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urinary incontinence with dementia
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 8:55 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

I was looking for self help for my incontinence and found this article which startled me by pointing out urinary incontinence is one of main reasons women with dementia are put in nursing homes.

When planning my move the floors were a big deal to me because both the dog and I are wetting  (dogs are often put down when they begin wetting in the house). Since I am in bed so much now it has gotten worse, going to try to do the pelvic floor muscle exercises while laying around  in addition to using an estrogen cream ($700/year, local  pharmacy gives me 50% off) 

Muscle weakness in general can be a part of dementia disease progression and muscle tightness. My feet are very tight again.

Hope this info may help others.

Overactive bladder (OAB), also called urge incontinence, is a form of urinary incontinence (UI) that involves a sudden and powerful need to urinate. This often results in leaking large amounts of urine before one can reach a bathroom. Frequent urination in the day or night is another sign of OAB, as is urinating during sleep.

  • 13 million Americans are incontinent, and 11 million (84 percent) of those are women.
  • 20-30 percent of women age 40 or older have UI.
  • Only about 18-50 percent of women with UI seek treatment.
  • 50 percent or more of the elderly living at home or in long-term care facilities have UI.
  • ******* UI is the #1 motivating factor for people to put an elderly relative in a nursing home.

Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 9:05 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

The medications for "over active bladder" have been linked to dementia.

You would have to copy and paste links, don't know how to do live link


a UTI can cause emotional outbursts and unusual behavior. I had years of repeated infections that caused me a lot of suffering. I tried to improve my hygiene and go more frequently etc etc but it was one infection after another until a random clinic visit doctor checked my body and saw evidence of estrogen loss, prescribed a cream, and I started to have more bladder strength immediately. 


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:08 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17945

What can help with OAB (overactive bladder):

A toileting schedule--try to void every two to three  hours. 

Empty the bladder completely when voiding.  Double-voiding can help.

Weight loss--relieves pressure on the bladder.

Wear pads or protective underwear.

Careful hygiene is important.


Iris L.


Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 1:52 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20782

I have "overactive  bladder" or something. Dr said Kagel exercises would not work. That those muscles were not the problem. He gave me no medicine at that time. Instead he said to go to the bathroom every 90 minutes. It worked.
Posted: Monday, March 18, 2019 5:40 PM
Joined: 2/26/2019
Posts: 172

Alz+, even long bfor my dementia diagnosis, i had some urinary tract INFECTIONS. One doctor told me that alot of soaps and detergents contribute to such infections. He suggested DREFT for detergent and DOVE body soap (PLAIN with NO scents or added ingredients. I tried both and havmt had a UTI sinc, so im making notes for my future caretakers to use BOTH of those! It may b worth a try...

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:21 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

VIK - thanks for reminder.

I figured out it was happening really bad for 4 days when I was recently very scared and anxious and had used an ativan every day. Saw that those drugs relax bladder sphincter muscles. Put them away, will use cannabis again and started on B12.

The scented soaps DO leave me raw and I avoid them usually but also just started using a soap with a floral scent. Hmn.

I will do whatever I have to - plus peeing often on purpose and using pads.

thanks for sharing ideas!

Jo C.
Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 1:48 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 12894

Dratted bladder problems . . . . such a headache for so many women.  First, because one can colonize organisms in the bladder and develop repeated infections, it is best to go ahead and have the urine tested for a UTI because the increase in bladder leakage to outright incontinence can be secondary to that.  Best not to try and guess.

Some UTIs are, "silent," that is; they do not have any overt pain and burning, but changes in behaviors and/or urine leakage increase and outright incontinency can be the symptoms alerting us to the fact one needs their urine checked.

 NOTE:   Unfortunately, urine testing strips have a VERY high false results record for both positive and negative outcomes whether one uses the at-home test strips or even in the doctor's office.   Best step would be to have Mr. Keeper stop at a lab, even a hospital based lab and pick up a couple of urine testing cups for you.

Have the doctor's office staff call an order to the lab for a urine test INCLUDING culture.  This will ensure that you get accurate results.  Once the sample is obtained, Mr. Keeper can drop it off at the lab for you.  Have him pick up additional sample cups for possible future use so you have some at home.  It takes 72 hours to get the results of the culture back; the doctor's office can phone a prescription to your pharmacy for you.

Two types of common urinary incontinence issues:  One is "stress" incontinence; where one loses some urine with coughing, sneezing, heavy lifting, etc.  The other type of incontinence is "urge" incontinence.  That is; one loses bladder control and can't make it to the bathroom.   Both are common occurences for many women; especially for those who have given birth and tha can also increase with age.

With urge incontinence especially; it is best to void in the bathroom more frequently; about every one and a half to two hours.  If one voids TOO often, that is a negative because the bladder then develops less of a capacity signal secondary to having been used to getting signals to void too soon.  But if one MUST go to the loo; then for heaven's sake, go! and don't wait on ceremony as that may lead to big uh-oh's.

Fortunately,  there are so many different incontinence products out there for women now.  One can Google manufacturers such as, Poise, Tena and the other companies and they will send free samples of their products - both pads and women's incontinence panties.  Of course it takes time to get them in the mail, but one can try out different sizes and types of products this way without spending money on an entire package.

Poise pads like others, come in many different sizes AND many come in both regular and long size pads.   Many women like the longer pad because they stick best and seem to do well as far as that goes.

If getting out and shopping is a taxing effort; one can purchase pads or incontinence panties or diapers by using a mail order company.  The one I see most often discussed on the Forums is the, "North Shore," company.   When looking at the site, just know that the price quoted is not for one package, but a case.  One can order how many packages one wants and they are delivered to the door in a confidential box.

North Shore has a call line and skilled reps to help answer questions; they can also, if one desires it, put one on a regular purchase cycle where they automatically ship out whatever number of packages one wants at whatever interval one chooses.  They also have peri washes that help clean and keep odor down as well as lidded containers specifically for incontinent products if one wants to have one of those; lots and lots of products for both women and men on that site.

 North Shore Link:

As far as the Kegal exercises, they can be helpful in some types of incontinence; but according to literature, it takes three to six months to see any results, and one must do them with three sets of ten, holding each move for ten seconds; it is not an overnight success story.    The estrogen cream can be helpful for awhile, but that can be hit or miss depending on the situation at hand and if there is an infection, this is not as helpful.

 I am pleased to see that the newer types of women's incontinence panties are now in colors with design and are pretty; this is a big improvement from the regular plain variety.

Sure do wish we had been engineeered a bit better as far as excretion goes, really would have been helpful; but we are engineered as we are and as my doctor always says; "The body does what the body does."   Ain't that the truth!

Keep the faith, you will do okay.


Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 3:51 AM
Joined: 11/21/2015
Posts: 237

Thank you for this topic post. It is useful for me.
Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 8:50 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 20782

Purposeful Peeing.....great
Jo C.
Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 9:57 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 12894

Most important to remember is that neither myself nor other Members are licensed physicians, so it is best to be seen and get advice from one's doctor.

Alz+; sometimes the most basic thing is at fault for our symptoms and changes and somehow we seem to overlook that.   I so hope you do have your urine checked for a UTI; that is the most likely cause of what you are experiencing.

I know you also blamed your anti-anxiety med for "relaxing" your bladder; but I do not know if you are aware that in some studies done, that cannibanoids can in some people can also cause profound diuresis?   Sure can and even NIH has done work on that.  Since you have mentioned that you inceased the amount of such substances to assist with other symptoms; could it be having that effect on you rather than the anxiety med?  Don't know, but thought I would mention that for consideration and perhaps discussion with your physician.

Take care,