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Dealing with patients with concurrent dementia and urinary incontinence

The management of incontinence is often a neglected area of community care, even more so when allied to older people, and it is essential that community nurses consider the effect of the ageing process and its impact on continence. Often, this can involve the specific effects of dementia and the management of urinary incontinence can then become complex due to the range of practical approaches required and the need to adjust these for each patient. A large percentage of the community nurse’s time is spent supporting carers; therefore, it is essential to consider their feelings when suggesting any strategies as they may feel that they are already incorporating them in the patient’s daily activities. It is also important to focus on few key elements of advice around incontinence and to listen empathetically to appreciate the challenges experienced by carers, which will help in identifying suitable strategies.