Compared with the rest of the population, older people receive inequitable care for faecal incontinence. Good care improves symptoms and minimises the effects of this common problem on quality of life. Faecal incontinence is a symptom rather than a diagnosis and there are a number of options for investigation and treatment depending on the suspected underlying cause. Although there are clear guidelines for assessment and management, there are significant gaps in the evidence base and in service provision. There are many opportunities for improving care and nurses should be encouraging, supporting and leading these improvements.
Robert Price and Rachel Bradley provide an overview of risk factors for older people and discuss how nurses should manage this sensitive area of care