We are designing and evaluating the Dignity in Continence Care Education Program. This program is a multifaceted, evidence-based, feasible and sustainable person-centred intervention.

Recent government inquiries and reports reveal a significant gap between policies and standards that promote dignity in care and actual practice for some care-dependent people in Australian aged care homes.

As the number of people with dementia increases and the population ages, the need for a contextually appropriate, evidence-based intervention to assist aged care staff to protect vulnerable care-dependent older peoples’ dignity and reduce their risk of abuse during continence care will also increase.

We are designing an education program that privileges dignity as the main goal of continence care for people with a diagnosis of dementia who require assistance to maintain continence or manage incontinence. It will also include practice-informed strategies that carers can use to optimise safety in the caregiving encounter. The goal is to strengthen the quality of communication and continence care for care-dependent older people with dementia in aged care homes which will minimise the risk of abuse and dignity violations.

This research is funded by the Medical Future Fund Next Generation Clinical Researchers Program.

Contact: Dr Joan Ostaszkiewicz