Being continent, that is, being able to store and pass urine and feces at socially acceptable times and places, is a complex and important human skill. It is one of the first skills of independent living that we learn as small children and certainly a developmental milestone that causes great joy and excitement for our parents. One of the reasons that being incontinent becomes a negative experience is because it implies a ‘step backwards,’ a loss of this independence and maturity. Add to that the fact that we are talking about a bodily function that involves excrement, which is linked with dirt and subject to strict social rules and taboos, and we have a complex health problem. This chapter provides a broad review of the topic, and suggests management plans that are effective for older people in the community setting.

Contents include

  • A definition of incontinence
  • Incontinence and community aged care’
  • Whose problem is it?
  • Types and causes of incontinence
  • What can we do about incontinence?
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, BN, GradDip (Advanced Nursing, Primary Health Care, Women's Health), Promoting Continence Course Graduate (Royal District Nursing Service, Melbourne).
Keren Day is a continence nurse consultant with more than 15 years experience. She is currently working at Ballarat Health Services (Victoria, Australia) in a regional, community based, multidisciplinary continence service. Her experience includes management of a community-nursing service, coordination of the Victorian Continence Resource Centre, and the establishment of a new multidisciplinary continence service. Keren has been involved in government working committees to develop continence services at both state and federal levels. More recently she has undertaken clinical research in the ob...

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