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Learning to accept incontinence and continence care in residential aged care facilities: family members' experiences

journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Joan Ostaszkiewicz, Emily TomlinsonEmily Tomlinson, Alison HutchinsonAlison Hutchinson
The psychological process of living in a
residential aged care (RAC) facility and being
incontinent and dependent on another person
for assistance with bladder and bowel function
is largely unchartered. Likewise, little is known
about the experiences and opinions of next-ofkin
family members. As the function of many
family members is as key advocate for residents,
it is important to understand and share their
perspectives about quality continence care. The
aim was to explore next-of-kin family members’
understandings and expectations about the
concept of ‘quality continence care’ for their
relative living in an RAC facility. The indings
suggest shared indicators of quality continence
care centre on practices that family members
believe will maintain a resident’s cleanliness
and comfort, interpret the behaviours of
cognitively impaired residents, optimise
personal continence and autonomy, identify
and address underlying medical conditions, and
validate family member roles as advocates. The
indings led to the development of a typology
of family member beliefs and expectations
about quality continence care, which could
inform the development of future education
programs for the aged care workforce, as well
as the development and implementation of a
best practice guideline for quality continence
care in RAC facilities. By providing important
insights into family members’ understandings
and expectations about continence care, the
research contributes to international eforts to
improve the quality of continence care for frail
older adults.



Australian and New Zealand continence journal








14 - 21


Cambridge Publishing


Osborne Park, WA





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Continence Foundation of Australia