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Toileting and Incontinence Assistance

A person’s mental and physical ability to properly use the bathroom including getting to the toilet, cleaning oneself, and getting back up is a basic Activity of Living Living (ADLs).

Our Service

Our caregivers are trained and experienced in assisting with toileting in the bathroom, in bed, with a urinal, and using a portable commode, as required by the situation.

We are also experienced in managing incontinence, the leakage of urine or bowel movement over which the person has no control.

We encourage our clients to toilet themselves as much as possible and help where help is needed.

Our caregivers develop a toileting routine with your loved one making the process a systematic and professional endeavor.

Signs Toileting Help Is Needed

You may know your one needs assistance bathing or have noticed the signs:

When elders have difficulties with toileting the issue is usually caused by one of three issues:

• Injury

• Illness

• Cognitive Decline

Trips to the bathroom happen more often, take longer than they use to and an accident may result.

These signs include:

• Difficulty getting up from a seated position.

• Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility.

• The smell or stains of urine or feces in the house, on their clothing, and furniture including wet spots.

• Recurring toileting accidents.

Family Caregiver Toileting Tips

Our caregivers are professionals with the training and experience to safely assist with toileting.

These are our tips for the family caregiver who is assisting their loved one.

Always use disposable gloves when assisting with toileting. Gloves and washing your hands before and after giving care prevent the spread of disease.

The Bathroom Toilet

• To increase toilet safety, use Velcro tape on the toilet lid and toilet tank to keep the lid from falling.

• If a person is missing the toilet, replace the toilet seat with one that is a different color than the floor color, so the person can see the seat better.

• If the person is having an issue getting up from the toilet, a toilet frame is a free-standing unit that fits over the toilet and provides handle supports on each side to assist with getting sitting down and getting up.

• Similarly, a raised (elevated) toilet seat can be used to assist a person with getting up or down on the toilet. Units are available in molded plastic and there are clamp-on models for different toilet bowl styles.

• If the person is failing to clean themselves or not washing their hands afterwards, encourage them to do so. If encouragement does not work, you will have to assist them.

Using The Commode

A portable commode is helpful for the person with limited mobility by bringing the toilet to them.

• Gather the portable commode, toilet tissue, a washbasin, a cup of water, a washcloth, liquid soap, and a towel.

• Wash your hands and put on disposable gloves.

• Help the person onto the commode.

• Offer toilet tissue when the person is finished.

• Offer a washcloth, soap and water for the person to wash their hands.

• Help them off the commode.

• Remove the pail from under the seat of the commode, empty it into the toilet, rinse it with water and empty it into the toilet.

• Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands.

Toileting In Bed And Using a Urinal

If the person is at all mobile, toileting in bed should not be encouraged.

• For females and bowel movements use a bedpan.

• Wash your hands and put on disposable gloves.

• Warm the bedpan with warm water and empty the water into the toilet.

• Power the bedpan with talcum powder to keep the skin from sticking to the pan.

• Place tissue or water in the pan, or lightly spray with vegetable oil which can make the bedpan easier to clean.

• Ask the person to help if they can.

• Raise the person’s gown and ask the person to raise their hips to place the bedpan underneath their buttock.

• If they cannot raise their hips, have them turn on their side and then roll back on top of the bedpan.

• If the person cannot clean their anal area, then use a wet tissue to clean the area.

• If a female has urinated, pour a cup of warm water over the area and pat dry.

• Remove the bedpan and clean and empty it into the toilet.

• Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands.

• Wash the person’s hands and rewash your hands.

For males use a urinal versus a bedpan.

• Wash your hands and put on disposable gloves.

• Give him the urinal and assist if necessary.

• When he is done, remove the urinal and empty it into the toilet and rinse.

• Dispose of your gloves and wash your hands.

• Wash his hands and rewash your hands.


Incontinence is the leakage of urine or a bowel movement over which the person has no control.

This can be caused by illness, physical issues, medication, and cognitive reasons.

Incontinence is common in middle and late-stage Alzheimer’s.

Speak with the doctor about options and treatments for the person in your care.

• Have the person avoid alcohol, coffee, spicy foods and citrus foods and juices, which can irritate the bladder.

• Give the person fluids at regular intervals to dilute the urine as this will decrease bladder irritation.

• Be sure the person goes to the bathroom regularly, about every 2 to 3 hours. Set an alarm clock as a reminder to keep track of time.

• Provide clothing that is easy to remove.

• Keep a bedpan or a portable commode near the person.

• Use adult diapers.

• Keep the person’s skin clean and dry as urine can cause sores and infection.

Optimize Bowel Functional

Maintaining optimal bowel function can be difficult for a person confined to bed, with mobility issues, or who gets little exercise.

• Schedule time for a daily bowel movement every day. A good time is half an hour after breakfast.

• Serve them fruits, vegetables and other high-fiber foods.

• Have the person drink 8 glasses of water a day.

• If possible, encourage the person to have some daily exercise, such as a short walk.

• Use a stool softener or a fiber agent if the stool is too hard.

• Use glycerin suppositories if needed to lubricate the bowel movement.

• Massage the abdomen to stimulate a bowel movement.

• Avoid laxatives unless directed by a doctor.

Additional Family Caregiver Resources

For additional Family Caregiver tips please see our Directory of Online Resources.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Our headquarters in Norwood, Massachusetts serves the Greater Boston communities in Suffolk, Middlesex, Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth counties.

We provide private in-home care for elders, those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We provide both short-term and long-term in-home care needs from as little as one 4 hour day a week to 24 Hour Care and Live-In Care.

We offer a full range of in-home personal care services including Bathing, Personal Hygiene and Grooming, Dressing Assistance, Toileting and Incontinence, Feeding, and Medication Reminders.

We also provide support services such as Case Management, Accompaniment to Appointments, Nutrition and Meal Management, Light Housekeeping and Laundry, Bed and Wheel Chair Transfers, and Shopping and Running Errands services.

It is our pleasure to assist our veteran clients with VA Aid and Attendance Benefit approval at no cost.

We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs and get a quote, please call us to speak to a Case Manager at (800) 296-9962 or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.