Basket | Login


SS4. Incontinence care in dementia

Detailed Programme, abstracts and presentations

SS4. Incontinence care in dementia (Saturday, 6 October, 13.00–14.00, Europa 2)

New incontinence in vulnerable elderly people: ensuring it is noticed quickly and a methodical analysis is carried out

Paul van Houten

With geriatric incontinence there is involuntary loss of urine or faeces among elderly people who have difficulty (not within 5 minutes) in using a toilet or who can do so only with assistance. In the case of both urinary and faecal incontinence, we refer to double incontinence. These elderly people have mobility and/or cognition difficulties, various chronic illnesses and take a variety of drugs. There are sometimes also difficulties with the working of the bladder, rectum or sphincter. These elderly people are often dependent on informal carers and/or professional care. Incontinence must be treated as a condition requiring swift action. The first question to be asked is: why has this patient become incontinent now, or why has faecal incontinence now arisen alongside existing urinary incontinence? It must be taken into consideration, particularly with elderly people who have difficulty in walking, who have several chronic illnesses and/or who are taking a range of medications that the incontinence may be due to these circumstances. The incontinence may be an undesirable side effect of medication (or change of medication) or may be caused by a worsening of one or more chronic illnesses. These causes must be detected and treated as quickly as possible. In a number of cases, continence can be restored or the deterioration reduced by prompt analysis and treatment of the underlying causes. If continence cannot be restored, use should be made of incontinence products - taking the preferences of the patient and carers into account. Such products should be used with the aim of maintaining the independence of the patient as much as possible and of preventing complications, such as fluid lesions.

The approach to geriatric incontinence is multidisciplinary. Doctors play a central role in the analysis of the causes and the treatment of incidental morbidity and adjustment of medication. Carers often draw attention to the emergence of the problem and have a good picture of what happens when the patient goes to the toilet. Solutions must be devised by carers, doctor and, if possible, the patient acting together. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists can be involved in carrying out the agreed solution. Specialised carers can help in choosing incontinence products.

The workshop will consider the early flagging of continence difficulties, the systematic analysis of possible causes (functional, morbidity and medication) and how solutions can be devised and implemented.

This special symposium is sponsored by SCA Hygiene Products.



Last Updated: Thursday 13 September 2012