A new initiative is addressing the issue of ‘incontinence poverty’ by distributing essential incontinence products free of charge to people in need.
As the cost of living crisis worsens, we hear that more and more people are unable to afford essential products to manage incontinence. Bladder and bowel continence problems are common. 1 in 10 adults in the UK are affected by faecal incontinence, and the issue is closely associated with advanced age, and it is estimated that 34% of women are living with urinary incontinence. Incontinence poverty is a growing issue where people can not afford to buy the products they need to manage the problem, which can lead to significantly lower quality of life for individuals and their families, as well as other physical and mental health problems.*
The initiative, devised and delivered by Bladder & Bowel UK and NRS Healthcare, is using networks of community pantries, ‘warm banks’, luncheon clubs and community centres to share information about the provision of free essential products. Packs of incontinence products can also be requested over the phone. The items will then be posted free of charge to the individual’s home. †
“It is all-too-common that people don’t have the products they need to stay hygienic and comfortable, and the rising living costs we have seen will only make this true for more people,” says Karen Irwin, Bladder & Bowel UK’s Service Manager and Specialist Nurse. “We know that not having the right products can stop people leaving the house, seriously affect mental health, and also cause a massive strain on relationships.
“Having access to the correct products is essential to manage incontinence, an issue which affects so many people across the UK.”
Matthew Stead, Managing Director at NRS Healthcare says: “As the UK’s leading online living aids retailer we are delighted to partner with Bladder & Bowel UK to raise the issue of incontinence poverty in the UK, As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, some of the most vulnerable in society are hit the hardest. That’s why we and our suppliers have donated over £150,000 worth of products to this extremely important cause. We encourage anybody affected with incontinence who is unable to afford suitable products to get in touch with us.”
Requests for products can be made by phoning NRS Complete Care Shop on 01772 675 048, while stocks last. For guidance on managing bladder and bowel conditions, visit www.bbuk.org.uk.
*Patrick DL, Martin ML, Bushnell DM, Yalcin I, Wagner TH, Buesching DP. Quality of life of women with urinary incontinence: further development of the incontinence quality of life instrument (I-QOL). Urology. 1999 Jan;53(1):71-6
† While stocks last. Maximum two orders per household.
Bladder & Bowel UK support bladder and bowel health for everyone, offering a confidential helpline offering advice from specialist nurses and product experts. Find essential information about preventing and managing bladder and bowel issues for adults, children and professionals at www.bbuk.org.uk. Media enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
NRS Healthcare was established in 1947 and has developed a strong reputation for innovation in services and products in the area of rehabilitation aids and equipment for the disabled and injured including those to assist in the rehabilitation of servicemen following WW2. NRS has since grown to become a market-leading and award-winning provider of products and services designed to support independent living and is a trusted supplier to the NHS, proudly serving over 10 million people with mobility equipment and disability aids. It also sells a range of over 4,500 products directly to millions of consumers via online channels. A smaller division provides clinical services to public sector customers. NRS Healthcare is headquartered in Leicestershire and operates 22 depots across the UK.