Flushing out the facts on continence

with Stephen Marburg, from Continence Foundation of Australia

Healthy bladder and bowel habits- cover of Easy English document
Healthy bladder and bowel habits –  Easy English document

We know that continence is a common problem (with one in four Australian adults affected), but it’s never normal and it can be managed, improved or cured in most cases.

By 2030, it is anticipated that 6.5 million Australian adults will have some form of urinary or faecal incontinence – so if you have a problem, rest assured you’re not alone.

I’ve been a continence nurse adviser at the Continence Foundation of Australia for more than 15 years.

When people call us on the National Continence Helpline (1800 33 00 66), we offer advice and information about their bladder and bowel problems, and advise on continence products and other continence services they might access.

We receive more than 100 calls each day, with many callers not even knowing how to begin the conversation about their problem. Most are relieved to learn there is help out there, and that there are many others, just like them, affected by incontinence.

We also take calls from doctors and other healthcare professionals, parents, carers, grandparents – anyone who needs help with their, or someone else’s, bladder or bowel problem.

We direct callers to the wide range of downloadable helpful written information and now, thanks to Scope’s Accessible Information Service, we have introduced four Easy English fact sheets for people with low literacy levels, children, and various other groups. They are:

So far we’ve had some great feedback from people with vision impairments and limited literacy skills who have downloaded the Easy English documents from our website.

Another important aspect of our work as Helpline advisors is to equip people with the correct language, so that they are empowered and informed when they speak to their doctor or specialist. I feel these Easy English documents really help to clearly explain what is going on and how their incontinence can be improved.

Our National Continence Helpline is open 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. If you need assistance, phone us on 1800 33 00 66 and see if we can help.

For more information about the Continence Foundation of Australia, go to continence.org.au, and for more information about Easy English, contact Scope at circ@scopeaust.org.au or phone 03 9843 2000.

By guest blogger:

Stephen Marburg
Continence Foundation of Australia