Functional incontinence means that a person can't
reach the bathroom in time to urinate because of physical or mental
limitations. These may include problems with walking, conditions such as arthritis, or
problems with reasoning (such as dementia). People who have functional
incontinence can try to control it by using timed voiding and prompted voiding.
Timed voiding is also called habit training. It sets a schedule for
urinating (voiding) that is determined by your personal habits. It doesn't
try to increase how long you can wait before you have to urinate. And it doesn't teach
you to resist the urge to urinate.
With prompted voiding, a caregiver prompts you to urinate. The goal is to decrease the chance of accidents
by making you aware of the need to urinate. It usually is used along with timed voiding for people who are
unaware of their bodily functions, such as people who have
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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