Ending healthcare's over-reliance on containment products and catheters
Incontinence is becoming more and more prevalent across all our healthcare sectors. Commonly associated with elderly people, it is an ever-increasing problem across the entire population. It is estimated that more than 14 million people, including children of all ages, in the UK are experiencing some sort of bladder problem. Around 6.5 million people also have bowel problems (Buckley and Lapitan, 2009; Percival et al, 2021). One in 10 of the UK's population live with faecal incontinence. The statistics for incontinence are higher among older women than diseases such as breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease (Radzimińska et al, 2018).
So if it is such a significant problem for the population, why is nobody talking about it?
One of the biggest issues I have noticed since working in the bladder and bowel sector is that urinary incontinence is widely normalised. You can easily buy containment products off the shelf in almost any supermarket, and television advertisements promoting incontinence pads imply that urinary incontinence is completely normal. Men and women are led to believe that it is OK that they are leaking urine on exertion or at night-time, and simply buying a containment product will solve their problems. However, it is not a solution and barely even a management strategy.
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