• Maintain dignity and minimize embarrassment when an accident occurs by remaining calm and reassuring your loved one.
  • Set up a routine for using the toilet. Remind your loved one about it or assist him or her to the bathroom every two or three hours.
  • Don’t restrict fluids to avoid incontinence — dehydration can lead to very serious problems, and proper fluid levels regulate the bladder.

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Causes of incontinence vary. Your loved one may simply be unable to find the bathroom or remove clothes in time. He or she may also have a physical condition that makes some incontinence unavoidable. Regardless, the following ideas can help reduce the frequency of accidents.

Keep a log of when your loved one uses the bathroom. This will help you identify his or her natural schedule and adjust regular bathroom visits accordingly. A log may also help a physician identify the source of the problem.

As with other daily activities, vision problems can contribute to incontinence. Signs or a brightly painted bathroom door can help. Your loved one might not see the toilet, especially if it is the same color as the wall behind it. Placing a commode by the bed can prevent nighttime incidents.

Next Step: Learn strategies to cope with erratic, annoying, or disturbing behavior.

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