Practice question

How do I care for a person with a stoma and dementia?

Living with dementia and a stoma

Living with dementia and maintaining independent stoma care

An ageing population in the UK has resulted in the increasing prevalence of dementia. Many of those affected also live with multiple co-morbidities, which may include stoma formation resulting from bowel surgery. These individuals will fall into two categories: established ostomists who develop dementia and people with dementia who undergo stoma formation.

Each scenario will result in several additional challenges for the person and those who care for them.

Challenges and consequences

Symptoms associated with dementia, such as memory loss, language and communication difficulties, deficits in attention and concentration, difficulty performing familiar tasks and problems learning and retaining new skills, can all add to the challenges of managing a stoma.

Although some people with dementia retain