Joan's State of the Art Lecture, presented at ICS 2021 Melbourne, illuminates the hidden world of continence caregiving.
- To develop an understanding of who performs continence care work, and how and where it is performed.
- To obtain insights into the challenges associated with continence caregiving.
- To learn about the strategies nurses and formal and informal carers use to deal with the challenges of providing continence care and the significance of this information for policy, education and practice.
Why this topic is important?
With 15% of the global population with a disability, it is highly likely that many of us will experience a disability at some stage in our lives causing us to rely on another person for help with bladder and bowel function. Incontinence and care-dependence go to the very heart of our fears as humans, so much so, that some people claim they would rather die than become incontinent or be care-dependent. Human reactions to incontinence and care-dependence vary considerably. These reactions manifest in care interactions with nurses and carers who must find a way to deliver care in a way that minimises the risk of psychological or physical harm and protects the person’s dignity. It is important that those of us in the caring professions get it right: that we know how to deliver safe continence care that protects a person’s dignity. This presentation brings together knowledges from the biosciences and the social sciences to describe the art and science of continence caregiving where the aim of care is dignity-protection.