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What to look for?

Incontinence | Common Signs

  • Wets the bed at night
  • Has difficulty finding the bathroom
  • Cannot get to the bathroom on time
  • Mistakes other objects for toilets (e.g. wastebaskets)
  • Forgets where the bathroom is
  • Loses control of their bladder
  • Loses control of their bowels
Incontinence | General Description

As Alzheimer's disease progresses, many times people will lose control over their bladder and/or bowels. While initially this may be limited to occasional accidents, it often becomes a permanent condition in the later stages of the disease.

Accidents are often humiliating and embarrassing to the person you care for, and are stressful episodes for the caregiver. There are a number of reasons why these accidents can occur.

  1. The person you care for may have an accident because they become confused. This can be an example of the symptom of impaired Comprehension/ Understanding.
  2. They may also have an accident because they forget where the bathroom is or they are unable to reach the bathroom on time.
  3. Many times they will wet the bed at night because they find it difficult to get out of bed and are disoriented. They also may have trouble finding the bathroom at night or they may wet the bed in their sleep.

The first step in taking a more active role in symptom management is understanding how a symptom is affecting everyday life; the next step is communicating this knowledge to the care planning team and family. SymptomGuideTM is designed with these goals in mind.

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See Also:
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Memory
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Comprehension/ Understanding
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Disorientation to Place
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Natural Progression and Staging
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Last updated January 9, 2019
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