A pensioner from Leicester suffering with incontinence says she has been too scared to drink water after being told by staff to use fewer pads.
Betty Shillian, 92, had been told by care staff she could only use four a day and would have to pay for more.
She has now been allowed an extra two pads following a reassessment by the NHS-run Incontinence Service.
Age UK's Tony Donovan said he was "horrified" by her story which was "one of the most distressing" he had heard.
Ms Shillian, who also has diabetes, said she was told by staff at the Abbey House care home in Leicester to limit her use of incontinence pads, which she receives free of charge.
She said staff would sometimes remove the pads to check how wet they were and suggested she keep them on longer.
Ms Shillian said: "It makes me feel awful. I have no dignity.
"I'm frightened of having a drink of water at night because I'm going to use more [pads]."
Mr Donovan said many people were probably in the same situation and hoped more would find the confidence to speak out.
"A lot of the cuts we have seen have hit services for older people and those in vulnerable positions.
"A lot of people moving into old age are worried about how they are going to pay for their care.
"People should be allowed to age with dignity and not have it stolen from them."
Leicestershire County Care Ltd, which runs the home, said Ms Shillian's monthly allowance of pads had been reassessed.
The Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust said all patients were prescribed "the most appropriate" number for their needs.
A representative said: "We follow current guidance which says that patients can be prescribed between two and four pads a day."