• Deakin University
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Caregiving, Dementia, and Incontinence

Discover practical strategies to support people living with dementia and incontinence in their daily routines and personal care.

Educators are currently active on this course

Elderly hand and caregiver

Develop coping strategies to support those with dementia and incontinence

Many people suffering from dementia also experience incontinence, which can be daunting for caregivers.

On this five-week course, you’ll be guided by experts from Deakin University, and the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), dispelling the many misconceptions surrounding incontinence and learning how to ensure the dignity, comfort, and safety of those under your care.

Explore the basics of bowel and bladder function

Delving into the biological functions of the bowel and bladder, you’ll examine the effects of ageing and dementia on continence and identify warning signs for when medical health should be sought.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to develop sensitive support strategies, founded in scientific understanding.

Promote healthy bladder function and assist with toileting and personal hygiene

You’ll examine a range of approaches to help a person living with dementia maintain continence and manage incontinence, including assisting with personal hygiene and the use of continence aids and incontinence products.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to help the person you’re caring for maintain their independence for as long as possible and improve their quality of life.

Learn how to access support services and quality health information

Through group discussion, you’ll share practical advice and coping skills to improve your problem-solving, flexibility, and planning skills.

You’ll also learn how to find trustworthy information and access continence services to improve the care you can provide.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand the causes and effects of incontinence in people with dementia. You’ll have gained practical strategies to improve your caregiving, having learned a variety of physical and emotional support techniques.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Incontinence is a difficult topic for most people. With one in four Australians affected by the condition, it’s an important issue to come out of the closet, particularly, to meet the needs of people caring for a person affected by the condition. This includes people caring for a person with dementia. Hello. I’m Joan Ostaszkiewicz, a registered nurse, academic, and director of aged care research at NARI, the National Ageing Research Institute. My colleagues and I at NARI were fortunate to receive a research grant from the Dementia Centre for Research Collaboration to design an online course on caregiving, dementia, and incontinence.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds And now we can provide information to assist carers of people living with dementia who have consciousness care needs to cope with the physical and psychosocial aspects of incontinence, thus optimising dignity, respect, comfort, and safety. Our interest in this issue arose from our clinical experiences as nurses, and from listening to carers about their experiences. The course provides critical information that we hope will be helpful to them. Join us in this short course and you’ll discover how to access quality sources of information and professional advice about continence caregiving you’ll develop confidence in using a variety of approaches to help a person living with dementia maintain continence, and managing continents.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Coping with the lived experience

    • Introduction to the course

      Meet your teaching team to find out more about this course and what you'll be covering.

    • Beliefs and misbeliefs about incontinence

      Explore common beliefs about incontinence and ways it affects behaviours and emotions.

    • Communicating for success

      Discover different communication styles used when caring for a person with dementia and incontinence.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on this week’s key points, check your understanding, and get ready for next week.

  • Week 2

    The basics of bladder and bowel structure and function

    • The basics of bladder and bowel function

      Explore how the bladder and bowel work.

    • Effects of ageing and dementia

      Explore the factors that can affect bladder and bowel function.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on this week’s key points, check your understanding, and get ready for next week.

  • Week 3

    Promoting healthy bowel and bladder function and assisting with toileting and hygiene

    • How to optimise healthy function

      The focus of this week will be on improving bladder and bowel health and assisting with toileting and personal hygiene.

    • Toileting without trauma

      Explore practical strategies to assist and support people with dementia and incontinence.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on this week’s key points, check your understanding, and get ready for next week.

  • Week 4

    Using continence aids and incontinence products and protecting the skin

    • Assisting with the use of continence aids and incontinence products

      Assisting with the selection and use of continence aids and incontinence products.

    • Protecting the skin

      The importance of skin protection in people with incontinence.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on this week’s key points, check your understanding, and get ready for next week.

  • Week 5

    Coping at home, out and about and accessing information and support

    • Coping at home, out and about, and in respite or residential care

      Understand the importance of problem solving, flexibility, planning and knowing the person is able to get out and about.

    • Accessing quality information and support

      Identify quality sources of information and where to get professional help related to caring for a person living with dementia and incontinence.

    • Course wrap

      Review what you have learnt about the practical aspects of caring for people with dementia and incontinence throughout this course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 1 Aug 2022 - 9 Sep 2022

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how incontinence and beliefs about incontinence can affect a person’s well-being.
  • Adapt communication to meet the continence care needs of a person living with dementia to promote their dignity, respect, comfort, and safety.
  • Describe the normal function of the bowel and bladder, the impact of dementia on continence, and factors that may affect bladder and bowel function.
  • Identify and have confidence in using a variety of approaches to help a person living with dementia maintain continence and manage incontinence.
  • Identify quality sources of information, support, and professional advice about continence care for carers of a person living with dementia.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for family carers and those working in caregiving roles who want to improve their understanding of dementia and incontinence.

It may also be of interest to first year nursing students or those preparing for study who want to further their knowledge in this area.

Who will you learn with?

Elizabeth Watt is a Registered Nurse and Senior Research Fellow within the Aged Care Division of NARI. Liz is an expert in nursing education and has researched and published in continence care.

Dr Jessica Cecil is a Research Fellow within the Aged Care Division at the National Ageing Research Institute. Her research interests include continence care in residential aged care homes.

Professor Joan Ostaszkiewicz is the Director of Aged Care Research at the National Ageing Research Institute. She oversees a program of research to improve quality of care for older people.

Who developed the course?

Deakin University

Deakin University is one of Australia’s largest universities with more than 61,000 students and over 15,000 online.

  • Established

    1974
  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 280Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

NARI

Established in 1974, The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) is a national, independent medical research institute, which is highly respected across the aged care industry and research sector nationally and internationally.

NARI brings together industry leaders, innovators, academic experts, and world-class educators who combine their expertise to influence and shape the agenda in ageing research and aged care and to improve the quality of life and health of older people.

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