Gawler council leads the way with continence initiative

Gawler Council has been credited for leading the way, nationally, in providing services for men who suffer incontinence.

Council recently agreed to install sanitary disposal units to accommodate incontinence products in all council-owned public toilets and allocate $1,800 towards the annual servicing costs for the units.

Continence Foundation of Australia chief executive officer Rowan Cockerell congratulated the council on “leading the way on this fantastic initiative”, which it believed was the first of its kind across Australia.

“We hope to see other local governments adopt this and prioritise continence issues in their community,” Mr Cockerell said.

“Incontinence is often stigmatised and dismissed as an issue that doesn’t affect men. This clearly is not the case, with the prevalence of incontinence estimated at 10 to 15 per cent of Australian males, and increasing with age.”

Gawler Mayor, Karen Redman, said she was personally motivated to support the health and ‘social justice’ issue, and hoped other councils followed suit.

“The next step is now community awareness and just getting the message out that these services will be rolled out over the next few months,” she said.

“I think that the more people that get on board the better, because it’s not just council public facilities, it’s other ones like football clubrooms and the Men’s Shed that have toilets that people will access.”

The sanitary disposal units will be rolled out progressively over the coming months.

This story first appeared in the Bunyip.