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Alzheimer's Blog

Incontinence

Problems with incontinence may be caused by:

  • Moving too slow to make it to the toilet in time
  • Clothing may be too complicated to pull down quickly
  • Loss of sensation of needing to use the toilet
  • Inability to tell a someone that he/she needs to use the toilet

Medical reasons for incontinence

  • Urinary tract infection or prostate enlargement or infection
  • Side effects of medications
  • Impaired nervous system
  • Pelvic muscle weakness
  • Pelvic, prostate, or rectal surgery
  • Stress or fear

Physical aspects of incontinence

  • Keep the skin dry, clean and well lubricated
  • Recognize changes in skin condition to prevent skin problems
  • When the skin is too dry, moisten it with ointment or lotion
  • When the skin is too moist, dry it with powder or cornstarch
  • Change wet pads and clothes often
  • Use soft pads and clothing and keep them wrinkle free

 Tips to prevent or decrease incontinence

  •  Establish a regular schedule for toileting
  • Start the schedule first thing in the morning, continue with two-hour
    intervals, and adjust as necessary
  • Use the same routine every time
  • Learn to tell the signs or facial expression of the person needing to
    use the toilet
  • Place a commode or urinal at the bedside at night
  • Use toilet before leaving the house and/or when arriving at destination
  • Limit the intake of liquids after dinner and in the evening to help
    control incontinence at night time
  • Provide reminders to use the bathroom
  • Don’t wait for the person to tell you he/she has to use the bathroom

 Take the pressure of incontinence by:

  • Using washable chair cushion covers
  • Waterproof cushions by sliding them in a garbage bag
  • Waterproof bed by putting a plastic mattress cover over mattress
  • Putting washable or disposable pad in bed to protect the linens
  • Using incontinence pads, diapers, or absorptive underwear
  • Changing clothing immediately after an accident
  • Taking extra pads and clothing when going outside house

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