having continence problems and caring for someone with such problems can lead to a range of emotional and psychological difficulties linked to dignity, self-control, shame, disgust and despair. People may have fears about their ability to cope and continence problems may affect social contacts and sexual relationships. It is important to find someone in whom to confide.  A close friend might be able to help or someone who is or has been in the same situation as you. However, there are also trained professionals who can help. Some people find it easier to speak to a person who is not part of their social or family network. Ask your doctor or Alzheimer Association for help to contact an appropriate person.



Last Updated: Friday 20 February 2015