The beginning of incontinence??

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Nell, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Could those people whose loved ones are incontinent please tell me what symptoms they noticed as it started??

    I think Mum is developing incontinence, altho' so far she's only had one "accident". She is suffering from "frequency" - constantly wanting to urinate and then when she goes, only does a little bit.

    She's been tested for urinary tract infections and is clear of these. So I'm thinking it is the start of incontinence, but I don't know.

    The care home are not concerned as there is no infection, but I'm also wondering if there are any drugs available to reduce the urge to "go" all the time.

    I plan to see the doctor about this, but would like to be well armed with information before I go! Otherwise I think he'll just dismiss it.

    Any help anyone can give will be VERY gratefully received. Thanks!
  2. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    Hello Nell

    My Mum has been quite ill recently with urine infections which appeared not to show when testing was done three times in a lab - the results showed lots of bacteria but these were dismissed with - oh she probably hasn't wiped herself properly. It wasn't until a nurse cleaned with an antiseptic wet wipe and did a dip test that her results went off the scale and we had an immediate blitz with strong antibiotics - which cleared things quickly. It was obvious to us that she was very ill and in pain when urinating but we really had to be insistent to get things done. (and it made her dementia 10 x worse)

    Not a doctor but from own personal female experience sounds a bit like cystitis - there's lots of mild stuff you can get from the pharmacy for this ALTHOUGH could it be possible that your Mum is so concerned about the "accident" that every time she feels the slightest desire to go, she goes "just in case"

    Also - I believe that dehydration can have quite a bad effect - if the wee gets very strong it can be quite an irritant - quite perverse really that even with severe incontinence you have to get our Mum to keep drinking all the time.

    Would your Mum wear pads ? The smallest ones are quite discreet and we used to call them panty liners for my Mum when she was at the stage of being embarrassed.

    Hope this helps a bit - but its very hazy for us around what and when it started for our Mum.
  3. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    #3 Nebiroth, Aug 3, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
    Well that sympton is typical of an infection, but as you say the tests say this isn't the case here.

    Incontinence is usually described as passing urine when you don't mean too - a loss of control. Or in dementia patients, because they've forgotten the need to control, or where the toilet is, or even what a toilet is and what it's for - ie like a young child.

    A constant feeling of needing to urinate isn't any of those but sounds like something else. I can't help but wonder if it's something like the bladder muscles being weak.

    If it were a man, I would have immediately thought "prostate problems!"

    I think it needs to be checked out as soon as possible, because there could be a root cause which needs to be addressed.

    You need to make it clear to the doctor that this is not mum forgetting to go to the loo, or anything like that, but plagued with a constant "urge" to pass urine. I don't think that sounds like dementia, although some suffer breakdowns in the control mechanisms that regulate urine production and (for example) end up producing a lot at odd times, like at night.

    My mum gets cystitis which gives her similar symptoms, could it be that?

    Also does your mum like cranberry juice?
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Nell,

    From my limited knowledge, incontinence is lack of control. Apart from the one accident, your mother appears to be very aware and in control.

    Cystitis does present the symptoms of wanting to pass water but being unable to, but it is usually accompanied by a burning sensation. People with dementia are not always able to communicate they have pain, either their pain threshold is higher or they are unable to articulate it.

    My mother was found to have shingles, but could not tell about the pain, for whatever reason, we don`t know.

    I would ask the doctor if it could be cystitis, as the symptoms seem to suggets it.
  5. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    Just my observation. But in the early days of incontinence it would normally happen a night when dad was relaxed. It was a while before it happened in the day and dad would be quite agitated not seeming to know why he was agitated when in fact he just needed to go. So in some ways it did seem like he wanted to go all the time.

    I agree that this case sounds like a medical issue (not that I'd even try to guess what it could be) and I'd get it checked again if it continued for a few days. It is hard to spot medical problems with dementia as more often than not the patient can't really say what is wrong or where the pain is coming from (if there is pain).

    Incontinence is a big hurdle for both the carer and the individual unfortunately. In dad case it started to challenge us at the mid-stages.

    Hope that helps
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    with my mother it started with wetting her trouser coming back from day center , because she could get to the toilet in time I thought .

    Then i would find a puddles of urine all the way to the toilet , it always seem to happen during the day . so every one thought it was a urinary tract infections , because it keep happening at AZ day-center she wet the chair , even thought they reminded her they thought it was urinary infections , so had test , but it was not . but she would not wet the bed at night time . She dose now, but has pads , but she still like to get up in middle of the night to go to toilet .

    i found it strange with my mother because 6 mouths before this urine test , this happen before that she was wetting herself during the day puddle in bath room , then all of a sudden it stop and back then i thought it was urinary infections , but it was not .

    2nd time around I put panty liners on my mother , then slowly got her use to pads its been a year now and she just slowly coming to team in wearing pads in her kickers .
  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    In the earlier days of her disease, my mother was constantly saying she needed to go to the toilet. Then, just like your mother, it would only be a few drops. Sometimes she would say she needed the toilet 10 minutes after using it (and not remembering that she had already used one). She was tested quite a bit at the beginning for UTIs but never anything.

