Continence care for men

Article image - Continence care for men Julie Tucker and Mayor Karen Redman generate Councilís support continence bins in Gawlerís male public toilets.

Town of Gawler, South Australia, is leading the way for local government by installing continence pad disposal bins in their men’s public toilets.

Women’s health nurse and Continence Foundation member, Julie Tucker, raised the lack of appropriate disposal bins with Mayor, Karen Redman. 

Tucker said, “Talking to family, friends and colleagues, I was made aware that women’s and disabled toilets were covered but men didn’t even have rubbish bins, let alone continence bins. 

“There are a lot of myths in the community around men’s sneaky leakage. 

“Many thought that it didn’t happen to men and was only a woman’s problem.” 

The prevalence of incontinence is estimated at 10 to 15 percent in Australian men, which increases up to 20 to 30 percent in men over 70. 

Inadequate methods of disposing continence products can mean a constant worry of public embarrassment and demotivate men from doing every-day things like venturing from the house.

“When Council was considering the motion, I gave each councillor a little pack with a pad, disposable bag, wipes etc. so they could see what a person may need to dispose. 

“I think it helped to conceptualise what people with incontinence have to contend with.” 

The support from councillors to install the bins was unanimous. 

Men’s groups within the community have offered to support the rollout of bins. 

“I have now started conversations with other councils to set the seed to raise the profile of this issue in more communities.”

The Continence Foundation congratulated Council on this initiative and hoped other local governments would soon follow.