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Dealing with incontinence


  • It is most important that you try as much as possible to encourage the person to use the toilet as it will be less embarrassing and upsetting for that person and less work for you. There are various preventative strategies you can try.
  • Remember that it is not the person’s fault so always try to be patient and understanding.
  • It is not nice to clean up after an adult who has been incontinent but try to get over it. Imagine how embarrassed the person must feel to be incontinent and then have someone clean him or her. Try to plan ahead.

Related strange behaviour:

  • Sometimes the person with dementia may do strange things like hiding dirty clothes, or peeing in a basin or dustbin.
  • Some may even wrap their stools in paper and hide them away.
  • This could be because the person is embarrassed or ashamed of what has happened, or is just very confused.
  • Do not get angry, but tell the person that it is alright to tell you if there's been an accident and you will help to clean up.


  • When someone has been incontinent it is important that the person is washed with soap and warm water and dried well before putting on clean clothes, or he or she will get a rash or even sores.
  • If not properly cleaned, the person will start to smell and then no-one will want to get close.
  • Any dirty linen and clothing must be washed straight away or soaked in water with some washing powder in a bucket with a lid, until it can be washed.