Talking openly about incontinence can be beneficial for both the person’s physical and mental well-being as well as reducing the stigma associated with the condition.
Incontinence Conversation Tips - How To Talk About It
Incontinence Conversation Tips - How To Talk About It
Talking openly about incontinence can be beneficial for both the person’s physical and mental well-being as well as reducing the stigmas associated with the condition.
Incontinence currently affects 1 in 4 Australians, yet it’s a condition that’s shrouded in stigma and embarrassment for many of the people who experience it. This taboo nature of incontinence makes it difficult for those with the condition to talk about it with others - their family, friends, colleagues and even health professionals.
Keeping quiet about incontinence can have grave effects on people, physically, mentally and socially.
We understand why it’s hard for people to talk about and want to help change that with these incontinence conversation tips.
Why talking about incontinence is so important
Talking about incontinence is hugely important for a number of reasons. The first and foremost is the well-being of the person dealing with incontinence.
Incontinence can be an extremely isolating condition, with 81% of our customers revealing in our 2023 annual survey that it has negatively affected their social life. And 78% said that incontinence has had some impact on their mental health. These stats are as shocking as they are devastating to hear.
So you can understand that giving people the confidence and resources that encourage them to open up and talk about the condition can make a world of difference to their mental and social well-being. In fact, studies have shown that social relationships can benefit overall health. Low quality and low quantity social relationships have been associated with inflammatory biomarkers and impaired immune function, for example .
Someone with incontinence also needs to be able to advocate for their health and speak openly to their health professionals to ensure adequate care.
If they don’t feel supported or embarrassed to discuss their condition, they could miss out on getting the appropriate treatment. Because remember, while incontinence is common it should never be considered ‘normal’. There are so many ways to manage it and live a comfortable, confident life so long as a person feels they can speak to their doctor about it.
Then there are the social benefits of talking about incontinence. The more a traditionally taboo or stigmatised topic is spoken about, the closer we etch to breaking down those barriers and promoting more understanding from the wider public.
Incontinence conversation tips
We acknowledge that simply starting the incontinence conversation can be challenging. We hope with these tips we can help make the conversation less daunting.
Tell someone you trust
Choosing who you open up to about your incontinence will make the whole process feel less intense. This person could be a family member, friend, colleague or health professional. Approaching someone who cares and supports you to discuss your incontinence also means you are in control of what you wish to say and how you wish to say it.
While it might also seem obvious to you, always let this person, or people, know that you wish to keep this conversation confidential and want to tell others on your own terms.
Let people know what you need
The person you choose to speak to may either not know what to do to help you or may come up with suggestions that don’t quite align with your needs.
So be sure to communicate what you need (and what you don’t!) when you have your conversation. For example, you might want them to come to a doctor's appointment with you, or simply for them to call and check in with you weekly.
Find a safe space
Don’t underestimate the importance of where you have your conversation. Picking a location where you feel completely comfortable will allow you to relax and open up to your chosen person/people. If you’re concerned about maintaining privacy and discretion, choosing a private, safe place will be beneficial.
Speaking to a doctor
Seeking help from a doctor for incontinence can be a difficult hurdle for some. In fact, 70% of incontinent people do not seek help for the condition .
If your reason for not wanting to tell your doctor is because you’re embarrassed, simply remind yourself that incontinence is experienced by millions of people. There is nothing wrong with you and there be able to recommend the resources and treatments best suited to you, so you can continue to live your best life.
What to do if you're the listener
If you are the person being told about someone else’s incontinence, you have the responsibility to make them feel heard and supported. You can imagine the fear of judgement someone with incontinence may feel when approaching someone about it, so do your best to calm those fears. Remind them that there is no judgement whatsoever.
You can do this by firstly listening, but also by asking questions (as long as they’ve not specifically asked you to not ask any) such as:
When did you first start experiencing incontinence?
How does managing this condition make you feel?
What can I do to support you?
Do you need any help finding or buying incontinence products?
Would you like me to come to any appointments with you?
When should I check in with you again to see how you’re going?
All you need to remember is to approach the conversation with acceptance, understanding and kindness.
We're here to help!
Our dedicated team of product specialists are available 6 days a week to answer your incontinence questions and recommend products best suited to your needs. You can contact us via telephone, WhatsApp, online chat and email.
Our range of Dailee pads and guards, pull-up pants and all-in-one slips are all designed with patented absorbency technology which means they dry fast and protect against leaks. These features also help maintain skin health, along with the fact they’re all made from dermatologically tested and latex-free materials.
They also have up to 12 hours of odour-locking properties to keep you feeling fresh between changes.
You can try our range risk-free today thanks to our It Fits or It’s Free 100% money back guarantee!