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As a caregiver, how can I manage toileting the person I am caring for?

Tasks that we take for granted may take up a large portion of a caregiver's day. To cope, try some of these strategies from the Alzheimer's Association and the Family Caregiver Alliance:
  • Ask your relative's healthcare professional about programs to improve bladder and bowel function. In many cases, incontinence can be successfully treated and prevented. It is not inevitable with old age.
  • Buy a portable toilet at a medical supply store and keep it near your relative's bed if needed. These are good if there is a problem with mobility or urgency, but every older person does not automatically need one, and it may even create a greater sense of helplessness.
  • If your relative has dementia, remove anything from the bedroom or living areas that may be mistaken for a toilet, such as a wastebasket or standing plant.
  • Establish a toileting routine (take him or her to the bathroom every two hours, for example).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.