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Suddenly doubly incontinent!


Registered User
Oct 20, 2015
This is my first time posting. My mum has Vascular Dementia diagnosed since 2010, mid stages I would say. For about the past year she has been obsessed with going to the toilet, visiting it every 10 minutes or so. She didn't have a UTI and we had talked to the doctors etc about it. She was often constipated though so we got something from the doctor to help with that. However, now she has suddenly gone the other way and has to be told to go to the toilet and has regular accidents both urine and feces. She doesn't have diarrhea though. She also doesn't have a UTI. Has anyone else experienced this kind of thing?


Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
Hi Angelac,
Welcome to TP.
I'm afraid that as dementia progresses many forget what the toilet is for or how to go, or even which is which. This happened to my OH, although he was in late stages by then.
I take it she hasn't got a UTI or chest infection? Any infection can cause mayhem!

I'm sure others will be along with more ideas.


Registered User
May 18, 2014
Most of the time I now have to remind mum to go to the toilet, if left she would leave it too late and usually have an accident on way to bathroom. I do tend to stay in bathroom with her now because sometimes she will get up before doing anything, once she has 'started' I can usually leave her to it. It can sometimes be a bit of a hassle for me, but rather this way than cleaning/washing and worst still the dreaded pads and pull ups, which she hates wearing at night.


Registered User
Oct 10, 2015
North Cornwall
My situation with my Dad is the same as Tin's. I toilet him every hour and a half and stay with him, or he gets in all sorts of mess. He has also been diagnosed with a fistula, which is a leak between the bladder and the bowel and consequently results in diarrhea . This is especially problematic at night and until I got some sort of idea of his regularity of movements through keeping a diary, I was washing his bedding every morning. I have found that by giving his main meal at lunch time and a light supper, the situation has improved somewhat. Hope you and your mum find a way to lessen the impact, as it is distressing for all concerned.


Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
Hi angelac :)

You have my sympathy, this can be so hard to deal with. My mum also has vascular dementia, and seems to have lost most of her awareness of toiletting. For about two years, she had 'accidents' and there was regular cleaning up, both of her and of her clothes, furniture, carpet etc. She would pick at poo stains as though it was chocolate and I had to stop her eating it :( I tried all sorts of pads, those from the district nurse and privately bought ones, but she just took them off. The carers and I tried everything we could to prevent these incidents, to no avail. Then when she was admitted to hospital last summer, she was officially 'diagnosed' as being doubly incontinent. She now wears pads all the time and they are looked at every few hours, and changed as necessary. She seems to have forgotten all about them, and about going to the toilet.

So.....we've got there in the end, mum is clean and wears pads. It was the transitional period that was awful .....

Have you got a district nurse involved, or the continence service? They should be able to offer advice, and maybe provide pads.

Good luck :)

Lindy xx


Registered User
Aug 25, 2015
South coast of England
Poor you, Angela! This kind of thing is certainly not easy to deal with.

One thought - persistent constipation can sometimes result on 'overflow' diarrhoea, it might be worth getting this checked out by GP or District Nurse.