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By Nicole Torrington, Senior Marketing Officer

Leanne has always been a traveller at heart, having visited 30 countries before she turned 30. She had met her husband in Ireland, spent time in London and regularly went to visit her best friend who lived in Germany.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides individualised support for people with a permanent and significant disability. The scheme is administered by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and is designed for individual control with greater flexibility and choice.

What will the NDIS fund?

Stephanie Thompson lives with a non-visible disability, having experienced a traumatic childbirth injury and severe pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Birth trauma can cause significant debility for many women and Steph has had to consider a disabled parking permit as sometimes she cannot even walk 100 metres.

When Cherilyn Fox speaks, teenagers listen. Cherilyn’s mission is the prevention of alcohol and drug related trauma in youth. When she tells her story to a group of 200 kids all eager to get their driver’s license and hit the road, she says you could hear a pin drop. Sharing images of the car accident scene where she had to be resuscitated several times, and hearing about her multiple injuries, including a severed femoral artery (the main artery supplying blood to the leg), requiring a thigh high left leg amputation, tends to leave her listeners speechless.

With Amy de Paula, NSW Clinical Services Manager, Continence Foundation of Australia

Amy de Paula has extensive experience working with the NDIS, both in her former role as an Occupational Therapist (OT) and in her current role as the NSW Clinical Services Manager for the Continence Foundation of Australia.

Jaydan is 25 years old, lives with cerebral palsy and has used a wheelchair for most of his life. For the last three years he has worked voluntarily for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, on site at the Queensland Children’s Hospital where he helps people with directions and provides information on the services and support provided by the Foundation for sick children and their families. In this environment, Jaydan estimates that approximately 50 to 60 per cent of people have a mobility issue, so he feels like he blends in.

The United Nations defines people with disabilities as ‘those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.’

Readiness for kinder and school – toilet training

Janie Thompson, Nurse Continence Specialist and Clinical Services Manager talks about readiness for toilet training

Sophie* is a 32-year-old woman who has three children. During the birth of her first child, she had a difficult time, experiencing a long labour and having to push for over two hours. She was exhausted and eventually the obstetrician had to use forceps to help deliver the baby.

By Nicola Reid, Media and Health Content Writer

When 24-year-old Christin Young walked into the urology clinic at a major Sydney hospital, she was struck by the fact that she was the only person under 30 in the room. “There was nothing to validate me as a young person experiencing incontinence,” she says. “There was no information at all about urinary problems in young people and I felt it reinforced that incontinence is an older person’s issue and it was not okay for me to be experiencing it.”

Amanda* first noticed bladder weakness, manifesting as urinary urgency and frequency, after the birth of her first child. At the time she thought it was just something she had in common with several of the women in her mother’s group. “This is when I started the ‘I better go just in case’ routine because I didn’t want to be out and wet myself,” says Amanda*.

This Women’s Health Week (WHW) the Continence Foundation of Australia has formed a community partnership with Jean Hailes and we are focussing on pelvic floor muscle health across a woman’s lifespan. This targets three important groups including teens and young women, pregnancy and post-partum and menopause and the years beyond.

Hmm menopause…. hot flushes, mood swings, low libido, insomnia, night sweats, but wait there’s more! A lesser-known fact is that overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome is also more likely in postmenopausal women aged 45 to 54 years. This can result in a sudden urgency to sprint to the loo and often!

On most working days, Anna Lennie’s first thought on waking is “I wonder what today will bring.” As the only pelvic floor physiotherapist in Central Australia, Anna describes her work as diverse, frequently challenging, and the conditions and people she treats often totally unexpected. A new day could bring her just about anything.

Women’s experience of menopause is highly influenced by cultural attitudes and beliefs towards menopause and menopausal symptoms, as well as socioeconomic and lifestyle factors. A comparison of the menopausal experiences of several ethnic groups reveals some enlightening and interesting differences.

A former elite athlete and corporate lawyer, Kimberley Smith was used to functioning at her peak. Like so many women, she was understandably shocked by the impact childbirth had on her body and so began her journey to return to exercise in a safe and positive way.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KEY SIGNS OF PERIMENOPAUSE?

Perimenopause can begin anywhere from five to eight years before menopause and women may start to experience symptoms from their early 40s. The early signs of perimenopause are changes in the menstrual cycle, which may become heavier, lighter, longer, or shorter, changes in mood such as irritability, anxiety or low mood, and other physical symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and sleep disturbances.

Lyz Evans, Titled Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. Clinical Masters: Women’s Health & Continence. B.App.Sci: Phy.

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Last Updated: Tue 19, Apr 2022
Last Reviewed: Tue 17, Mar 2020