Tips for Caregivers on Assisting Someone with Alzheimer’s disease Who Is Also Incontinent

Nurse handing in white cup

 

Incontinence is a health issue that affects men and women of all ages. Some of the most common causes for incontinence include prostate cancer removal surgery, urinary stones, pregnancy, and some neurological disorders. Spinal cord injuries could also trigger incontinence. In many cases, incontinence is periodic and relatively minor, requiring pads or liners to be worn when symptoms arise.

However, in other scenarios, the incontinence may be severe enough when patients will need to wear adult diapers on a daily basis. Alzheimer’s disease is one that affects more than 5.7 million people in the United States, and this number is going up as Baby Boomers age. By 2050, it’s estimated that 16 million Americans could be living with Alzheimer’s disease.

As Alzheimer’s disease causes progressive deterioration of the brain, patients in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease may become incontinent, adding an extra layer of challenge for caregivers and/or the patient’s family. There are a number of reasons why Alzheimer’s disease and incontinence are often interconnected:

 

  • The brain can no longer receive signals from the digestive system that it’s time to go to the bathroom
  • The patient can not recognize where the bathroom is or is unable to remove his or her clothes in time
  • The medication prescribed for other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can potentially trigger incontinence
  • The patient has a silent urinary tract infection

 

At Diaper Buys, we carry adult diapers and other adult incontinence supplies from the industry’s top manufacturers. We are proud to carry Tranquility® Incontinence Care products, and Tranquility® has done a good job of providing resources for caregivers on assisting patients who experience incontinence. We encourage you to check them out here. Tips and strategies will depend on the stage of the disease as well as the individual symptoms present. Alzheimer’s disease affects every patient differently.  Some general ideas, though, include the following:

 

  • Limit the amount of liquids an affected loved one drinks at night if he or she wets the bed at night
  • Distinguish the bathroom in some way (install bright lights around the toilet or apply colored duct tape that leads to the bathroom) to help your loved one find the bathroom and use the toilet
  • Size your loved one with a comfortable, absorbent adult diaper that will limit rash and other issues resulting from wetting oneself. While you should be honest with your loved one about the incontinence products, Tranquility® and other manufacturers recommend avoid referring to the product as a diaper as your loved one could recognize that term as something negative

 

 

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