Creating value for individuals and society

Incontinence is a condition that is rarely spoken about - despite the fact that it affects 400 million people globally and has a major impact on people’s dignity. Access to appropriate solutions not only improves incontinence sufferers’ quality of life, it also generates value for society.

Like menstruation and menopause, incontinence is a silent and taboo subject that robs women and men of their dignity, safety and confidence. Ensuring that people receive the right care and are offered suitable solutions can restore dignity and create enormous value. Results from a study of ours and Vinda’s* work with incontinence in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong in China showed that incontinence, in the absence of suitable solutions, reduces productivity by an average of 12.6 days a year. This is due to factors such as reduced ability to concentrate, reduced self-confidence or reduced ability to perform physical activities. Addressing incontinence also created value for caregivers, who spent an estimated 3.7 hours a week supporting affected family members or relatives. Overall, the same study showed that more than USD 40 million in value had been generated for society in the form of improved work capacity, reduced stress and the prevention of related diseases (Charting a New Course to Incontinence in China, 2015).

*Essity is the majority owner in Vinda, China’s third largest tissue company.

Incontinence, in the absence of suitable solutions, reduced productivity by an average of 12.6 days a year.

Charting a New Course to Incontinence in China, 2015.

With average life expectancy increasing globally, the world’s elderly population is expected to grow more than any other section of the population. This trend will put more pressure on elderly care systems, and an increasing number of people will require homecare. To counter the risks of restrained institutional budgets and untrained home caregivers, flexible and innovative solutions for conditions such as incontinence will be necessary.

WHO has defined incontinence as a set of diseases, and incontinence products have for the first time been included on WHO’s Priority Assistive Product list, having important implications for people in need of those products. Better managing conditions such as incontinence through the use of specialist caregivers results in an improvement in the quality of life of community-dwelling elderly, a reduction in costs, and a reduction in time invested by caregivers (Cost-Effectiveness of Including a Nurse Specialist in the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Primary Care in the Netherlands, Erasmus University, 2015).

Incontinence care at nursing homes (photo)

Improved incontinence care at nursing homes

Essity helps nursing homes provide the best care by offering incontinence care procedures, analysis tools and training combined with innovative solutions via its TENA brand. The advantages include improved well-being for the residents, better working environments, a reduction in resource consumption and lower overall costs. A study of 181 nursing homes around the world that have implemented TENA Solutions showed clear improvements in 95% of the cases:

38% less leakage
47% improved skin conditions
44% more time for rewarding care
29% lower cost (related to incontinence care)
37% less laundry
31% less waste

Information based on 181 TENA Solutions case studies around the world, mainly in Europe but also in the US, Canada and China, 2011–2013.