Dementia: The Final Indignity
Around 800,000 people have dementia in the UK. For those suffering from the illness, incontinence can often be seen an inevitable consequence - but that’s not always the case. Deemed as too embarrassing or taboo, it’s a topic that rarely hits the spotlight. Experts say preserving someone’s ability to go to the toilet is crucial to maintaining their dignity and quality of life and should be a priority in care settings. But is that always happening? A new report shown exclusively to File on 4 has looked at how continence care is being managed in hospitals – and how, in some cases, those who are continent are actively encouraged to soil themselves. Datshiane Navanayagam speaks to families who say their loved ones were ignored when it came to their continence needs in hospital and that the consequences have left them with health issues and requiring additional support. Nurses and medical staff say that continence training is often seen as a ‘Cinderella subject’. We also hear from dementia patients themselves about why maintaining your own dignity and independence is so crucial with this disease. With the government set to reveal a new dementia strategy this year, will continence care be placed higher up the agenda?
Reporter: Datshiane Navanayagam
Producers: Emma Forde, Annabel Deas and Scott Hesketh
Production Manager: Sarah Payton
Journalism Assistant: Tim Fernley
Editor: Carl Johnston