Talking Point members share advice about getting the right continence products for a person with dementia.
‘If you want free pads you need a referral to the continence service, usually via your GP. Then it's down to their budget how many they are going to give you. Nappy-style pads are cheaper than pull-up pants. We got pull-ups but had to buy loads in ourselves, as we weren't given enough. You can buy them online but you can also get them in supermarkets and pharmacies (supermarkets sell them cheaper than pharmacies).’
Toilet problems and continence
Read our guide to toilet problems and incontinence, including causes, solutions and how this might affect a person with dementia.
‘Incontinence pads are free in Northern Ireland. The GP will refer you to the continence service and you will see a nurse. My mother started off with mini pads then pads then gradually increasing strengths of pull up panties. They will only allow two pairs of panties per day. There is a review once a year by a nurse but this can be done by phone . You get a number to ring for more pads. You can ring the nurse if you need stronger pads.’
‘We sometimes wrap an extra, but smaller, incontinence sheet inside Mum’s nightie, for overnight. This saves a wet nightie (or sheets) when there's a leak. I've found the urine incontinence one of the hardest things to manage with Mum's dementia, especially now she's practically bed bound.’
'Now we know which ones to get it has made a huge difference,' says Bluelilly.
Sad Staffs says,
‘My other half has major problems with kidneys and bladder, pees constantly. We do get supplies via the incontinence nurse, pads and the overnight nappy type. I can cope with changing the pads throughout the day, I have to do them as he just can’t get his head round how he should do it.
‘The overnight one is for very severe incontinence but he passes so much overnight I put a Boots night-time pants on top. It is very rare for his night things and the bed covers not to be wet in patches, especially if he lies on his side. Trial and error – I can now keep the bed dry by covering it in a washable double-bed sheet cover and using two disposable bed covers on top of that. I wake up numerous times feeling him and the bed, checking for wetness.’
‘The only problems we had were when we put Mum in the wrong size. Then we had leaks. Now we know which ones to get it has made a huge difference. Mum is doubly incontinent too. The only thing I find is, unless I tear the sides to get them off, then it can be messy when pulling them down as Mum doesn’t stand still for long. It works for us that way though.’
‘Less volume but more frequency is a bit of a trade-off but it might work,' says KevinL.
‘I use Tena pants for my mother, who is doubly incontinent (not all the time, but often enough). She has had these since being in hospital and they have only leaked a tiny amount on one occasion. The hospital sent her home with the net pants with separate pad and a spare, but she really didn't like them. I found they were quite difficult to get up on my own, especially as Mum couldn't stand for too long – we needed a quick pull-up job and she feels as if she is still wearing “normal pants”.’
‘Less volume but more frequency is a bit of a trade-off but it might work. It's worth thinking about because then you might be able to use a lighter pad – you'd have to change it more often but you'd save on washing sheets.’
‘Boots do a good delivery service, where a plain box turns up with a bulk order – easier than carting them home or gambling that your local branch has enough supplies.’