The CareGiver Partnership Explains the Alzheimer’s-Incontinence Relationship and Offers Coping Tips

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As the federal government announces our first National Alzheimer’s Plan, setting an ambitious goal of finding effective treatment by 2025, The CareGiver Partnership explains the relationship between Alzheimer’s and incontinence and outlines ways to cope while we wait for treatment options.

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Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant & Nutritionist

Because Alzheimer's is a neurological disease, patients often have trouble recognizing physical urges or remembering where a bathroom is located.

The Obama administration last week outlined the National Alzheimer’s Plan, a call for scientists to find ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, as reported by CBS News. Dianna Malkowski, physician assistant, nutritionist and professional adviser for The CareGiver Partnership, a national retailer of incontinence products, explains why incontinence is often a symptom of Alzheimer’s and offers tips for managing the condition.

“Because Alzheimer’s is a neurological disease, patients often have trouble recognizing physical urges or remembering where a bathroom is located, which can contribute to bladder or bowel incontinence,” says Malkowski. “Certain medications also relax the bladder muscles or cause increased urination.”

Malkowski offers tips from the Alzheimer’s Association for helping a loved one cope with dementia and incontinence:

  •     Remind the person where the bathroom is located, and encourage a regular schedule.
  •     Ensure the path to the bathroom is clear of obstacles and well lit. Provide visual cues by painting the bathroom door a contrasting color and posting a toilet sign on the door.
  •     Make a bathroom safer with grab bars, a raised toilet seat and nightlights.
  •     Provide clothing that is easy to remove, with no complicated belts or buttons.
  •     Use an Incontinence Product Finder to choose disposable undergarments by style, selecting a type your loved one can easily get on and off.
  •     Explain the importance of keeping skin clean, moisturized and protected, using products made to prevent breakdown and infection.
  •     Protect bedding and furniture with disposable pads.
  •     Never withhold fluids, which can lead to dangerous dehydration, but encourage your loved one to cut back before bedtime.

To read more about incontinence, Alzheimer’s disease, and other topics of interest to seniors and caregivers, visit The CareGiver Partnership blog.

The CareGiver Partnership is a national direct-to-consumer retailer of home healthcare products for incontinence, diabetes, nutrition support and more. In its sixth year of providing products and services that help caregivers and loved ones maintain personal dignity, the company also offers an online library of more than 1,200 family caregiver resources and personal service by experts in caregiving. Call 1-800-985-1353 or visit online at http://www.caregiverpartnership.com.

Dianna Malkowski is a Board Certified Physician Assistant and Mayo Clinic trained nutritionist specializing in diabetes, cancer, wound healing, therapeutic diets and nutrition support. She serves on the board of professional advisors for The CareGiver Partnership and enjoys working with patients and caregivers alike. Ask Dianna a question

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