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Alzheimer’s Disease and Incontinence

alzheimers-disease-and-incontinence

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of Dementia, is a progressive illness that causes loss of judgment, memory, and language. Studies reveal that almost 70 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s are at risk of getting incontinence problems. However, incontinence should not be considered as an inevitable part of this illness. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a tiring experience, especially for people, you are not trained to do so. It is necessary to remember that every person with Alzheimer’s experience different symptoms. So it is not uncommon for someone in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s to experience incontinence problems. Inevitably in the final stage, a person will experience loss of control over their bodily movements, including bowel and bladder muscles.

Causes of Incontinence in Patients with Alzheimer’s

Although it is common for people with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia to have incontinence problems, it should not just be accepted. The cause of such incontinence varies depending on the medical condition of the person with Alzheimer’s. If a person with Alzheimer’s has recently started to lose control of his bladder or bowel movement, it is most important to determine the possible cause of such occurrence. Rule out any medical condition or medication side-effect that might be causing or contributing to incontinence. Some medical reasons causing incontinence problems include –

  • Constipation caused by poor diet or dehydration
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Prostate problems in men.
  • Certain medications

Medications and diuretics that are responsible for incontinence problems include –

  • Caffeinated drinks like cola, tea, and coffee, which can act as diuretics increasing urination.
  • Anti-depressants and sleeping pills may relax the bladder muscles triggering incontinence.

Other obstacles that contribute to incontinence problems are –

  • Facing obstacles on the way to the bathroom, such as clutter and furniture.
  • Difficulty in removing the clothing.
  • Not being able to find the way to the bathroom.
  • Mobility issues.
  • Not reacting to the sensation of needing to go to the toilet.
  • Not communicating the need to go to the toilet.

Available Treatment Options

Certain preventive measures can help to avoid or improve symptoms of incontinence. Incorporating the below methods into a daily routine for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can help with the situation.

Conservative Treatments

Follow Proper Routine

Creating a fixed routine can help improve incontinence situations by taking the person to the toilet after every meal. This makes sure that they are following a strict eating and toilet routine. Drinking any fluid must be restricted at least two hours before bedtime to avoid any accidents overnight.

Diet and Lifestyle

A balanced and healthy diet with plenty of fiber and adequate fluid can help to keep the bladder and bowel movement balanced. It is recommended to avoid any fizzy drinks, alcohol, or caffeine as it can irritate the bladder.

Proper Clothing

It is recommended to use clothing with elasticated waists without buttons and zips that are easy to remove so that the person does not have to struggle to open them before going to the toilet.

Continence Products

Various products like incontinence pads and pants, bed pads and mattress protectors, and male incontinence sheath should be used to make the person feel more comfortable as well as protect the clothing and furniture.

Bottom Line

Getting affected by a bladder and bowel condition can affect a person socially and emotionally. Make sure that you take up the right diagnosis and treatment option to help improve the condition of your loved one.

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