Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Questions about Incontinent Daughter

Hello everyone,

I was very glad to have come across this site as the people here seem to understand what it is like being an adult and having to wear diapers either for bed wetting or other medical issues such as incontinence. I cannot imagine what it must be like to make the decision to use diapers personally but I have made the decision with my daughter.

Currently I am the caretaker of a 22 year old daughter with Schizophrenia. Allison was diagnosed with SZ in December of 2015 after being admitted into a psychiatric facility for delusional beliefs and active hallucinations. During that time I became her primary POA (Power of Attorney) as well as legal guardian. About a month before discharge I came across a diagnostic note in my daughter’s file which mentioned incontinence. I knew that my daughter had bed wetting issues on and off her whole life but was surprised by the diagnosis which referred to several daytime accidents on the ward.

Bringing up my concerns to the pdoc I was told that my daughter’s current diagnostic state was dependent, meaning that unable to care for herself she was often not able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not real which could contribute to her lack of bowel/ bladder awareness. Her antipsychotic medications also include side effects such as what she is expieriencing. Nevertheless, with Ally home I have several concerns that I was hoping to get advice about having a 22 year old dependent daughter in diapers.

  1. I have been using Tena overnight briefs when Allison goes to bed. Last night and on occasion if I feel like she has had a lot to drink prior to bedtime I will double diaper her so that she does not leak although I cannot help but feel guilty about this as the bulge from the diaper is quite noticeable. Her medications make Ally sleep like a rock so she does not wake up until approx 12 hours after going to sleep. Should I wake her up to change at night?

  2. There have been three occasions now where Ally was able to get into her daytime/nighttime diapers which is not appropriate considering I take care of her changes/ adjustments. I would like to add that Ally hardly notices her predicament which I am thankful of for I fear that most would be terribly embarrassed. On one occasion I found Ally with her hand inside of her diaper materbating. I calmly brought her into the bathroom to wash her hands, take off her soiled diaper, and ended up putting a very small but cute pair of shorts over her diaper so that it would be harder to access which went under her jeans. On another occasion I came into Ally’s room in the morning to find my daughter completely naked with her bed, PJs and body soaked in urine. The hospital paperwork documents periods of restraint. I am wondering if there is a way that I may restrain my daughter while sleeping so that she may not touch her diapers. Daytime suggestions are encouraged as well.

  3. At times I find it hard to conceal the diaper from the general public. I think I have done a great job, but then it seems we are at the mall of Allison sees something she wants to take a closer look at and she is either bending over, or running towards it- diaper fully exposed. I know that others have noticed, most give me eyes of pity or sympathy knowing that my daughter is unwell. I wonder about her future. If perhaps, she becomes well again won’t she care then that others see her diapered state?

Thank you for the help.

A little background knowledge about my 22 year old.
146 lbs, 5’4

First of all, you have to lose the diaper shame. I have MS and use adult diapers regularly. So do many people with chronic conditions.

Fit is important to prevent leakage. Make sure they are neither too small or too big, This will also keep them from bulging in the front. Also, buy a name brand, not generics. Depends is good; so is Always. It’s money well-spent.

It’s recommended for people w bladder issues, to not drink anything 2 hours before traveling or going to bed.

Hope this helps.

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Maybe there is some kind of adult onesie that could be snapped on under or over a pair of pajama bottoms?

I don’t think there should be any type of restraints without a doctor or other professional overseeing and training.

I agree with Jan that the OP sounded more ashamed of the diapers than her daughter is…

It must be really hard to take care of an adult child in this way; I admire and respect you, @ColeFamily83. You are truly a caring mother. At the point where you are, I might be looking into Assisted Living Facility or home health aides through Medicaid; I honestly don’t know whether I could do that.

Is there any chance that her incontinence is part of the regression and symptoms of psychosis? She might heal in time.

Instead of diapers, what about the pads they put under you in the hospital?

They make washable ones & disposable ones - I bought both types for my husband when he came home from the hospital with such a bad case of diarrhea that we thought he’d probably picked up C-Diff.

We use the pet versions when we’re housebreaking (disposable ones) or if we have a litter of puppies in a whelping pen (washable). They’re basically the exact same thing - I don’t know the pricing difference.

I would think at night time, while she’s sleeping, it would be easier to slip one of those out from under her & put a fresh one on the bed instead of trying to change a diaper.

I wanted to add that the problem is likely neurological, and she should be seen by a neurologist and/or urologist.

I’ve never heard of chronic incontinence caused by psychosis. The bladder is controlled by the nervous system.

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@Jan - my son just started Clozapine - incontinence & bed wetting are possible side effects, among many others.

I was surprised to see those 2 things listed. Maybe it’s because they are supposed to sleep so soundly, and can sleep for so long?

Great point, slw. It could be due to a medication side effect.