From 9 April 2015, St Christopher’s End of Life Journal will be published and hosted online by the BMJ
All journal articles will be transferred to the new BMJ journal website and our current journal website will close
Existing journal subscribers will need to sign up to the new BMJ site in order to access journal articles as we are unable to share subscriber details due to data protection. We will email all subscribers on 9 April with a quick link to sign up.
If you have any questions, please email: email@example.com
Penny Hansford, Editor in Chief, St Christopher’s End of Life Journal
Living with people who have dementia and faecal incontinence
As the population ages, the number of people with dementia will increase. Although faecal incontinence (FI) is not always present in this patient group, its occurrence, in combination with urinary incontinence, is a prognostic indicator of advanced disease. A previous article explored the topic of FI in the context of people with dementia, highlighting associated causes and risk factors, as well as suggesting nurse assessment and management strategies (Hetherton, 2011). This article aims to explore the emotions experienced by caregivers and what it is like to live with a person who has dementia and FI. It discusses issues nurses ought to consider when exploring this sensitive topic with caregivers, including caregivers’ inattention to their own needs, the experience of having constantly to monitor the person with dementia for the next care episode, observers’ negative assumptions regarding carer ability to undertake the caring role, financial loss, sleep disturbance and isolation. Family caregivers place importance on professionals who are able to listen to their needs and facilitate support from relevant services.