Proper use of the toilet requires a complex mixture of motivation, internal cues, visual recognition and motor skills—all of which diminish with dementia. Therefore, as the disease progresses, many people develop incontinence, or loss of bladder or bowel control. Typically, an individual first develops episodic urinary incontinence that slowly progresses over a period of years to total loss of bladder control. A similar pattern is seen with bowel control, which becomes impaired in the latter stages of dementia. The rapid onset of incontinence suggests a behavioral or medical change, and should be evaluated by a physician.
For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care.