Incontinence Coalition calls on government leaders to help de-stigmatize the condition and improve access to care



    TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - Members of The Incontinence Coalition endorsed
a letter to Federal and Provincial Ministers of Health urging greater
recognition of the prevalent and chronic condition of incontinence.
Incontinence affects more than 3 million Canadians and is a chronic condition
that carries an enormous stigma.
    The newly formed Incontinence Coalition is made up of respected and
well-known organizations that represent the voice of many Canadians affected
by the condition. These groups include the Canadian Continence Foundation,
Canadian Obesity Network, Canadian Paraplegic Association (Ontario), Canadian
Prostate Cancer Network, CARP, Easter Seals Canada and the Spina Bifida and
Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario.
    "Incontinence can impact all parts of a person's life: their social
interactions, their sex life, their ability to work, travel, play sports, and
participate in community life," stated Jacqueline Cahill, Executive Director
of the Canadian Continence Foundation. "It can be an emotionally devastating
condition that causes social isolation, low self-esteem, depression, and a
fear of intimacy."
    "Canadians living with incontinence usually endure the condition in
silence because of the stigma attached. Many are too embarrassed to seek
treatment," said Derek Lawrence, Director of the Canadian Prostate Cancer
Network.
    To help de-stigmatize the condition and improve access to care, the
Incontinence Coalition encouraged Federal and Provincial Ministers of Health
to:

    
    -   Publicly Acknowledge the Condition. There is a need to publicly
        acknowledge the prevalence of the condition and the need for
        treatment. This will help normalize and de-stigmatize the condition.

    -   Improve public education and awareness. There is a need for the
        government to take a pro-active role in promoting awareness and
        education of this condition to the public.

    -   Improve access to treatments, including medications; absorbent
        products (for community dwelling individuals and those in Long Term
        Care facilities); surgical treatments and catheters.

    -   Increase the emphasis on incontinence education for general
        practitioners. GPs must become more knowledgeable and proactively
        bring up the subject with their older patients.

    -   Ensure access to trained nurses and other supportive care-givers.
        Nurses and nurse practitioners who are trained in continence care are
        needed to help provide support for those individuals living with
        incontinence in the community and their caregivers.

    -   Fund Continence Care Clinics These clinics will provide assessment,
        management, education and referral for people living with
        incontinence.
    

    "It is important for the Government to publicly acknowledge the
prevalence of incontinence and the need for treatment," stated Holly Vengroff,
Vice President at CARP.
    Members of the public are encouraged to contact their MPs to voice their
support for the Coalition and its recommendations.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Jacqueline Cahill, Executive
Director, Canadian Continence Foundation, jcahill@continence-fdn.ca, (705)
931-4488

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THE CANADIAN CONTINENCE FOUNDATION

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