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Decorative imageManaging every day life when you or the person you are caring for is affected by incontinence can be challenging, but with forward planning (and a little bit of trial and error), most people find a routine that allows them to live their life to the fullest.

Creating a routine

If you have just been diagnosed with incontinence, you're probably feeling anxious and overwhelmed about how to manage those occassional accidents. The Continence Foundation of Australia recommends working with a continence health professional to explore different options to suit your needs, and come up with a tailored plan that supports your lifestyle. 

Finding a routine can often take time, and involve a lot of trial and error, which may make you feel frustrated at times, but it is important to persist, as advances in new treatments and products mean that there are many options available to you.

Some considerations

When planning for every day life with incontinence it may be worth considering the following scenarios / situations:

  • relationships, intimacy and sex
  • home life 
  • work life
  • social outings
  • exercise and sport, and
  • travel.

How you plan for each of these scenarios / situations may be different, but some simple strategies to consider include:

  • knowing how long you will be out and making sure you have enough products (including cleaning and odour neutralising products and a spare set of clothes, in case of an accident) with you
  • finding out where the closest toilets are and how accessible these are to you (see the National Public Toilet Map)
  • altering your diet and fluids if these impact your symptoms, and
  • testing any new strategies at home, so that you don't get caught out in a social situation.

More advice

For a confidential discussion with a continence nurse advisor, including tips for everyday living, or the details of local continence health professional or continence product supplier, contact the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66.

If you are caring for someone with bladder or bowel problems, practical tips and advice are available to assist you with your care. Read more on caring with someone with incontinence.