In the UK there are 14 million adults who have bladder control issues. Six and a half million adults have bowel control issues and 900,000 children and young people have bladder and / or bowel issues. Many more may have temporary conditions or illness that affect continence for a short period of time.
Most of us take continence for granted, our brain tells us when we need the toilet giving us sufficient time to complete the task we are doing or find a toilet if there is not one close by. Bladder and bowel control and managing toileting needs is generally mastered by the time a child starts school and becomes a normal part of life.
This is not the case for everyone, some may have permanent bladder or bowel dysfunction and for many of us temporary bladder or bowel dysfunction may occur during our lifetime.
Understanding why this happens, how to support an individual and the effects bladder and bowel dysfunction can have on quality of life is an important part of your role as a carer.
This manual aims to help you to develop a better understanding of a subject we rarely need to think about until it directly or indirectly.
- Understand normal bodily functions.
- Recognise types and causes of incontinence.
- Support others to manage their incontinence.
- Identify how to prevent infection and pressure sores.
- Recognise the effects of incontinence on quality of life.