Your answers: Continence products

Talking Point members share advice about getting the right continence products for a person with dementia.

Putting a load of washing on

Beate says,

‘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.

Find out more

angelaraphael says,

‘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.’ 

Marnie63 says,

‘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.’

Bluelilly says,

‘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.

degu68 says,

‘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”.’

KevinL says,

‘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.’ 

Helly68 says, 

‘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.’ 

Dementia together magazine: Aug/Sept 18

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Dads incontinent , but cannot work out how to use the pads . We buy the pull on as they are easy to get on for him . The pads and nylon pull on pads are awkward to use and not fit for a patient with Dementia . We have been supplied with 3 months of the pads and nighttime nappies . He is still fairly independent getting dressed etc and these products have not kept his independence or dignity in tact . Having to do the nappies st night is challenging and I struggle with them . I cannot see why the NHS cannot partly funded pulls on so that dementia patients can keep their independence snd dignity gir as long as possible .

My mum has dementia. Also now has a bladder prolapse. She has developed incontinence and we are waiting to be seen by incontinence service. We have bought various makes of pull up pants, pads etc but she removes them or tears them up. She doesn't understand, has this been a problem for anyone else and if so did you manage to overcome it?

Hi my wife has Alzheimers and has had incontinence problems (having to get to the loo as quick as possible back passage) but I was not aware it was linked to this condition.
I was speaking to her GP about her incontinence but he did not make any comment about it being linked to her condition

Hi James,
Incontinence is not an inevitable consequence of dementia, but people with the condition can experience difficulties with using the toilet.
For more information, please take a look at this section, Toilet problems and continence:…
Alternatively, this is available as a downloadable factsheet:
We hope this helps.
Alzheimer's Society blog team

Does anyone know 4Care clothing that prevents removing diapers ?

Hi John, thanks for your comment.

I wasn't sure exactly what you're looking for, but for some background, 4Care is a Netherlands-based company who sells specialist clothing for people with physical or mental impairments, including people with dementia.

You can find their website here -

They are one of many retailers who sell this type of clothing, and we actually sell some similar items in our online shop too:

There are also a number of other providers of this kind of clothing, so it could be worth having a look around online to find the best deals and the right types of clothing you're looking for.

I hope that helps.
Alzheimer's Society blog team