Continence supports are what we call disability-related health supports. We can only fund these supports if they directly relate to your disability and help you undertake activities involved in day-to-day life.
Learn more about what we mean by disability-related health supports.
Continence supports are products or help from someone to manage incontinence.
Incontinence is the inability to control when you have to go to the toilet. It is the accidental or involuntary loss of:
- urine from your bladder – known as urinary incontinence
- faeces from your bowel – known as faecal incontinence.
Incontinence can range from mild to severe. It may be a small bladder or bowel leak. Or complete loss of bladder or bowel control.
If you have incontinence you should talk to your doctor first. They can link you to health services that are paid for through Medicare.
You can continue to access health services from Medicare, even when you are a NDIS participant.
Learn more about the help you can get through the health system or other services.
Continence products can include things like pads, nappies, bed protection, liners and shields.
If you have a catheter or stoma, it can be products you need, such as bags for waste, bottles and straps. A catheter is a flexible tube inserted into the body to drain the bladder into a bag you wear when it doesn’t empty normally.
A stoma connects a portion of your digestive system or sometimes your bladder to the surface of your abdomen to remove waste into a sealed bag you wear.
You may not be able to manage your continence because your disability means you have trouble doing this on your own. Family, friends or carers may help you with your daily continence needs. Or your continence supports may include a support worker or nurse to help with this.
You may need support from a specific type of health professional for some tasks. For example, some types of catheters can only be changed by a registered nurse.
Continence supports can also include training for people to help you manage your continence. A suitably qualified health professional needs to provide the training.
For example, a registered nurse trains a support worker to help clean or manage your catheter or stoma and products for you.
We can only fund continence supports that are directly related to the functional impact of your disability. This means the things you can and can’t do because of your disability.