making sure that everything is swallowed before offering the next bite or drink.
Reminders to chew and/or swallow can move the process along.
Improving Bowel and Bladder Function in Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
If you notice problems or changes in bowel and bladder function, be sure to rule
out any acute medical problems – for example, fecal impaction or a urinary tract infection
before assuming that the problems are simply due to late-stage Alzheimer’s. To
improve bowel and bladder function, try the following strategies:
Eliminate caffeinated beverages. Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some carbonated beverages tend to aggravate urinary incontinence because caffeine increases the flow of urine.
Reduce liquid consumption in the evening. While it is important to keep late-stage Alzheimer’s patients hydrated, try to reduce liquid consumption during the two hours before bedtime in order to reduce incidents of incontinence during the night.
Use protective briefs and absorbent bed pads. Briefs and pads are effective tools for handling incidents of incontinence, even when other strategies work most of the time.
Watch for constipation. While it is not imperative that the person has a bowel movement every day, it should be noted if the individual goes three or more days without having a bowel movement. Besides checking for fecal impaction, adding natural laxatives to the person’s diet can help (e.g., high-fiber snacks like prunes).
Follow a toileting schedule. Individuals with late-stage Alzheimer’s should be taken to the bathroom or given a bed pan every couple of hours. Keep a written