Challenging Behaviors for the Caregiver
If you would like to print it out in plain text, click HERE
By Elisabeth A Hinman-Smith M.S.W. & Lisa P. Gwyther M.S.W.
"I know he feels bad when he soils his clothes. . .and so do I. It's hard not to get upset when it happens, especially at night when I need to change the bed."
* React to episodes of incontinence with calm understanding. Scolding will only make the person more upset and lower the person's self- esteem.
* Check with your physician to be sure the incontinence is caused by the progressing dementia, and not another underlying medical problem.
* Keep track of when the accidents occur. . .could they be avoided by a nightlight in the bathroom? Establish a routine of taking the person to the bathroom based on when accidents usually occur.
* Limit caffeine intake, especially before bedtime. Do make sure the person gets plenty of fluids during the day, but try limiting them just before bedtime.
* Continue to maintain balanced nutrition and exercise - this may help bowel incontinence.
* Try products designed for adult incontinence. Examples include adult diapers or rubber pants, rubber sheets, or home health equipment such as elevated toilet seats and grab bars.
* If necessary, remove wastebaskets and/or flower pots. (these may be mistaken for toilets). Keep bathroom doors open to provide the person with extra visual cues.
* Watch for non-verbal cues like restlessness, pacing, undressing or grabbing of the genital area.
(c) copyright 1996
Hope our logo helps you find your way back to us.
Back to Challenging Behaviors Index