3. Practical advice and tips for carers > Continence problems

Continence problems

6) Bowel incontinence

This can be a distressing and embarrassing problem for the person.

Sometimes it is actually caused when the person is constipated but faecal fluid leaks causing an overflow effect. This is solved by treating the constipation. If the person has diarrhoea which is frequent or foul smelling with mucous they should see their GP as there may be an infection or other bowel problem which will require treatment.

Sometimes there is a functional problem getting to the toilet or adjusting clothes. The type of clothes the person wears can make a difference. Try using clothes which have elasticated waists or fewer zips, buttons and fastenings.

At home, try to make sure the route to the toilet is clear and there are no obstacles in the way. When you are going out try to locate the nearest toilets. Disabled toilets will have more space. Be prepared by taking some essentials with you. A small bag with spare pants, pads, moist wipes, disposal bags and a small hand towel are all useful.

Allowing the person time and privacy in the bathroom is very important.

Establishing a pattern or habit can sometimes help as can eating healthily, including fruit and vegetables and being as physically active as possible.

Discuss with a doctor which medications could help or if necessary what other treatments or investigations can be done.

Surgery is usually only considered as a last resort.

This page was posted in Continence problems and tagged . Bookmark this page.