Incontinence development in elderly

My mother will be 94 in a few weeks time. Apart from having limited mobility since a leg fracture 5 years ago she has been in pretty good health.

This Monday I discovered she had had an accident and wet the edge of the bed - she said this happened as her knees which have become rather arthritic stopped her from getting out of bed onto the commode.

I just thought it to be one of those things. However, the same thing happened the following morning but this time she had wet where she was sleeping.

Fortunately I had obtained some suitable pants and a better matrass protector so not too much of a mess. That afternoon I persuaded her to come with me to the doctor.

He suggested that it might just be part of the aging process, gave my mum a specimen container and ask for it to be returned to see if she had a bladder infection. She has had a bladder infection before. But it did not lead to incontinence. The doctor was a bit doubtful she had an infection as she had no symptoms and her temperature was normal.

After the incident on Tuesday morning everything seemed to be getting back to normal with no further problems.

But yesterday afternoon whilst sat in the lounge Mum noticed that the pants were wet again. Again this morning when she got up she discovered the pants were wet.

The doctor hasn’t got back yet over the specimen.

Obviously this is causing great distress to my mother and piled a lot of pressure on to me as I had to take some time off work on Monday.

It is also likely cause problems in the new year. I try to keep my mother as active as possible and taken her for days out and on holiday but that might be a problem.

I am in a fortunate position to some extent as I am retiring from work in three weeks, thus I won’t have to juggle work worries.

Has anyone got any tips on how to deal with this sort of situation?

Thank you


Hello and welcome!

Speak to her doctor about the NHS incontinence pad scheme. She might need them in the future.
Also this factsheet may be useful to you

Has she had a needs assessment yet?

Not a recommendation just a google search…

Has there been any changes within the household?

Earlier in the week I did some research into aids and have bought a bulk box of Depend pants after trying her with some Tena Lady pants. The Tena Lady ones leaked and are quite bulky.

Saw some positive reviews of Depend product and someone suggested they were better than what was on offer from the NHS.

She using these she had had one accident but they have worked well. How many she may go through at this stage I don’t know but I can get them from a local Costco and they seemed cheap for large carton of packs.

Have also now obtained half a dozen washable bed pads for her bed should there be any leakage.

quote=thara_1910 post_id=419196 time=1575135689 user_id=1596598]
Hello and welcome!

Speak to her doctor about the NHS incontinence pad scheme. She might need them in the future.
Also this factsheet may be useful to you

Has she had a needs assessment yet?

No and I don’t what to get involved with local council social services. I was non too happy with them when they fixed her up in a short term care rehab place which they operated when she was discharged from hospital some years back. It was only when it was coming to the end of her three week stay there that it was decided they needed to try and get her moving, and that combined with keeping her in bed in hospital after her leg had been operated on for nearly a month didn’t do much to help her regain mobility.

After her return home at the end of September 2014 they put a care package in place for her with carers coming round to get her up at 08:00 when she has always got up at 06:00 with me so we could have breakfast together before I go to work. They would come again during the day and then again just as I was coming home from work and wanted to get on with cooking dinner.

They were just a nuisance and after a short while they were quite happy to accept my suggestion that everything was going fine and hence we got out of their clutches.

With me retiring this month I am going to be around a lot more. I hope you can understand my reasons for not wanting to engage with the council who do these assessments.


No - no changes at all.

Basically Mum was fine until the night of the 24/25th November.

All I can thing of is that I had a late night at work at the end of the previous week. As her legs were playing up she didn’t want to move to go to the loo and waited until I could come home and help her. I had left the house at 07:20 and to me the thought of not going to the toilet until 19:30 in the evening when I came home something excessive and I wonder if this has led to this problem.


I understand your dislike of Social Services, but did anyone mention Direct Payments, where mum is given a certain amount of money which can be spent in any way she likes to meet her care needs?

If she doesn’t want to manage the money, someone else can do it on her behalf. Then you could employ someone to help you care. Don’t make the mistake of giving up work and then never getting another day off again!


My mother is in receipt of Attendance Allowance at the higher rate.

When I finish work I intend to claim Carers Allowance which I understand I would be entitled to as its payment is not affected by private and professional pensions which I will be drawing. I have just over 5.5 years to state pension age.

Obviously I couldn’t claim it at present even though I give well over 35h per week as my earnings are well over the threshold.

At present I am quite happy to look after my mother. She can generally cope when I am out of the house for a few hours so I don’t feel trapped and quite often do take her out and away on holiday as well.

I do find the district nurses who see her to sort out an ongoing leg ulcer problem quite helpful when I need advice.



You won’t get Carers Allowance as a pensioner.

I would suggest that you ask Social Services for a Needs Assessment. They will then decide what care she needs and how much it will cost, then do a financial assessment. If she has under £23,000 in savings, they will pay for some or all of the cost of care.
Now, everyone has to have a Personal Budget, which can then be used either for SSD to arrange and pay for the care themselves, OR they give mum the money to pay for the assessed care. Surely this would help?