Care homes in Cornwall are taking part in a new scheme which could result in fewer patients needing to use incontinence pads.
NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly is conducting the Stop, Think, Assess, Review (Star) initiative to reduce the prescribing of sedation and anti-psychotic medications in people with dementia. Staff at Asheborough House in Saltash have already seen improvements in a number of behaviours that are common in people with dementia, including aggression and incontinence, according to the Plymouth Herald.
Sharon Talbot, the care home’s matron manager, told the news provider that the decision to only use anti-psychotic drugs as a last resort had “transformed” the home.
She revealed: “Residents’ behaviour changed from being negative to positive; they can now show warmth and affection and we have introduced a whole series of activities and personal memory books to keep them interested and stimulated.”
Bev Chapman, clinical dementia lead for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, agreed that the scheme was providing benefits.
She told the Herald: “In most cases, simple paracetamol has relieved the pain, making the symptoms of dementia more manageable.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, incontinence may occur in people with dementia for a number of reasons, both medical and non-medical. Medical causes of incontinence include urinary tract infections, prostate gland problems, side-effects of medication and constipation, while non-medical causes may include forgetting to go to the toilet or not remembering where the bathroom is.
The charity recommends a number of incontinence aids, including waterproof bedding, absorbent under-sheets and incontinence pads and pants.