Functional Incontinence


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Functional incontinence occurs when someone is aware that they need to urinate, but is physically unable to get to a toilet. This may affect the physically disabled or infirm, but it can also affect those with mental disabilities who are unable to communicate the need to urinate to carers.

As such, functional incontinence is not necessarily due to any physical problem and therefore needs to be managed rather than cured. Often this can be achieved using a catheter to collect urine, or by scheduling regular toilet visits. It is also possible to buy bed and clothing protectors to prevent any damage caused by urine staining.

Functional Incontinence Treatments

It is harder to prevent functional incontinence entirely as the problem is often caused by a lack of mobility or an inability to communicate, but it can be managed. If the sufferer is bed-ridden, it may help to schedule regular toilet trips or to provide a bedpan. It is also possible to protect against the effects of incontinence by using bed or clothing protectors.

People who suffer from functional incontinence can benefit from bladder training – you must be referred to a specialist by your doctor. If you are caring for someone who is suffering from memory loss or another mental disability such as Alzheimer’s disease, you may have to remind your patient at regular intervals to go to the toilet.