Council on the Aged (COTA) Victoria
Sadly, older people often experience ageism, which can result in them being viewed as a homogenous group by policymakers who make decisions on
funding, support services and legislation. In some settings, our rights and opinions appear to matter less as we age.
Nicky Barry from the Council on the Aged (COTA) Victoria says she often assists people who are capable of making decisions and interacting with services independently but are not given the opportunity because of the way the system is set up.
Ann's Story - "A Bladder Augmentation Gave Me Freedom"
As a child, Ann developed an aversion to using the toilet, and instead attempted to hold her urine. Consequently, the muscular wall of her bladder thickened, and her bladder worked less effectively, making it harder for her to pass urine. Eventually, too much pressure in the bladder may overwhelm the urethral sphincter and cause the bladder to leak. Ann was repeatedly told her inability to hold urine was either psychological or because of bladder stones.
Debunking Myths about Older People and Incontinence by Dr Joan Ostaszkiewicz
Dr Joan Ostaszkiewicz, Director Aged Care Division, National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) and Ms Elizabeth Watt, Senior Research Fellow, Aged Care Division, NARI
Continence Foundation Board Member and physiotherapist Dr Janet Chase was working at the Mercy Hospital for Women when her interest in women’s health increased.
As a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, I regularly see children and their families to help improve their continence issues. Most children are primary school age from around 5 -12 years old. Common issues include nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting), day wetting, urgency, giggle incontinence and faecal incontinence.
Levi’s parents learnt he was born with anorectal malformation (ARM) when he was two days old. Now, three years later, they are navigating toilet training and understanding if he has regular healthy bodily sensations. Levi was born in Echuca and airlifted out to another hospital three hours away. His parents were told via phone that Levi needed a stoma put in, because there was no connection between his bowel and his bottom.
Toilet Training Resources
The Continence Foundation of Australia has several resources available to help your child reach those important development milestones and gain greater toileting independence. All our resources are user friendly with pictures and easy to follow steps, providing a general guide for parents and caregivers. Download your free copies today.
Associate Professor Sebastian King is a paediatric surgeon whose specialty interest is children born with congenital bowel conditions such as anorectal malformation (ARM), and Hirschsprung’s disease. A/Prof King completed his PhD in slow transit constipation at the Royal Children’s Hospital, in Melbourne.
Although it is usual to begin toilet training between two and three years of age, like any developmental milestone, there can be tremendous variation, but commonly day training occurs before night. Try not to compare your child with other children (even their siblings!) and instead respond to their individual needs and personality. It is important to encourage children to respond to messages from their bladder and bowel - teaching them to ‘listen to their body’ and taking their time to use the toilet - no rushing, no straining.
Loreto is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with thirty-six years’ experience in stomal, wound and continence care. She works with Associate Professor Sebastian King at the Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction Service (CPRS) as a Stomal Therapist and has been instrumental in implementing new and innovative ideas into practice to improve the lives and outcomes of children. While working at Monash Hospital, Loreto and a colleague began using the ultrasonic-assisted wound debridement equipment for wounds.
The NPTM APP Can Benefit Everyone!
Bronwyn Ford’s journey with pelvic organ prolapse has been emotional. She describes frustration, sadness, anger and disbelief but on the other side – acceptance, resilience and empowerment.
As COVID-19 crept across our shores and lockdowns followed, a typical scenario was the panic buying seen in Australian supermarkets. Whilst toilet paper was in high demand, spare a thought for those who also had trouble accessing essential continence products. Living with incontinence is already challenging without the fear of not being able to access the right products, such as continence pads and pants.
Of all the changes a woman can face after giving birth, for Elicia O’Reilly, unexpected incontinence was the worst. After giving birth to a large overdue baby, Elicia was shocked when this happened to her and although a midwife explained that immediate post-partum incontinence was common after vaginal birth, it was something Elicia felt completely unprepared for.
It is a little-known fact that as many as 40% of women will experience some form of pelvic organ prolapse (POP), and 11% will undergo surgery for prolapse or experience incontinence at some point in their lifetime.
The pelvic organs, which include the bladder, vagina, uterus, and bowel, are held in place by the pelvic floor muscles and supporting tissues such as 'fascia' and 'ligaments'. These help to join the pelvic organs to the bony side walls of the pelvis and keep them in place.
Margaret Wilson worked at a Nurse Continence Specialist- led pessary clinic in a rural service, and provides women with advice and reassurance. At the clinic, specially trained nurses see women who are usually referred by their GP for pelvic muscle assessment and to be fitted for a pessary.
Many older women don’t have regular vaginal examinations, but this is important for a woman’s health throughout her whole life. Nurse Continence Specialist Janie Thompson, Clinical Services Manager, leads the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 and addresses this important issue.
The Australian Prostate Centre (APC) is a not-for-profit medical centre in Melbourne, created to help men living with prostate cancer. They share three ways to balance the important parts of wellbeing including continence, sex, exercise and psychology.