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Continence concerns for aging population

Continence concerns for aging population

The New Zealand Continence Association (NZCA) is calling on the Government to address concerns about continence services available for over-65 year olds.

This follows a review of New Zealand’s Aged Care Services last week which highlighted the need to address services for our aging population. The report stated over the next 15 years, our over-65 population will increase by 84 per cent.

Of the 600,000 New Zealanders who currently suffer from continence issues, 260,000 are over the age of 55 and an additional 15,000 live in residential aged-care facilities.

According to NZCA Executive Officer, Jan Zander, an aging population will exacerbate the demands on continence services that are already stretched and administered independently by 21 District Health Boards. Services and products available to continence sufferers can also vary from region to region.

“Living with continence issues is already a challenge for over-65s, who should be entitled to the same level of service and product irrespective of where they live. A national standard will address this,” said Mrs Zander.

The NZCA also believes that the long-term benefits will outweigh the time and resource invested by the Ministry of Health in creating a national standard.

“Early intervention for over-65s has proven to be successful and will ultimately provide a better quality of life for individuals, and significant financial savings for District
Board,” concluded Mrs Zander.

Over 100 medical and continence specialists will be meeting in Auckland from 16-18 September for the annual New Zealand Continence Association Conference. A report titled “Continence Services in New Zealand – A Call for Action Paper” includes these findings and recommendations.


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