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How is Parkinson’s linked to incontinence?

Elderly woman walking with her carer

People with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to have incontinence because messages going from their brain to their bladder can be interrupted. This is due to Parkinson’s being triggered by having fewer nerve cells which contain dopamine – this is a chemical messenger which helps you to have coordinated movement.

As a result of this, the bladder will contract when it’s not even particularly full,  meaning that your loved one may not have time to get to the toilet before urine leakage occurs.

The types of urinary incontinence most often experienced by those with Parkinson’s will be nocturia (or bedwetting) and urge incontinence. It is also common for people with Parkinson’s to suffer from bowel incontinence.


Other symptoms of Parkinson’s affecting continence

Urinary incontinence can be a common symptom of Parkinson’s, but you are also likely to see symptoms that affect your loved one’s muscles and movements.

One of those will often be a tremor in someone’s arm or hand when they’re sitting down or relaxing, while it is also likely that someone with Parkinson’s will not be able to move around particularly freely. Walking can become more challenging while your muscles can become stiff.

So it’s particularly important that you make the route to the toilet as clear and easy as possible. That way, your loved one will have a better chance of getting to the loo when the urge to urinate arises.


How you can tackle your loved one’s incontinence

While it will be difficult to know when your loved one might experience urine leakage, the two of you will feel calmer and more relaxed if you’re prepared.

We’ve already talked about making a clearer path to the toilet but what else can you do? Well, picking loose fit clothing with an elasticated waistband that can be quickly removed will be another help for those with Parkinson’s when they’re trying to undress quickly in front of the toilet. This should also help them to feel more comfortable when moving about.

Whether your loved one needs a little assistance or a lot of assistance, check out these guides for more incontinence care tips.

And of course, TENA products including pants, pads and incontinence bed sheets will give your loved one the best protection, so both of you can be reassured and confident no matter when a leak happens.