Other languages

Functional incontinence

Functional incontinence relates to a physical, intellectual or environmental issues that can be a contributing cause of incontinence in a person with normal bladder function.

What causes functional incontinence?

  • not being able to get up and walk to the toilet;
  • when the toilet is hard to get to or use;
  • clothing that is hard to remove in the toilet;
  • not having equipment to help with toileting such as hand rails, good lighting;
  • the inability to communicate the need for going to the toilet; and
  • not being able to find the toilet without help;

Some of the causes of functional incontinence include problems with walking (arthritis or cerebral palsy) and problems with memory or learning (dementia and intellectual disability).