Loss of bladder and bowel control (incontinence) can sometimes result
Alzheimer's disease and other
dementias. Several strategies may help you deal with
Encourage the person to use the bathroom on a
regular schedule, such as every 2 hours.
Restrict liquids a few
hours before bedtime.
If the person has trouble remembering where
the bathroom is, show him or her the way and mark the bathroom and toilet
clearly with signs ("Bathroom," "Toilet"). Use pictures when the person can no
longer understand words.
Remove or cover objects the person may
mistake for the toilet.
Consider using absorbent pads or briefs
such as Attends or Depends. To avoid sores, make sure the skin under these
undergarments stays clean and dry.
Remember that a person with
dementia cannot control this problem. In some cases, he or she may be aware of
the problem and feel embarrassed or ashamed about it.
If incontinence has just recently become a problem, make sure the
person doesn't have another medical condition that is causing it, such as a
urinary tract infection.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerMyron F. Weiner, MD - Psychiatry, Neurology