Water drops

Bladder and bowel control

Some strokes damage the part of the brain that controls bladder and bowel movements. This can result in urinary incontinence, and difficulty with bowel control.
Most people who’ve had a stroke regain control in a week or so. If there are still problems when they leave hospital after a stroke, there is help in the community available from the hospital, GP or community continence nurse.

Carers’ Support Information

Caring for a relative who has a bladder problem may not be easy. It is likely to have a big emotional and physical impact for the person you may care for and can also have an emotional impact on you. If you are caring for a relative or friend, you may be referred to as a ‘supportive carer’ or an ‘informal carer’. Your role is of great importance. Not only do you help your relative/friend to manage their problems physically, e.g. taking them to the toilet, helping them to wash themselves, you also provide support emotionally. It is likely that you are their shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. Caring for someone full time can place a huge burden on both parties.
Many adults who have a bladder problem are very embarrassed about this condition and often feel isolated and alone.

  • Let the person suffering with bladder problems know how common their problems are. This will help to get rid of their feelings of isolation and embarrassment and will help them to understand that there are many others with similar problems.
  • Be sensitive to their feelings. For most people who have always lived independently, having to accept help from others for basic help and care can be very difficult. A carer’s most important role is to help maintain the person’s dignity as much as possible. Be aware of how you refer to their continence products, try not to refer to products as ‘nappies’ and other similar words but rather, refer to products as ‘pads, underwear, special products/aids’ etc.
  • Try to let the person you are caring for be in control as much as possible. Allow the person to make as many decisions relating to their problems on their own.
  • Avoid discussing their condition and details of their care with others.
  • Try and understand their condition. Find out as much as you can about their condition and associated problems. This will help you achieve a better understanding about their needs. It might be useful to have a discussion with your partner or friend’s doctor or continence advisor. Ask for the person’s permission first.

Contact The Continence Foundation, for more information and support:

Go To: Continence Foundation

or your local GP for local support.


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Office: 85 Frinton Road, Holland on Sea, Essex CO15 5UH. Tel: 01255 815905 e-mail: info@tendringstroke.org.uk
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