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Aged care: Long-term management of faecal incontinence

CPD Hours



Aged care
Clinical practice and procedures
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This module provides an introduction to, or refresher on, faecal incontinence in the elderly.

Faecal incontinence is leakage from the bowel due to poor bowel control.

As many as 5% of adults have poor bowel control.

Both the prevalence and severity of incontinence increase with age, with people aged 85 and over, who are more than five times more likely to experience severe incontinence than those aged 65–84 (28% vs 5%).

Despite this, incontinence should not be seen as an inevitable part of ageing. Careful assessment may lead to identification of treatable acute causes or improved management for chronic problems.

This module looks at the causes of faecal incontinence, assessment, and management strategies.

Learning Objective

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Describe the main causes of faecal incontinence
  • Explain the importance of a careful incontinence assessment
  • Discuss treatment options for elderly patients with faecal incontinence
  • Recognise factors that may make continence management difficult in elderly patients

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