Establishing a Toileting Schedule

October 13, 2023
October 9, 2023
Posted by
Bre'anna Wilson
October 9, 2023
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Using a toileting schedule is a form of habit training. The goal of a toileting schedule is to prevent incontinent episodes. It is typically a method tried in combination with or before the alternatives of pads, briefs, or catheters.

A typical toileting schedule is every 2 to 4 hours. However, you want the person's toileting schedule to match their natural pattern of using the bathroom. Therefore, it's best to track your partner's natural patterns and adjust accordingly.

One of the easiest ways to start:

  • Simple observation of when you partner typically shows signs of needing to go to the bathroom. (i.e., getting up to look for bathroom, fidgeting, pulling at clothes, messing with genitalia, etc.)
  • Take notes of the time and assist them to bathroom as necessary and make a note if they just urinated or if they had a bowel movement too. You can even use our toileting habit tracker.

After a few days you will pick up on any patterns and be able to create a schedule around that. Based on the schedule, you will want to prompt them to go to the bathroom or take them to bathroom about 10 minutes before the scheduled time.

For some people it won't be so easy to tell that they need to go to the bathroom — it's like it just happens. If this is the case, then I recommend starting with every 2 hours. So, once you partner wakes you would prompt them to use the bathroom and then every two hours thereafter. If they are still typically dry at the 2 hour mark and have difficulty urinating or defecating, then you can try increasing the time interval by 30 minutes until you hit "the sweet spot". (or decrease by 30 minutes, if they are wet at the time mark)

If they are open to drinking fluids when offered, you can also try giving them additional fluids about 30 minutes (adjust accordingly) before the scheduled time, to help with them actually needing to use the bathroom.

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