22 Jun 2022
by Policy, Practice and Innovation Team

Continence, dementia and care that preserves dignity

NIHCR, the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research has published a themed review on 'Continence, dementia, and care that preserves dignity', as well as a podcast on the same topic.

The research identifies the impact of continence problems on people living with dementia and their carers, as well as ways to improve continence care at home, in care homes and in hospitals.

Where people are supported at home, the report suggests continence issues should be addressed in the early stages of dementia, with the default option being to seek clinical assessment rather than resorting to continence pads.  The report comments that maintaining continence in people living with dementia is likely to require active support, tailored to individual needs. Where continence cannot be maintained, sensitive management of incontinence can promote and maintain a person’s dignity. 

The report highlights the need for specialist training and challenge of meeting complex needs in short care visits. It calls for continence care to be prioritised in all settings and seen as a key component of high quality care, with policymakers and commissioners investing in care staff time, training and continence products to improve the quality of continence care for people living with dementia.