What is incontinence?
Urinary and faecal incontinence are medical conditions. Urinary incontinence constitutes involuntary loss of urine while faecal incontinence involves the involuntary loss of faecal matter. Both conditions are highly distressing and impact many aspects of a sufferer’s life (e.g., social and occupational capacity and psychological well-being).
Incontinence is common with 1 in 5 (21%) Australian adults affected. Around 4.2 and 1.3 million Australians over the age of 15 live with urinary and faecal incontinence respectively. The rates are higher in residential age care with over 70% of residents experiencing at least one form of incontinence.
The prevalence of incontinence increases with age, with female more likely to experience incontinence than males (of those experiencing urinary incontinence, 80% are female). It is predicted that the rates of incontinence will increase, up to around over 5.6 million Australians affected by these medical conditions by 2030. The financial costs of incontinence are significant (over 42 billion Australian dollars per year). For further details about the prevalence and economic impact click HERE.