Promoting urinary continence in older women
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Promoting urinary continence in older women

Alison Bardsley Senior lecturer in adult nursing and course director for non-medical prescribing, Coventry University, Coventry

Continence promotion involves informing and educating the public and healthcare professionals that urinary incontinence is not an inevitable part of ageing, and can be treated or at least made more manageable. While awareness of urinary continence is improving slowly, the taboo around discussing incontinence remains. Women are at increased risk of developing urinary incontinence as they grow older because of physiological, functional and cognitive changes. Healthcare professionals can identify women with bladder symptoms by routinely asking trigger questions and can promote continence through education about lifestyle choices that aggravate or ameliorate urinary incontinence. This article discusses the main risk factors associated with urinary incontinence in older women and the ways in which healthcare professionals can help to identify those with symptoms of urinary incontinence.

Nursing Standard. 29, 8,42-51. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.8.42.e9278

Received: 04 July 2014

Accepted: 08 August 2014

Published in print: 22 October 2014

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review