The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Advisory Board estimates that incontinence affects a staggering 13 million people, most of them older women. Because incontinence is often a hidden disease due to associated embarrassment, researchers believe it is widely underreported and that the number of women affected may actually be as high as 26 million. Untreated, incontinence can lead to embarrassment, depression, decreased sexual activity, decreased job opportunities, powerlessness and social isolation. It is a socially, emotionally and physically devastating problem affecting 20% to 40% of elderly women.
Critical demographic trends are changing the nature of the country and thus the health care landscape. The fastest growing segment of the population is the aging baby boomers, now in their 40s and 50s. The proportion of U.S.residents between 45 and 65 has dramatically increased over the last decade and will continue to do so during the next 10 years. As the number of elderly people rises, so will their need for health care services, particularly incontinence treatment.
When so many women are affected by incontinence, it is surprising that more services aren't available. Treatment of this problem is not consumer driven, however, because so many men and women do not seek help. Women are reluctant to discuss incontinence even with their primary care providers. The reasons are many and varied. All need current, accurate information to learn that their problem is common and treatable.
The solution is to establish a pelvic health program either as an independent center, in an outpatient hospital clinic setting, in long term care or within an existing practice. The seminar at the Health & Continence Institute will provide all the tools necessary to establish such a center