According to the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, with the Australian population increasing, the number of people with dementia will also grow respectively. This estimated prevalence of dementia will provide a significant challenge as it will become the third largest source of health and aged care spending within two decades. The average government subsidy paid for dementia residents is 20.5% higher than non-dementia residents. One of the major reasons why older people enter residential aged care is dementia, another significant reason is incontinence, residents often suffering from both conditions.
Incontinence is a condition that describes lack of control of bladder or bowel movements. More specifically, the International Continence Society has defined urinary incontinence as ‘the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine’. Incontinence is often regarded as an inevitable and untreatable result of ageing. For most people, urinary incontinence is manageable, treatable or even curable. It is a common and distressing problem, which may have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life. Therefore, it is likely to be equally distressing for residents with dementia.
A comprehensive continence assessment is an essential component of effective continence management. The goal of management then being to restore and promote continence and to improve the quality of life of sufferers.
Prompted voiding requires the carer to ask the person on an individualised schedule if they need to void, offer assistance, and then offer praise for successful voiding.
Scheduled or timed voiding – is based on the person’s individual voiding pattern that has been established from a bladder diary.
Environmental modifications – involves the use of simple visual prompts and signs to encourage suitable voiding.
Adequate fluid intake – ensuring the patient is well hydrated is an essential part of nursing care.
Effective communication – body language and attitude often communicates feelings and thoughts stronger than words.
For aged care to improve efficiency and provide quality of care, then a greater focus and commitment in implementing educational programs on promoting continence for nursing staff is essential.
Lille Healthcare formed The Continence Institute (TCI) to provide evidence-based best practice continence education to aged care facilities, hospitals and community nurses. TCI’s education programs are the only courses offered by a continence aid supplier that are researched, developed and presented by a specialist team of qualified Continence Nurse Advisors.
For further information regarding continence care and education please browse the Lille and TCI Website