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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | October 2021

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Dementia and continence issues

Dementia and continence issues

Pages: 58 - 62

Article topics: Continence, Continence Advice, Continence care, Continence management, Faecal incontinence, Incontinence

Urinary and faecal incontinence are common in the older population, yet incontinence is not a normal part of ageing. Dementia can impact upon a person’s ability to remain continent, yet incontinence is unlikely to be a symptom of dementia until the latter stages of disease progression. There is a misconception that nothing can be done if a person with dementia experiences episodes of incontinence. However, many people with dementia often experience functional incontinence caused by immobility, communication difficulties, disorientation, or the inability to find the toilet, which can all be alleviated if the right support and advice is available. Improving the identification, assessment and management of continence issues can not only enable people with dementia to maintain their dignity and improve their health, but also their sense of wellbeing and quality of life. There is also the possibility to improve relationships, reduce carer burden, and reduce the risk of a premature transition into a residential care setting. This fourth paper in the series explores some of the issues relating to dementia and continence and the impact as experienced by our two case studies, Dhriti Singh and Gregory Brewin.

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