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Caring for the older ostomate

12 December 2019
7 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 22

The population is ageing—this is not surprising information. Around 18.2% of the UK population were aged 65 years or older in 2017, a figure that is projected to grow to 20.7% by 2027 (Office for National Statistics, 2018). Although we are aware of the physical and psychological signs and symptoms around ageing, are we applying those to stoma care and looking at how we can best support our patients as they age with their stoma?

As people age, they can develop heart disease, cancer, diabetes, suffer a stroke or any number of other debilitating long-term conditions. Medication lists get longer with polypharmacy becoming a huge problem in the over-65s (Maher et al, 2014). Other physical issues such as failing eyesight, loss of appetite, mobility, dexterity and memory all contribute to problems with maintaining independence with stoma care and it can take time and experience to determine what exactly is causing the issue.

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