Leading charities have warned that incontinence is one of the biggest issues for countless people with serious health conditions who they support – but the taboo around the topic forces those affected to struggle in silence.
Ten organisations including Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, Marie Curie and Parkinson’s UK held a workshop to discuss common problems and potential solutions with patients, carers, researchers and health and social care professionals. The resulting report recommends tackling the stigma and funding research into this important but often ignored issue.
The report details the daily impact of incontinence on older people and people living with long-term health conditions and terminal illnesses like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, urinary and gastric issues.
The report authors are calling for evaluation of the economic impact of incontinence, more dedicated services to support people affected, better training for health and care professionals, and investment in research with a focus on non-drug and non-surgical interventions that allow people affected to take control of their own needs.
Lesley Carter, Clinical Lead at Age UK, warned: “Incontinence can have a big impact on an older person’s quality of life, their wellbeing and independence. Too often, people are left to manage alone because they feel too embarrassed to seek help, or when they do, adequate support is not available.
“We urgently need to break the taboo around incontinence, and invest in dedicated services and training for staff to support people to manage incontinence effectively and remain independent. As our population ages, more and more people will be likely to experience incontinence and as a society, we must act now to end the stigma.”
Find out more by downloading the report.