Dear Carol: I feel like my home is becoming contaminated territory! My Dad is a sweetheart, but he’s got dementia and has developed incontinence. He can really flood a diaper and isn’t great about changing under the best of conditions. I know this isn’t his fault, so I don’t think I let my frustration show, but it’s hard. I don’t mind doing laundry. I don’t mind the constant checking to try to get him to change diapers. I’m grateful that he never resists my efforts, as so many others do. But no matter what I do, there are accidents, and once pee gets into clothing and bedding it’s just so hard to get rid of the smell. Do you have any recommendations about how to handle this? – PA
Dear PA: You sound like a compassionate, loving daughter and your dad sounds like a real gem, so you’re fortunate to have each other.
Incontinence accidents can happen for anyone with this health challenge, but when a person lives with dementia, preventing them is going to be a bigger problem, as you’re experiencing. Since I hear from a lot of caregivers and follow many groups as well, I have gleaned some tips that might help you, so let’s start with those:
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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