By 2030, cases of incontinence are expected to rise to 6.5 million Australians—with women being more likely to be incontinent than men.
In light of this, the Continence Foundation of Australia developed the Australian Continence Exchange, a confidential online chat site to support people experiencing continence problems or caring for someone with incontinence.
“ACE is a central online resource designed to assist health professionals achieve best practice in continence health management,” said Continence Foundation of Australia CEO Barry Cahill.
The forum is moderated by continence health professionals who can answer questions privately.
“ACE provides access to research reports and clinical guidelines from a broad range of sources,” Cahill said.
Health professionals can download resources, chat about patient care, and access the latest continence research findings.
“It offers a platform for professional development opportunities and provides opportunities for health professionals to share knowledge and ideas via the online forum,” he said.
“Aged care workers can connect with physiotherapists, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals at a time and location convenient for them.”
“The strength of ACE is its ability to connect health professionals from diverse backgrounds to help improve the standard of continence care in Australia.”
Conversations relating to incontinence are often considered taboo, especially when one talks about personal problems in dealing with these issues.
“Health professionals with improved knowledge about incontinence feel more confident discussing the topic and raising it with patients, thereby helping to destigmatise the issue,” Cahill said.
“It’s a great resource for health professionals who don’t focus on continence as a core issue, but who need to deal with people seeking help for incontinence – which affects 4.8 million Australians – 1 in 4 over the age of 15,” he said.
Incontinence is more dominant than people with asthma (2 million), anxiety disorders (2.3 million), and arthritis (3.1 million).
The primary goal of ACE is to connect health professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds, and from this boost knowledge about incontinence in the wider community.
People or carers of people who have recently become incontinent may connect with others who are in a similar situation to provide emotional support.
Health professionals may visit or direct their clients to www.continence.org.au/forum to share their story.
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