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.
- A definition of incontinence
- Incontinence and community aged care’
- Whose problem is it?
- Types and causes of incontinence
- What can we do about incontinence?