Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Free public bladder and bowel health talks coming to Otago

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Continence NZ specialist nurse and educator Janet Thackray will present three free continence talks in Otago next week.

Bladder and/or bowel control problems affect more than 1.1 million New Zealanders over the age of 15, including 25 percent of younger women, 34 percent of older women and 22 percent of older men.

It’s considered a taboo topic, which means people are not talking about it - but accessing the right help can be life changing.

Supported by Parkinson’s NZ, Janet’s three education sessions in Otago are for anyone with concerns about their continence, or the continence of someone in their care.


- Tuesday 3rd March - Mosgiel Presbyterian Church, 11 Church St, Mosgiel 10.30-12.30

- Wednesday 4th March - St Enoch’s Church Hall, 12 Centennial Ave, Alexandra 10am-12pm

- Wednesday 4th March - St Johns Rooms, 4 Link Way, Wanaka 3pm-5pm

Janet covers bladder and bowel management, continence products, and the help and support available.

"I like my sessions to be informative and practical with a few laughs. To encourage people to talk about incontinence," Janet explains.

"If you introduce humour it takes away the stress and anxiety of incontinence, which makes a big difference."

Janet also makes herself available before and after the sessions for people to come and chat to.

"I always stay around afterwards - and sometimes there’s a little queue!" she laughs. "I end up with a little cluster around me and give them on the spot advice and can tell them what to do and where to get help."

Janet says incontinence is a symptom, not a diagnosis, and the important step is to find out the cause.

"I always say if you don’t take anything else away with you, remember that incontinence is not normal. There’s something wrong. And you have to get help. The help is there, but you have to go and ask for it."

Continence NZ provides education, awareness and support throughout New Zealand. It runs a toll-free helpline on 0800 650 659 and has a website packed with information at

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.