The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released 148 recommendations for changes to the aged care system in its Final Report.

The Royal Commission was tasked with looking into the aged care system and giving the Australian Government ways to improve it. The Royal Commission received more than 10,000 submissions since the inquiry was announced in 2018.

The Commissioners described the aged care system as needing major changes, saying “people receiving aged care deserve better.”

75–81% of people in residential aged care facilities live with incontinence (2019)

Media reports shared shocking and upsetting stories from witnesses, some involving incontinence. The Royal Commission Final Report acknowledged it was an issue, saying the Commission heard “terrible examples of substandard incontinence care.”

However, only one recommendation in the Final Report related directly to incontinence. The Continence Foundation of Australia believes incontinence must be a priority when improving the aged care system.

“While the Final Report mostly forgot about incontinence, it is an issue that people in aged care and their loved ones cannot forget. It plays a very big role in health, dignity and feeling respected,” says Rowan Cockerell, CEO of the Continence Foundation of Australia.

“We can improve the quality of life for people in aged care, now and in the future, if they receive the best continence care. We can start by having those important conversations about bladder and bowel health and adding it to staff training.”

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