Improve continence care by involving and empowering the patient

Representing the world’s largest network of senior people’s organizations, AGE Platform Europe, the Secretary General , Anne-Sophie Parent, has gained a lot of knowledge on success factors when it comes to elderly care. She calls for a more patient-centered and empowerment-based incontinence care.

– Incontinence is a common reason why older persons move to nursing homes. In some cases, though, they could actually stay home longer – if only they were given the right support and containment products, says Parent.

In 2016, AGE Platform Europe and Essity conducted a pan-European study among people with incontinence and informal carers. The study showed that two in five respondents felt that the products did not give them optimal support. As many as four in ten individuals experienced a disturbed sleep pattern as a result of using unsuitable products. Two in five patients felt that they had no influence on the products that were being offered by the healthcare system. Consequently, three out of four respondents ended up paying for additional products themselves.44

Parent argues that all of these issues can be avoided with better awareness, a more person-centered assessment of needs and care and increased product choice.

2 in 5

Stick figures highlighting two in five patients (icon)

Two in five patients think that the containment products offered do not give them the needed support.

2 in 5

Stick figures highlighting two in five patients (icon)

Two in five patients say that they have no influence on the containment products offered by the healthcare system.

3 in 4

Stick figures highlighting three in five patients (icon)

Three out of four patients have paid for additional products themselves.

– Some people have heard from their prescriber that it is normal for the protection to feel uncomfortable. Yet there is no reason for this when there are so many available products for different kinds of needs. Care providers need to offer a variety of product types adapted to each individual, and stay up to date on the latest available products on the market.

Parent wants older people given the opportunity to try out different kinds of products, influence product decisions, and make sure that products are truly adapted to their individual needs. This would not only improve product fit, but also give a feeling of empowerment.

44Essity and AGE Platform Europe (2016), Management for Containment – A review of current continence care provisions, presented at the 6th Global Forum on Incontinence in 2016.