WHERE'S THE TOILET? WHY INCONTINENCE IS MORE THAN A WEE PROBLEM
IF you have to plan your day around where you can access a toilet, then incontinence is a major health issue for you.
That's why Queensland Health's Dry Up Program has been developed so those with early signs of urinary incontinence can receive assistance before the problem grows and becomes more inconvenient.
This year, the program will be held at Caloundra, Maroochydore and Noosa. Nambour Community Health continence nurse adviser Sue Torr said it was a common misconception that incontinence was "part of getting older of having children".
"Incontinence does not discriminate," Ms Torr said.
"It's a widespread health concern in our community, affects people of all ages, cultures and walks of life, and has an enormous impact on quality of life.
"The good news is a lot can be done to treat incontinence and most people can improve their bladder or bowel problem.
"This was the motivation for us to run the Dry Up Program."
The program helps people self-manage early signs of urinary incontinence so they can enjoy a healthier lifestyle and maintain their independence in their own home.
"A major issue with incontinence is that sufferers fear they will not find a toilet in time and often decide not to leave their home," Ms Torr said.
"Eventually this can lead to social isolation.
"The Australian Continence Foundation has identified one in five people in a doctor's waiting room has a problem with their bladder or bowel, but they won't address this with their doctor because they are too embarrassed or don't think it's important.
"Incontinence is a complex and significant health issue deserving professional assessment. Whether the problem is large or small, it should never be dismissed or trivialised.
"We encourage members of the community to come along to the Dry Up Program. It's a supportive program and people will be able to ask questions, gain advice and talk with health professionals.
"Participants will learn how to look after their bladders by changing their diet, fibre and fluid intake, and doing simple exercises to strengthen their bladder muscles."
The next Dry Up Program will start next Thursday the 7th of October from 1pm to 3pm at the Noosa Community Health Centre (Bottlebrush Avenue, Noosa). The program will continue each Thursday for six weeks.
Participants can invite a family member, carer or friend to accompany and support them.
Noosa Community Health Centre, Noosaville
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