Incontinence: to provide care, you need to know how and why it happens

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Between 75% and 81% of aged care residents

experience incontinence, according to aged care funding (ACFI) data, with most residents falling into the “most dependent” category of the condition. 

Incontinence is, in fact, one of the main reasons people decide to make the transition into residential care, according to research.

It is often not until care workers begin working in the field that they can truly appreciate what’s involved with continence care and management. 

Effective continence care and management requires staff to understand how the urinary and gastrointestinal systems work and the different types of incontinence and their triggers. 

Janie Thompson, National Continence Helpline Manager (1800 33 00 66) has over 27 years of experience in continence care, mainly in aged care rehabilitation and community care. 

She understands that having the tools to learn about continence can empower staff.

“As a Nurse Continence Specialist with a background in gerontology, I found that personal care workers were able to manage incontinence better and, therefore, give better care, if they understood why a person was experiencing incontinence, and what could be done to make them more comfortable.”

“Personal care workers were keen to discuss specific situations or the challenges to care they were experiencing whenever I assessed or reviewed a resident. They valued opportunities to learn how to improve the care they were giving so the resident could feel more dignified.”

The Continence Foundation of Australia’s Essentials of Continence’ course is designed to provide personal carers and enrolled and registered nurses working in aged care and the disability sector, whether they be experienced or new to the field, with an important first step’ in learning about the theory of continence.  

Learners enrolled in the course will learn how the urinary and gastrointestinal systems work. They will gain an understanding of the different types of incontinence, and how to use a range of continence management strategies.

Participants who complete the ‘Essentials of Continence’ course will receive a Certificate of Achievement from the Continence Foundation of Australia.

Course details

Duration: 3-5 hours (90 days to access from date of purchase)

Delivery: online

Cost: $60 AUD Special Introductory Offer + GST

Course modules


  1. Let’s start talking about incontinence
  2. Understanding the urinary system
  3. The micturition process
  4. About the lower gastrointestinal system
  5. The defecation process
  6. The pelvic floor
  7. Types of urinary incontinence
  8. Functional incontinence
  9. Medications
  10. Bowel problems and faecal incontinence

HelloCare readers receive a 50% discount (offer ends 30 June 2021). Register by emailing [email protected] and mentioning HelloCare.

‘Essentials of Continence’ is the first in a series of courses delivered by the Continence Foundation of Australia.

Join as a free user of continencelearning.com to view the Foundation’s full range of courses and professional development activities. 

Are you an aged care or disability provider?

There are package deals available for aged care or disability providers. Contact [email protected] to enquire about options for your workforce.

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