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Nearly 3 years into the journey with my husband and his Alzheimer diagnosis, he is beginning to have episodes of urinary incontinence. Any suggestions for me as I contemplate a time when he is not fully in control of his bathroom needs?


Up to now, he has been independent with his use of the bathroom. Of late, he makes it to the bathroom but has had a few accidents on the way. I ask him every few hours and/or when he wakes up from sleeping/naps if he needs to use the bathroom. Other times while using the bathroom, he will have spillage onto the floor. On one confusing day, he forgot to take his sweat pants down when sitting on the toilet for a bowel movement. This is a new and hard aspect of the disease progression for us both. How do I help him clean up with the greatest of respect, get him to change his clothes, keep urine smells at bay in the bathroom? He now wears sweat pants to make it easier for him to manage his clothing.


I find the experiences of the caregivers on this forum extremely helpful. What can I expect as his care-giving spouse and what supplies/strategies are useful when caring for a man who starts to lose urinary and bowel control?


Thank you for your recommendations and support.

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Shop for a good waterproof mattress cover - I think the more expensive kind that have soft fabric top are much more comfortable to sleep on than the ones that are essentially a plastic bag and they are very durable too . You should also get some large washable pads for the bed and for your furniture, I picked up my bed pads at the local pharmacy for only $15 each - just don't use bleach on any of these products as it can destroy the waterproof properties.

I hope you are using one of the various incontinence products available now, some online companies will even send samples so you can find something that suits him best. Ordinary baby wipes are cheap and effective way to clean up between showers. You might need a barrier cream too so he doesn't get sore.

You are probably going to have to start supervising all his bathroom visits, you might need to remove the door lock. And to cut down on accidents instead of asking him if he needs to go you should just take him at regular intervals, that will work best if you take him at times he is already up and moving, like before/after meals.
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OpenMind Jun 23, 2019
Thank you for these recommendations
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Thank you for directing me to these articles. I have much to learn both from reading and experiences of others.
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OpenMind, I came across these articles here on AgingCare that has a lot of information: https://www.agingcare.com/topics/96/incontinence/articles

Hopefully caregivers who have had this issue can offer advice.
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