Imagine you’re sitting on the couch, at the end of the day, watching your favorite show. You’re relaxed, you’re in a good place, you’re comfortable.
Suddenly, you experience an unpleasant sensation as warm liquid pools under you, and the liquid quickly cools. How did that happen? You didn’t have to go to the bathroom a second ago, but apparently, your bladder decided otherwise.
This is what it can be like for someone with Alzheimer’s. During the disease, the messages that the bladder sends to the brain to tell it it’s time “go” can get mixed up, misdirected or lost altogether.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only reason why people with Alzheimer’s can become incontinent. Other factors can include the medications that patients take to deal with anxiety, not remembering the location of the restroom and underlying medical problems that may not yet be addressed.
These issues may not become evident until the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer’s, but they will have to be addressed. The caregiver can provide support by gently reminding the patient to use the restroom and by making sure the way to and from the restroom itself are easily accessible.
However, sometimes leaks happen. At that point, the caregiver may want to utilize incontinence supplies. These days, adult briefs can be an unobtrusive as the average pair of underwear. Or, if the patient refuses to wear protective underwear, an underpad can be placed on chairs and beds to manage the leak.
Alzheimer’s can be very distressing to both caregivers and patients. Taking the stress of incontinence out of the equation can help.