    Her "need" to go to the toilet would be much higher if she was in an uncomfortable situation or if she didn't want to do something. Being in a crowded or noisy area were key triggers. Walking too long (over 5 minutes when she was perfectly physically healthy).

    It simply was her coping mechanism. I learned to live with it (gritting my teeth occasionally).
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #8 Margarita, Aug 3, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007

    I wonder if that what happen to my mother , soon as bus came to pick her up for day center , she use to go to toilet saying '' just in case '' and all she do is a few drops .

    i can tell you its a hard stage this transition in to pads , for carer and the person they care for, dignity for my mother and keeping my sanity for me .

    sounds like good advice
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Nell

    This incontinence issue is very hard to deal with, because it seems to go in fits and starts.

    John has the problem of producing copious amounts of urine at night, which is hard because pads just can't cope. But he is often aware that he needs to go, and gets up. I have to get up too because he can't manage the pads.

    This was how it started for him. He sometimes has an accident during the day, but not very often. He doesn't use pads during the day.

    We've tried various medications to control urine production at night, without much success. He's now on Amitriptylene, which does calm things to a certain extent. It might be worth asking the GP about that when you see him, if there is definitely no medical problem.

    I have to say, though, that it does sound like an UTI or cystitis. There's sometimes blood in the urine with cystitis, have you noticed any?

    Let us know how you get on.

  10. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Urinary problems

    My mum has suffered on and off from cystitis for years, and Cranberry juice has kept it at bay most of the time. Two glasses a day. She went into hospital six weeks ago, and I was told I could take in any "extras" she might need, so I took in Cranberry juice. It disappeared. I took in more cranberry juice, that disappeared too. Result, she now has cystitis again.

    Of course, it could be alleviated if she drank lots of water, but old people don't do lots of water, they do tea and coffee, which is no use at all.

    I am cross with the hospital, have taken a new carton of cranberry juice to her new care home, hope they use it appropriately. Seems as if you entrust these professionals to care for your parents (and in our case, pay them £460 a week) and they don't listen.


  11. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Thank you so much everyone for your very helpful replies. It certainly helps to hear others experiences of this.

    My Mum does sound like a few people here - ie. goes "just in case" and only does a few drops; goes much more often if she is in a situation she does not like or want to be in (3 times in half an hour at the dentist !! :eek: ) and the problem coming in fits and starts as Hazel described.

    I think that she might be a bit dehydrated as she very rarely drinks water, only tea, tea and tea!! :) Also, I will definitely try the cranberry juice.

    She has had a number of "dip stick" tests for UTIs but they always come back negative. I think I'll ask the doctor to give her a thorough examination.

    I agree that it is also quite possibly muscular. My sisters and I have been encouraging her to do pelvic floor exercises, to which she nods and says "I do" - but frankly, I don't think she remembers what they are.

    Thanks everyone!! Where would I be without all of you??
  12. Lonestray

    Lonestray Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    First time

    The first method my wife used to informed me she had lost control of her bowles was to leave a 'message' on the bedroom carpet. Of course she didn't do that 'it was the dog, Qeeney'. We didn't have a dog! that was the dog she'd as a child!
    I got the massage OK, so I started taking her to the toilet and ordered pads.
    Taking her to the toilet was how I discovered my three new pair of 'Y' fronts I couldn't find. She was wearing them over her pants!
    If you think your loved one is messing you about by weeing on the floor and blaming others, could it be a childish prank? Like the child who weeded on the classroom floor late evening. The teacher: "I shall turn out the lights and count to 100 to give the child who did 'that' to write their name on the blackboard". There was a sound of movement and writing on the board. When the lights came on, there was another puddle, on the blackboard "The phantom piddler strikes again." Padraig
  13. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Tea or coffee will keep you hydrated fine.
  14. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    My mother when she got back from day-center fall asleep on her bed , she woke up crying out with fear that she needs to go to the toilet , she going to wet herself , I'm wetting myself .

    I found this strange that she panic , that she can still feel the need to go to toilet, I told her not to worry , because she got her pad on . while she cry out she hate this life . she fines it really hard getting out of bed and even getting into bed even thought she has rails on her bed , when she get back from day-center its really tiring her out going to day-center

    Just needed to share that ,
  15. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    [QUOTE=Margarita] while she cry out she hate this life .

    Oh Maggie, my Mum says the same. It breaks your heart, doesn't it??
  16. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Sure does nell , thanks for sharing , its nice (Not nice really , but you no what I mean) that its not only me that feel so heartbroken , Just so emotional draining .

    my daughter said what don't break you just make you strong , but I feel it is going to break me, somedays I just wish that mum did not have so much awareness in what is happening to her wetting herself , I try to recognize those feeling emotional draining that why I thought I better let it out .

    I Can't believe it was only in June i took respite and I am feeling so tried now , its not so much that mum hard to care for , just so many moment of seeing her suffering and she telling me , how she feeling just so hard to switch of .

    lucky for me that I Can go to my room around 10-pm and she go to sleep as she looking forward to day-center the next day , she up for 6 am . so I say to her that I have to get up early I need an early night . amazingly she was aright with that .

    Then I hear her going to toilet [ she got pads on ]
  17. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    That is so sad, Maggie.

    Love xx
  18. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.