There is little research examining how continence care is organised and delivered to people living with dementia across an acute hospital admission, despite the prevalence of this patient population and their vulnerability within these settings. With this in mind, a recent study was completed by Andy Northcott, Paula Boddington and Katie Featherstone from the Geller Institute of Ageing and Memory, University of West London. They observed the organisation and delivery of continence care to people living with dementia, in acute medical units and wards within three hospitals across England and Wales, over a period of 12 months.
The resulting article was published in the journal Dementia. The authors conclude that continence care for people living with dementia admitted to acute hospital wards is dominated by what they have termed "pad cultures", i.e. the everyday use of continence pads for patients living with dementia regardless of their continence status. While the organisational rationales for these approaches were clear, their consequences for people living with dementia, for staff, and for a wider population of older patients within these acute wards were significant. Their data, the authors note, suggests that independent and supportive continence care can have benefits for both people living with dementia and for staff in hospital wards. Read the full study, here: