By Dick Harkes
Incontinence And Alzheimer’s
One of the symptoms of an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of Dementia is Urinary or Fecal incontinence (loss of bladder or bowel control).
In some cases it is just a case of accidental leakage. In other cases a diaper for adults is inevitable.
Problems with the bladder control are far more common than with the bowel control. It is important to consult the doctor, because there may be a treatment for this misery.
No one likes to suffer from these problems. This applies to both the patient and the caregiver. That’s a good reason to gather proper information and to seek the right help and assistance.
What are the Causes of Incontinence
Besides the incontinence being caused by Alzheimer’s or other type of Dementia, there may be other causes for this inconvenience. So it is very important to investigate other possible causes.
The Other Possible Medical Causes of Incontinence:
– Infections of the bladder or urinary tracts. These are to be cured by anti biotic medicines.
– With man: prostate trouble. In many cases to be resolved with an operation.
– Medication side effects. study the leaflet accompanying the medication on side effects of this type. If so, consult your doctor toe change the person’s prescription or altering the dose.
– Persistent constipation. If the intestinal contents exercises pressure on the bladder it can become difficult to keep up the urine. So the constipation should be cured and after that choose a diet that’s high in fiber. Additionally keep your beloved-one physically active and give them plenty of fluids to drink.
– Maybe they just can’t reach the bathroom in time. You need to find a solution.
Other Non-Medical Causes of Incontinence
Besides the listed medical causes one must not underestimate the consequences of the dementia itself:
– Caused by the brain damage by dementia: people just don’t recognize the need to go to the toilet;
– Or they just forget to go to the toilet.
– In many cases the Alzheimer or dementia makes them not knowing anymore where to find the toilet.
– Most of the persons with dementia are conscious about their dignity. They depend on the care of you and possible other persons and most of them feel guilty for that. They can’t help the incontinence, so it is important to reassure the person to reduce feelings of embarrassment.
– Say something like, “Oh there is a stain on your dress. Let’s just remove it quickly” instead of being angry with them and making them feel guilty.
Reduce Incontinency Accidents For Your Alzheimer’s Loved-One
As seen earlier in this article it sometime appears to be difficult for Alzheimer’s patients to find their way to the bathroom. Maybe they have problems with their clothes and are not able to undress quick enough. So when you find out these are the causes of wetting themselves you can make some arrangements to help them:
– Make a sign on the door of the bathroom to help them find it. Find a nice picture and stick that to the door.
– Ensure that the way to the bathroom is without any obstacles. Change the places of some furniture if necessary.
– If possible, leave the toilet door open when not in use to show the vacancy of the toilet.
– Make sure that it is easy to the door.
– If they have difficulties in going to sit and rise from the toilet, consider to add aids such as handrails.
– If they have problems with their clothes, find out which clothes are more easy to open and close. Maybe you can replace buttons with press-studs and zippers with Velcro fastenings.
– Be prepared on accidents by taking extra clothes with you when away from home.
Good Personal Hygiene is Essential
Besides people will feel embarrassed nobody likes the feeling of wet clothes (or worse). Not to mention the skin irritation occurring when no action is taken. So make sure they feel comfortable again and provide good hygiene.
Help them to wash afterwards with mild soap and warm water, and dry them carefully before putting on fresh clothes.
Make sure the dirty clothes or bedding are washed as soon as possible.
Used diapers should be thrown away in an appropriate container.
About the Author: Dick Harkes was confronted with Alzheimer’s Disease when his father was diagnosed with this awful ailment. Then he started collecting information about Alzheimer’s. He likes to share this information with everybody. Please visit
Incontinence And Alzheimer’s
. Or start at his homepage:
All About Alzheimer’s Disease