My husband with ALZ gets up 4 or 5 times a night to urinate and needs help getting to the bathroom and back. I am exhausted. Any advice?


My husband gets up 4 or 5 times a night to urinate and needs help getting to the bathroom and back. As a result, I am exhausted having to assist him in this and he mostly doesn't pee because he has emptied his bladder and just "feels" that he has to go again. Is a sleeping pill appropriate for him since he also has pulmonary fibrosis (some scar tissue on his lungs that was work related) or would that depress his breathing. I'm so tired and don't know what to do and I know I need to get more sleep so I don't get irritated at him.



If your husband is having the urge to urinate but not passing urine, he should see a Urologist to make sure he is actually fully emptying his bladder. Not fully emptying can lead to a reocurring feeling of urgency ["having to go"].

I would NOT recommend using a sleeping pill without first getting the cause of the frequent urgency addressed. His doctor will definitely have a better idea of what is safe for your husband considering his fibrosis.

This is a SERIOUS issue for yourself too, lack of sleep is a huge health risk both mentally and physically for care-givers. I hope you can get your husband to a Urologist soon, but if not please consider having a trained caregiver come in at night to support you by helping your husband to and from the bathroom while you sleep.

Your husband should not be expecting you to never get a good night's sleep, that isn't healthy and it isn't fair. I'm sorry you and your husband are having to deal with this.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to OneLastStraw

Urinal or commode at the bedside? If you have carpeting can you safely out pads around the chair in case of accidents?
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Reply to MACinCT

tperri123, you got some good advice from OneLastStraw and MACinCt. If your husband is not yet in disposable underwear, try getting him used to that, and also bed pads. But, until his dementia progresses further, he'll still want to get up, so maybe a hand-held urinal will help, but that could be tricky. Maybe you could find a health care aid to work night shifts for a few hours with the use of a baby monitor?

I went through this utterly exhausting stage with my dad and never did find a good solution, until I moved him to the best memory care facility I could find. Until then, using three baby monitors helped (2 audio and 1 video), but did not fully resolve my sleep deprivation problem.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to bicycler

My husband's doctor recommended saw palmetto, for enlarged prostrate. It took several weeks, but it worked! (I don't know if it shrunk his prostrate, but he stopped feeling the urge to pee every 20 minutes!)
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Reply to jeannegibbs

I got my friend to use the urinal at the bedside. If you have a monitor that you can talk to him, when you hear him start to get up you just need to remind him to use the urinal and not walk to the bathroom. The throw away pads on the floor are a must and obviously you will need a night stand next to the bed to put the urinal on. Does he take Flomax? If not that may help. Best of luck.
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Reply to Barb53

Speaking of bed pads. Pet pads are just as good and look the same as medical pads at a fraction of the cost. My mother's physical therapist gave us that valuable tip.
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Reply to rusbar

Dear tperri123,
I’ma caregiver but also a 79 year old male with a history of prostate issues. I think your husband needs to see a urologist if possible. The urge comes from a non -empty bladder or urinary inflammation such as infection, enlarged prostate or bladder stones (as opposed to kidney stones. Probably other things too. A simple ingestion can close up the urethra opening. I have had all of teb above and i sympathize with your husband. It is a miserable feeling to have to go but nothing happens.
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Reply to BigjimM

Thanks for all the good advice. One reason he gets up frequently to urinate is because he has an enlarged prostate which I forgot to mention. I also have a baby monitor and he is always calling me to help him. I don't know if I have the heart to move him to a memory care facility as long as he still knows me but maybe one day, if he has total memory loss, that would be an option.
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Reply to tperri123

My DH gets me up more than that but I keep a urinal on his walker and he uses that throughout the night and day. Risking a fall by taking him to the bathroom for urination is dangerous and he only uses the commode for bowel movements. I encourage him to use the urinal for urination.

BTW, I put a bit of soap in and a tad of water - and he's been able to use his "favorite" urinal for 2-1/2 years now! Just a little FYI. The urinals are so cheaply made now, so he's using one from the hospital from 'way back when' and the handle is closed off.

I tried the Flowmax but he still wound up waking me hourly so we were advised to stop it when DH's Blood Pressure and Heart Rate went wonky on us.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to RayLinStephens

My dad has this problem and he takes a supplement called Better Man that helps with urinary frequency due to prostate. A nurse told me the other day that Pumpkin seed is the ingredient in these urinary supplements. He will not wear disposable underwear so this seems to work, at least for the time being.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to LivingSouth

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