Incontinence in Australia: prevalence, experience and cost.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
This paper reports on the 316,500 people who experienced severe incontinence in 2009, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. The majority of people (209,000 or 66%) were female.
Needing assistance with bladder or bowel control will affect an individual's life in many ways. The labour force participation rate for people aged 15-64 who always or sometimes needed assistance with bladder or bowel control was 20.4%.
For 2008-09, the health care expenditure estimated for incontinence was $201.6 million (not including residential aged care costs).
In comparison, the equivalent expenditure for 2003 was $157.9 million (in 2008-09 dollars). The largest share of 2008-09 expenditure was for admitted patient hospital services, which accounted for $145.5 million, or 72% of the total health care expenditure that could be allocated to incontinence. The Continence Aids Assistance Scheme and out-of-hospital medical services were the next largest contributors to the cost, at $31.6 million and $17.7 million respectively. Additional costs, not included in these estimates, were personal costs, such as laundry, clothing and time.