Why spending a penny need not cost the earth!
AS we get older the question of how long we can go before we need to spend a penny becomes more important. The NHS estimates that between three and six million people in the UK have some degree of urinary incontinence.
Although the majority of older people are able to manage their continence well, urinary incontinence affects more than a quarter of older people.
Urinary incontinence has both physical and psychological consequences, including damage to skin, urinary tract infections, an increased risk of falls, avoidance of going far from home, and a feeling of alienation.
Anyone who is having problems with this issue should therefore ensure that they contact their GP in the first instance.
It is important not to be embarrassed to seek help, just remember it is a very common problem,
What we do know is that as a result of public sector austerity measures, the local council has struggled to keep public toilet facilities open.
If there aren’t toilets easily available, many older people will refuse to come out, so this is a considerable problem.
The Sefton Partnership for Older Citizens (SPOC) decided that a practical solution would be to ask local community buildings if they would be happy to let older people use their toilet facilities even if they were not a paying customer.
The response was overwhelmingly positive and SPOC are delighted with this community asset approach to solving an ongoing problem.
This is a list of the organisations who to date have said that they are happy to help:
The Atkinson, Dunes Leisure Centre, Southport Community Centre, Christchurch. Ainsdale Lunch and Leisure Formby Pools – you do not need to be a member or attending a class
The Feelgood Factory and the NAC Bootle Leisure Centre, The Strand by Me Community Shop. Crosby Library – you do not need to have a library ticket. CLAC and Crosby Pools are also happy to help. The Meadows Centre are happy for people to come in to user their toilets.
If any other community facilities or retail outlets would be willing to let older people use their facilities regardless of whether they are a customer or not, just let Justine of SPOC know on 01704 538411 and she will update the list and publicise your organisation.
May I also draw your attention to the need to get regular eye tests from an optician whether or not you wear glasses.
The Macular Society told us that 60% of older people in Merseyside do not go for regular eye tests.
It is only by visiting the optician for an annual check up, that conditions such as macular degeneration can be detected and treated, as individuals might not detect the problem themselves until the condition is quite far advanced which can be dangerous for your sight.
Eye checks can also detect other health problems that can go unnoticed, so do get an annual check even if you think your vision is fine.
We all need to make ‘that trip’ at a certain age...