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NURSING IN THE CASE OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: USING THE TOILET

As a demented person becomes less steady on his or her feet, it is essential to ensure that rails are provided around the toilet area. Most falls occur when a person is in the process of standing up or sitting down; it is possible to get raised toilet seats that make it easier to get on and off.
For night-time use it may be better to have a commode put at the bedside. This is most useful if the bathroom is on a different floor to the bedroom. For men, a bottle-urinal may be helpful not only at night, but also during the day. It can be discreetly placed in a container at the side of the chair in which he is sitting, and regularly emptied.
When a man with dementia begins to forget to go to the bathroom and when, having got there, he has difficulty in remembering the routine, it may be easier for him to sit on the toilet to pass water than to stand up. This can be less problematical and less embarrassing for a wife or other carers.
Problems with using the bathroom and toilet, and many others such as dressing, are an area where the occupational therapist can give invaluable support and advice. This can usually be arranged through the general practitioner or health visitor.
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