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Caring for someone with incontinence

Caring for someone with continence problems can mean finding out how to expect and manage certain situations. Incontinence is the term used to describe loss of control of the bladder or bowel, or both. Being in control of these functions depends on being aware of bodily sensations such as the feeling of having a full bladder and the memory of how, when and where to respond.

There are many services, resources and support to help you in your caring role.

National Continence Helpline

The National Continence Helpline has qualified staff who can give fast, confidential and expert advice. Anyone from health professionals to members of the public can call. Helpline staff can:

  • give you information about continence products
  • give you information about national and state government continence subsidy schemes
  • arrange for continence information resources to be sent to you.

Phone the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 between 8.00am and 8.00pm AEST, Monday to Friday. It is closed on national public holidays. Outside of these hours, please contact the After Hours GP Helpline on 1800 022 222.

Bladder and Bowel website

The Australian Government’s Bladder and Bowel website promotes bladder and bowel health. It also provides information about the prevention, management and treatment of bladder and bowel problems.

Continence Aids Payment Scheme

The Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) provides a payment to help eligible people who have permanent and severe incontinence to pay some of the costs of their incontinence products. Medicare makes the payment directly into a person’s nominated bank account. Find out more about CAPS on the Bladder and Bowel website.

National Public Toilet Map website

The National Public Toilet Map website provides information on the location of public and private toilet facilities across Australia. Details of toilet facilities can be found along major travel routes and for shorter journeys. Information includes location, opening hours, accessibility for people with disabilities and details of other nearby toilets. The map can help carers to plan short outings or longer trips.

Find more information on services and supports available by visiting Carer Gateway.

Last reviewed: 3 May, 2018.