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Continence Aids

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As we get older, we want to continue to live a safe and confident life as part of our communities.

Continence aids are products that have been specifically developed to help manage bladder or bowel control problems. The use of continence aids can provide a person with security and confidence and raise their quality of life.

They may be used temporarily during treatment or as a long-term solution if the continence is irreversible.

The continued use of continence aids should be monitored regularly to ensure that the most appropriate products are being used.

Continence Aids Payment Scheme

The Australian Government has set up a new scheme, Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS), which provides a payment to eligible people, who have permanent and severe incontinence, to help assist to meet some of the costs of their continence products. Download the CAPS Application form & CAPS Guidelines

The CAPS provides a greater choice and flexibility when choosing the right continence product. You can now purchase the most appropriate continence products, from the supplier of your choice.

Those eligible for the CAPS system will receive an annual tax exempt payment from Medicare. According to the Australian Government Department of Health and Aging, the CAPS payment will be up to $497.79 for the 2010-11 financial year.

For more information on this topic, FAQ’s and forms, please visit the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Site for Bladder and Bowel information. http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au/furtherinfo/caps/default.htm.

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What types of continence aids are available?

Absorbent pads, briefs and pants - product information

Continence products are designed to absorb and contain body fluid and waste loss. They are available in a range of sizes and varying levels of absorbency. Some pads are disposable and designed for one use only. Other pads and parts are reusable - they can be washed and used many times.

To reduce odour and maximise effectiveness, it is recommended that pads are held in place by either firm fitting underwear or specifically designed pants which hold the pad firmly in place.

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Absorbent bed sheets and chair covers - product information

Reusable and disposable bed and chair protection is available. These products are constructed so that, if used as recommended, moisture is absorbed into the material layers away from the skin. They can be used to directly absorb the urine loss or provide extra protection when used with other continence aids.

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Aids to toiletting

These can be used to prevent or minimise episodes of continence. The aids to toileting include urinals, bedpans and commodes, fold away bags, and recommended modifications to your living environment such as handrails and raised toilet seats and bench transfer.

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Choosing a continence aid

The best product that works effectively for you, will be comfortable and assist you in regaining a normal lifestyle. When selecting an continence aid, consideration should be given to:

  1. The type and severity of incontinence
    Your choice of incontinence aids may be determined by the frequency and volume of the urinary and/or faecal loss.
  2. Your personal lifestyle
    Individual needs with regard to work, home requirements and your normal social activities may affect your choice of incontinence aids.
  3. Your mobility, transfers and manual dexterity
    Your level of independence to reach the toilet and put on or change incontinence aids may need to be assessed.
  4. Availability and supply of products
    Some incontinence aids are available online and are quickly and discretely delivered to your nominated address.
  5. Disposal requirements and facilities
    Most disposable products can be disposed of in normal household rubbish. Speak to your local council if you have any concerns. Incontinence aids should NEVER be flushed down the toilet.
  6. Washing guidelines
    Manufacturers can supply information on the care of reusable products. In most cases, washing guidelines are included on the product or its packaging.

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Need help?

Initially, you may find that you have to trial various products. You may need the assistance of a continence advisor in choosing the products that best suit your needs. See our online live chat help service.

The Continence Foundation of Australia can provide you with further information and names of continence advisors in each State and Territory who can help you.

You are not alone. Incontinence worries can be overcome and better managed if treated.

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This information is general in nature and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of qualified health care practitioners.

This information is being continually updated and is subject to change without notice. No warranty or guarantee of a cure is expressed or
implied with any information included herein, nor does Independent Living Care and Mobility Centre make any representations regarding the use
or the results obtained with the information. In no event shall Independent Living Care and Mobility Centre, its employees or associates be liable
to any person or individual for any loss or damage whatsoever which may arise from the use of this information.
The information contained herein should be used at your own discretion.