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New research project to help Australians with incontinence.

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The Hon Julie Bishop MP Minister for Ageing

11 November 2004 JB220/04

New research project to help Australians with incontinence

A new research project will test whether a continence health check can help older Australians remain living in their own homes for longer.

Speaking at the Continence Foundation of Australia Conference in Fremantle, the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, today launched the Community Aged Care Packages Continence Research Project.

Ms Bishop said incontinence was one of the major causes of older Australians entering a nursing home.

"One in five older Australians is affected by incontinence, which is a common problem affecting more than two million Australians of all ages and backgrounds. The Australian Government has provided $31 million to the National Continence Management Strategy to help tackle this significant issue.

"The Australian Government will provide $1.7 million for the research project which will test if a continence health check and care plan can delay entry into an aged care home for a person with incontinence," Ms Bishop said.

"It will involve a one-on-one assessment by a continence health professional such as a continence nurse or a physiotherapist, who will develop a care plan. Plans will be specific to the individual and may recommend simple self management, such as diet or pelvic floor exercises, or it may recommend more complex treatment.

"As most people prefer to remain living in their own home for as long as possible, efforts to prevent and self-manage incontinence will be well supported by the community.

"The Australian Government already fund a range of community care programs that help give older Australians opportunities and choices to remain at home. For example, the Home and Community Care Program assists 700,000 people to remain living in their own home, and approximately 30,000 people receive assistance through Community Aged Care Packages.

Attending the Continence Foundation of Australia Conference are clinicians from Australia and overseas who are involved with continence management, research and products, social policy and service delivery.

For more information on incontinence, phone the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 or see

Media contact: Alex Staples 02 6277 7280 or 0418 673 600