Around 77 percent of Australian nursing home residents are affected by bladder and bowel leakage, and faecal incontinence is one of three major causes for residential aged care admittance.
Incontinence issues can be helped, prevented and cured through correct daily pelvic floor muscle exercises.
CFA is using humour to break down barriers around the stigmatises condition through their Continence Champion, Bev Killick.
A Melbourne actress and comedian, Ms Killick is creating a conversation around the “once-sensitive” topic.
Ms Killick says, “There’s a significant proportion of the population for whom laughing out loud is just not an option, no matter how funny they find a routine. Laughing out loud literally involves weeing themselves laughing. I know this personally, as for most of my life I was one of those people”.
The campaign has quick, humorous 15-second video clips with Ms Killick explaining where you can do simple pelvic floor exercises throughout the day.
“You can do them when you wake up, at the bus stop, ordering your morning coffee, picking up the kids from school, watching a scary movie … you can do them here, there and everywhere! Matter of fact, I’m doin’ them now,” says Ms Killick.
The campaign, while using humour as a way to spread the word, still comes with a very serious message about the issue.
Continence Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Rowan Cockerell, says pelvic floor exercises as a daily ritual can be preventative and a cure for bladder and bowel leakages for over five million Australians who “unnecessarily suffer in silence”.
Ms Cockerell says, “Prevention is always better than a cure, but early treatment is really key to fixing the problem. Ignoring the issue can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health as well as lifestyle, whether it be avoiding exercise or limiting social engagements for fear of an embarrassing accident.
“Women make up 80 percent of people who report living with incontinence with more than half being aged 50 and younger.
“This year we want all Australians to know that a simple behaviour change - that is making pelvic floor exercises a daily habit – can make a world of difference to not only the mums suffering incontinence but people of all ages and genders.”
While the campaign is launching on May 5th, Laugh Without Leaking will have hundreds of events, displays, talks and activities throughout Australia during World Continence Week from 17-23 June