Skip to content

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Dementia: Bladder and Bowel Problems - Topic Overview

Loss of bladder and bowel control (incontinence) can sometimes result from Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Several strategies may help you deal with this problem:

  • 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.

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

Hemifacial Spasm

This information is provided as a resource and does not constitute an endorsement for any group. It is the responsibility of the reader to decide whether a group is appropriate for his/her needs. For evidence-based information on diseases, conditions, symptoms, treatment and wellness issues, continue searching this site.

Read the Hemifacial Spasm article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 29, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Dementia: Bladder and Bowel Problems Topics

    Today on WebMD

    nerve damage
    Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
    senior woman with lost expression
    Know the early warning signs.
     
    Close up of eye
    12 culprits that affect your ability to focus.
    medical marijuana plant
    What is it used for?
     
    senior man
    Article
    brain research briefing
    Article
     
    Syringe
    Article
    Vaccine and needle
    VIDEO
     
    mans hands on laptop keyboard
    Article
    brain illustration stroke
    Slideshow
     
    most common stroke symptoms
    Article
    Parkinsons Disease Medications
    Article