Founder President’s Message

What is the Society for Continence (Singapore)?

It is an organisation for healthcare professionals, patients, their relatives and concerned parties interested to help those with incontinence related problems to lead healthy and productive lives. The Society also offers fellowship, shared counselling and advice on updated medical options and provides assistance in securing subsidies and other forms of financial help.

Why is this movement important?

This Society is very important in the Singapore context because of our increasingly ageing population. Family units in Singapore are becoming smaller with family support and caregivers rapidly diminishing. It is commonplace today to see maids looking after the elderly incontinent in Singapore homes because both husband and wife are away at work. The cost of living has gone up tremendously and the burden of caring for the incontinent is becoming increasingly difficult.

By the year 2020, forty percent of Singapore’s population will be over 50 years and the elderly with incontinence requiring help will outstrip our nation’s resources. Hence we need to start our public education programmes on prevention and rehabilitation early so that future patients would be able to help themselves, instead of relying heavily on caregivers. Adequate training must be instituted RIGHT NOW and is vital for doctors and nurses who will be managing these patients in the 21st century with tried and tested skills, imparted to them early in the development of our healthcare system.

Survey shows that there are around 55 million bedwetters in the world at present. The child is not exempted. Children often suffer from bedwetting, which may extend into adult life causing untold emotional upset and sometimes despair. The adult working mother suffers from stress incontinence very often after childbirth, while older men can develop incontinence due to their prostate gland. The overactive bladder affects everyone from the cradle to the grave so to speak!

True, incontinence is not a form of cancer but it can cause social death and can ruin a person socially and emotionally. It can render him or her to be utterly rejected by friends, relatives and the whole of Society. In our “golden years”, surely we do not want to end up as social outcasts – shun by everyone!

What will our Society be doing to address these issues in the coming decade?

In addition to providing scholarships, more public education programmes and toll-free telephone help-line, we intend to set up retail outlets for poorer patients, where subsidised resources such as pads, pants and medication can be obtained. A full time doctor and nurse will ultimately be available to provide direct counselling, supported by secretarial services. To supplement our already full training programmes for doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, the SFCS website was initiated to provide instantaneous information on incontinence matters throughout Singapore and the rest of the world.

Prof Peter H C Lim
Founder President
Society for Continence (Singapore)