Most of us know the general symptoms of Alzheimer's well: the confusion, the irritability, the emotional outbursts. But there are some side symptoms that no one talks about, and they are often the most disruptive of a sufferer's day to day life.
Among these difficult topics is one that is too regularly ignored due to the sensitive nature of it: incontinence.
When An Alzheimer's Patient Loses Control
This is not a theoretical situation. Every Alzheimer's patient will, at some point prior to their disease hitting its final and most critical stage, lose control of their ability to urinate and defecate at will. It is one of the unfortunate side symptoms associated with their deteriorating mental state.
In the beginning it may be possible to assist the patient to a bathroom at set times through the day. This will be dependent on your ability to ascertain a schedule in their bowel movements. It may not work for urination.
Over time, even this compromise will become untenable. At that point, adult diapers will need to be used to keep their care hygienic.
Addressing The Issue
Speaking to an Alzheimer's patient about the need for adult incontinence products is best done in the early stages of the disease. Most within those beginning days will have lucid moments, where you can discuss the issue and get their permission. Hopefully, they will be cooperative.
But once they lose the ability to give consent, it will become a matter of doing what it best for them. The decision will have to be made on their behalf, and that can be a difficult decision for a caretaker to make.
Quite a bit of guilt may be associated with the act of changing an Alzheimer's adult diaper, at first. But knowing it is the best way to keep them clean, dry and healthy will help their carer understand that they truly are doing what is best for the patient.
Making The Right Choice for Adult Healthcare Supplies
When your loved one or patient begins to lose bladder or bowel control on a regular basis, it is time to begin considering adult diapers and other hygiene products. Though it may seem unnatural in the beginning, you will be making a decision that will improve their quality of life as they enter the last stages of the disease.
It may not be an easy choice to make, but it is the right one.