Caring for someone with incontinence
Supporting a family member or friend with incontinence can be confronting. Unpredictable, financially draining and dramatically adding to your workload, many carers report caring for someone with incontinence is one of the most difficult aspects of their role.
You may feel angry, frustrated, lonely, and unable to cope, but it’s vital you look after yourself. Caring for another can cause financial, mental and physical stress, which makes your job so much harder.
But help is available – from respite to financial support there’s a range of services you can call on to make caring for someone with incontinence a little easier.
It is not always easy to care for a person with incontinence, but the right advice and support may help make it more manageable.
Where to seek help when caring for someone with incontinence
There may be a number of things that are causing the incontinence or making it worse, so getting professional help is important for ongoing management.
The National Continence Helpline is a free and confidential service and is staffed by continence nurse advisors who can provide practical information, a wide range of resources and details of local continence services.
You can reach the helpline by calling 1800 33 00 66 or visit their website here .
Accessing financial assistance for support with continence
There are various funding schemes available for continence products funded by the Australian Government. These schemes have differing eligibility criteria and funding allocations, and it is important to note that the person you care for may be eligible to apply for government funding through several schemes. Australian Government funding schemes are open to all Australian citizens who meet the eligibility criteria.
The NDIS is a new way of supporting eligible Australians living with a permanent or significant disability.
Eligible NDIS participants are able to use their package funding to purchase consumables such as incontinence supplies.
For more information on the NDIS including eligibility and consumables. Please click here
CAPS s an Australian Government Scheme to financially assist eligible people who have permanent and severe incontinence to meet some of the costs of incontinence management products.
CAPS gives you greater choice and flexibility in how you purchase your products from a supplier of your choice.
To access this support, you’ll need to complete a CAPS application form which can be found here.
The DVA provides a range of incontinence products to eligible veterans and war widows via the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP). Your doctor or health professional will fill out a form requesting the incontinence products then send it to an authorised product supplier on your behalf.
Watch the video below of Phil who gives us 11 of his best tips for a healthier bladder
By Phil Wilkinson
Urology and Continence Nurse
Independence Australia stocks a range of bladder products.
State Funding Schemes
There are also a number of state-based funding schemes, including
Carer payment and allowances
If your capacity to work is limited because you’re caring for someone with a disability, chronic illness or is frail-aged, you can apply for fortnightly Centrelink financial support.
Click here for more details on eligibility and how to apply carer/companion card program.
A collaboration between the government, businesses and the community, the Carer Card Program gives recognition, understanding and support to Victorian carers. It enables you to get a wide range of discounts and benefits.
For more information and to apply online:
More health advice
View our wide range of health advice, tips and recommendations by visiting our health articles or checking out our top health articles below.
Staying free from Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are a relatively common but unpleasant problem which affects the bladder and/or kidneys. Symptoms may include; changes in bladder habits, burning pain with urination.etc
Common Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Problems
Early prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause urinary symptoms. The only way to identify is by digital rectal examination and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. I suggest that you speak to your doctor about this.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
If you’re a woman with poor bladder or bowel control – and perhaps you’ve had this problem for some years – the time has never been better to do something about it.