The Care Inspectorate today launched an important new resource which aims to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia.

The resource, ‘Promoting continence for people living with dementia and long-term conditions’ was launched today, Friday 5 June, at Scottish Care’s Care at Home Conference, attended by Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health.

The resource highlights the fundamental and essential care and support required to give people the opportunity to remain continent and maximise their quality of life. continence2

Its production involved people living with dementia and their families and carers as well as staff from across the health and social care sector.

The resource can be used by people living with dementia and their families as part of self-management as well as by staff working across health and social care. The project was led by the Care Inspectorate and delivered in partnership with Scottish Care, Scottish Government, NHS Continence Advisers, the Scottish Dementia Working Group, ACA and the National Dementia Carers Action Network (NDCAN).

Paul Edie, Care Inspectorate Chair, welcomed the resource and said: “This resource will go a long way towards making sure that people living with dementia and long-term conditions have their rights respected and met, and that their quality of life improves.

“This is a good example of partnership working between the Care Inspectorate and the key partners who all contributed to its development. This resource will make a significant contribution to the quality of continence care provided in the future allowing people to maintain their independence and dignity.”

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health said: “For people living with dementia, maintaining their dignity, independence and quality of life is extremely important.

“The stigma and assumptions that are made in relation to people with dementia, and older people in general, mean that incontinence is often accepted as an inevitable aspect of ageing.

"This can, understandably, cause a lot of distress, both for the person living with dementia and their families. That is why I welcome the launch of the Care Inspectorate’s resource today, and hope that it will be used to help people living with dementia and the staff who care for them.”

The resource, which was piloted across NHS assessment units, care homes, day centres and care at home services, can be used by people to manage their own continence as well as by carers, both formal and informal, in a wide variety of settings. It contains an easy read guide, poster and DVD to support its five key messages which are:

Know me and what’s important in my life and do what’s best for me.
Know me and how I communicate.
What I need to stay continent and how you can help.
Create an environment that supports me to be independent and promotes continence.
Look for every opportunity to promote my continence – be creative.
For copies of the resource call 0345 600 9527

Notes to Editors

The Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects more than 14,000 care services in Scotland each year, including childminders, nurseries, care homes, housing support, care at home and more specialist care services. It also carries out joint inspections with partner agencies of services for children and older people in each part of Scotland.

88,000 people are currently diagnosed in Scotland with dementia. The stigma and assumptions made towards those with dementia and older people in general mean that incontinence is often accepted as an inevitable aspect of ageing.

Continence issues are often accepted without a thorough assessment. This means people living with dementia are sometimes not offered options of care but are resigned to a culture of “padding up”. The stress on the individual as well as their families can often be a pivotal factor in requiring additional levels of support and may indeed precipitate a move into a residential setting.