Don’t let your bladder hold you back!

11 April, 2017

A healthy bladder provides greater independence and better quality of life. However, after a spinal cord injury (SCI), the body’s normal control mechanisms can go haywire. This March Spire and two representatives from Briabird hosted a workshop to discuss the importance of bladder management and bladder health.

The Bladder Project, led by Austin Health, advises SCI patients and hospital staff on bladder catheterisation and bladder health across a person’s lifetime. The desired approach to bladder health is prevention, and the Bladder Project aims to provide education, prevention and management strategies for new patients. A health issue should not be neglected simply because it hasn’t arisen yet. Bladder health can affect one’s travel aspirations, social life, relationships and sex life. It can cause UTI’s and infections, and result in having to take various medications.

Briabird and Spire are working alongside Austin Health on the Bladder Project to help improve the bladder wellbeing of those living with a SCI. The workshop with Briabird was organised to help inform the design and development of the web-based resources that will support the project.

People living with a SCI are the best advocates and spokespeople for bladder health and maintenance; knowing what works and what doesn’t, as well as the pros and cons of various treatments.

"A long-term approach to bladder health is paramount, rather than just what's needed at the time of injury"

The workshop was interesting, enlightening and informative. There was clear consensus among the workshop group that a long-term approach to bladder health is paramount, rather than just what is needed at the time of injury.

Some of the typical, more long-term issues regarding bladder management include a lack of information, bladder damage, infections, medication and financial barriers. The workshop also discussed how one can actively maintain a healthy bladder, including being physically active, developing healthy eating habits, ensuring adequate fluid intake and using the right equipment for different situations and environments.

The workshop concluded that to achieve long-term bladder health, one must be sufficiently informed to make the right choices for them. A well-informed patient can actively participate in the decision-making process. After all, only you can know what’s best for you!

Spire looks forward to continuing to work alongside Austin Health in their Bladder Project, as well as Briabird’s information web-based resources. Watch this space for more exciting things to come!

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