Continence and the NDIS

Where a participant needs AT, it is important that there is sufficient evidence to enable the NDIA to decide which AT supports are reasonable and necessary to include in the plan. Sheehan Health is proud to be an AT continence NDIS service provider in the Sydney metropolitan region.
We aim to:
• enhance the independence and quality of life of individuals with a disability where there are continence needs
• assist participants to manage their incontinence through a comprehensive continence assessment into their needs, suggested interventions and as appropriate the provision of continence aids deemed necessary & appropriate.

What to ask for in your NDIS planning:
Ask your NDIS planner or LAC advisor to allow for a continence assessment and follow up review/s (approx. 4 – 7 hours therapy per annum) to be approved for you in your NDIS plan under the category Individual assessment/therapy and/or therapy (including assistive technology).
A Continence Related Assistive Technology Assessment will document requirements in line with achieving your goals when conducted by an experienced Continence Advisor – discuss with your NDIS planner or LAC advisor whether this would be a benefit.
You need to know how your incontinence affects your goals. Your NDIS plan is focussed around you achieving your goals. This means that every part of your funding is related to your goals. For example, if your goal is to gain employment or partake in a new social activity, what incontinence requirements do you have in order to meet this goal?
Continence assessment and training comes under:
Activities of daily living (Individual assessment, therapy and /or training)
Core Supports (Products)

**We are available throughout the upcoming school holidays with very flexible hours to suit everyone.
Contact us: sheehanhealth.com.au or 0452 53 NDIS
Sheehan Health


Yes, mindfulness is all the rage these days, but for good reason. Mindfulness has a host of health benefits, but among other things, it can help you control stress. When you practice mindfulness, you’re removing yourself from thinking about a stressful situation, reminding yourself to be grateful for the good things happening in your life, and shifts your perspective so that you can see things more clearly. All this works to calm your body and mind down and reduce stress.

Sometimes, the simple act of taking some time to breathe deeply can make a huge difference? Why? It cues your body to slow down and relax. Taking deep belly breaths can help ease stress and anxiety, slow your heartbeat and stabilize your blood pressure. Its also that mindfulness trick again. Focusing on your breath helps to ground you and bring your attention to one thing, giving your mind a break and your body a chance to recoup. It’s easy to do, and you don’t have to do it for very long to reap the benefits. Just find a quiet spot, and slowly breathe in deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to expand. Then slowly let the air pass back through your nose as you exhale. Even a few minutes can be helpful in a pinch, but regular practice of this (daily for 10-20 minutes) can do wonders.

Taking breaks not only help calm you down when you’re stressed, they can help make you more productive. When we work non-stop without taking a break, we’re pushing our brain to the limit, naturally tiring it out after a while, just like any other muscle in the body. But evidence suggests that taking periodic breaks helps to recharge our brain and become more focused. Taking a break may seem counter-productive to getting things done, but you’ll help yourself out in the long run by grabbing a glass of water or a healthy snack each hour, and you’ll feel much more relaxed and productive. It’s a win-win!

Studies show that those with a strong social network tend to live longer than those without one. That’s because our friends help build us up, give us a sense of belonging, and help us deal with difficult situations. We don’t always have to go it alone, so when you’re feeling like you’re about to snap, pick up the phone and chat it up with someone who you know has your back. It’s a great stress reliever.

Regular exercise can do wonder for keeping your stress levels low, but even if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in a while, taking a 5-10 minute brisk walk when you’re extra stressed can make a big difference. You’ll remove yourself from your stressful situation of the moment, get some fresh air, and release powerful stress-fighting endorphins.


When you practice mindfulness, you’re removing yourself from thinking about a stressful situation, reminding yourself to be grateful for the good things happening in your life, and shifts your perspective so that you can see things more clearly. All this works to calm your body and mind down and reduce stress.

