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A new online course based on incontinence care standards for Australians living with Dementia, has been developed by the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI).


Titled “‘Massive Open Online Course: Caregiving, Dementia and Incontinence”, draws on the expertise of variety of experts, including those with ongoing lived experience of dementia, to inform best practice for managing incontinence.

Content in the course includes, basics of bowel and bladder function; promotion of health bowel and bladder function and assisting with toileting and hygiene.

Other topics delve into using continence aids and incontinence products, protecting the skin; and coping at home, out and about, and accessing information and support.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics show that 70% of aged care residents experiencing Dementia deal with incontinence, with nine-tenths of that cohort require assistance to manage their symptoms.

As incontinence is a significant issue for people living with Dementia, NARI Director of Aged Care Research, Professor Joan Ostaszkiewicz, said that NARI’s training aimed to cover the “psychological” and “physical” elements of experiencing incontinence.

“People with dementia who experience incontinence deserve care that treats them with dignity and respect, and that requires having supports available to inform carers,” Professor Ostaszkiewicz said.

“It was incredibly important to us that this training was created with, and informed by, those with lived-experience of the issue. By having their experiences at the centre of this course, we can provide training that ensures wrap-around approach – not just dealing with the physical difficulties, but also the psychological aspect.”

The course, which is designed so that those with no previous caring experience or qualification can take part, is available to complete from 1 August through to 3 October, with a second opportunity to complete the course available from 17 October through to 19 December.

More information on NARI, Australia’s only independent research institute focused on ageing and the course they are providing can be found here.