Urinary and faecal incontinence are serious health problems that are detrimental to overall health and quality of life and commonly affect older adults. Both types of incontinence are prevalent among the elderly population all over the world. According to statistics, nearly 800,000 people residing in the Netherlands suffer from some level of incontinence, although the actual statistic could be greater due to reluctance to disclose such personal information and get help. It is common among people to find incontinence a difficult topic to discuss, even with a general practitioner. One of the reasons why people may be uncomfortable talking about incontinence is because of the stigma that the health issue is associated with ageing. It is commonly believed that there are no available treatment options for incontinence, as well, which is a myth. Often times, patients appear to have suffered from incontinence for a long duration of time prior to seeking help from a general practitioner.
Incontinence is a serious health problem that can affect both men and women at any stage of life. Although the likelihood of experiencing incontinence increases with age, incontinence is not a normal age-related health issue. Not only does incontinence pose critical psychological and social constraints, it also significantly diminishes an older adult’s quality of life and increases the need for nursing home care. Incontinence is defined as the uncontrollable loss of urine or feces or a combination of both. Urinary incontinence (UI) is described as “any involuntary loss of urine.” Staff in nursing home facilities are responsible for providing direct care to their residents. Thus, nurses are critically responsible for treating and caring for patients with incontinence.