Aged Care and Continence….the good news

Incontinence is not necessarily normal in the ageing process, though age is regarded as a risk factor. Residents in aged care settings who are reported to have severe incontinence usually have one or more co-morbidities with the largest diagnosis groups being dementia, stroke and muscular skeletal disorders. Such diagnoses make these residents more prone to incontinence due to physical or functional deficits. However, the good news is a general consensus is emerging that incontinence in the elderly is a ‘dynamic’, treatable condition.
#sheehan_health #agedcare #dementia #continence

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Melbourne’s Baker Medical Research Institute conducted a 3-year study that explored the connection between owning a pet and how it affected the pet owner’s cardiovascular health. The study included 5,742 participants, 784 of whom owned least one pet. Participating researchers made note of:
• Blood pressure level
• Cholesterol levels
• Triglyceride
When they announced their findings, the researchers revealed that the pet owners consistently showed healthier levels of cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and triglyceride. One of the interesting things the research revealed was that although the pet owners were generally more active than the non-pet owners, they also indulged in take-out food and alcohol more frequently, indicating that their dogs and cats did an even better job of keeping them healthy than previously anticipated.

Dogs and Alzheimer’s

It’s becoming increasingly common to walk into an aged care facility that deals with people that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia and find one or more dogs on the facility. The reason is because science indicates that the dogs are an important part of the treatment process.

At this point, no one fully understand why people suffering from Alzheimer’s have such a positive reaction to dogs and other animals. What is known is that when the animal enters the person’s life, even if it’s just for a few moments, the individual exhibits an increase in interactive behaviour. Some centres report that after spending time with a dog or cat, people have an increased appetite.
Some programs have trained Alzheimer’s support dogs that help people navigate the facility and perform basic functions they weren’t able to manage on their own prior to being paired with a canine companion.

Dementia and Continence

It can be hard to seek professional help for incontinence. Many people do so only at a point of crisis, as it may feel to the person with dementia like they are losing their dignity. Some may see incontinence as inevitable, but for many people with dementia, given the right advice and patience, accidents and incontinence can be managed or sometimes even cured.
The continence adviser will assess the person’s problems and how they are affecting their quality of life, as well as yours. It is common to be asked to keep a chart of toilet habits.
After a thorough assessment the continence adviser will write up a continence care plan tailored to the individual. This should include things that the person with dementia and any carer can do to help. It should also describe the support that professionals should provide, as well as follow-up and next steps.
The aim should be to cure toilet problems or incontinence wherever possible. This should be agreed with the person with dementia and their carer. In many cases, identifying and addressing practical issues, changing medications or making simple changes to lifestyle can help to achieve this.
In a few cases, the person may need to be referred to a further specialist. For some people, advice will focus not on curing but rather on containing the incontinence as comfortably as possible using aids.

What is the impact of continence problems at school?

Daytime continence problems can have a significant impact on self-esteem, wellbeing and socialisation, as well as learning for the children affected. School staff are not health trained and many do not understand that children can have a medical problem affecting their bladder and/or bowel and are often at a loss to know how to help. Rules around access to the toilet and drinks can adversely affect all children, but tend to have a disproportionate impact on those with continence difficulties and disabilities.

The role of the healthcare professional
This leads to the question of what can healthcare professionals working with children and young people do to support. There are some simple and fairly quick measures that can be put into place, which are likely to have positive effects:
Health visitors can discuss timely toilet training and explain issues around bladder and bowel health with families at developmental checks. They can play a positive role in alerting families to early signs of constipation and how to address these.
School nurses can be alert to signs of continence problems at school entry, provide first line advice and refer on if necessary. They can explain continence problems to school staff, ensuring that they understand that inadequate or dirty toilets, which provide poor levels of privacy and where poor student behaviour is unchecked, can discourage students from using them. This may result in pupils avoiding drinking and withholding urine and faeces during the school day. Schools should be encouraged to consider their policies with respect to access to water bottles and toilets during the day. Staff may also need explanations of normal fluid intake in school age children and to be reminded of the educational and health benefits of children being reminded and encouraged to drink regularly throughout the school day.