Provision of continence aids in Residential Aged Care

Page last updated: 27 July 2017

The Accreditation Standards require providers to effectively manage care recipient’s continence.  The Quality of Care Principles 2014 (the Principles) sets out the care and services that must be provided to all care recipients in a residential aged care facility who need them, and the circumstances in which fees can be applied.

Where needed, an aged care home must provide daily living activities assistance, which includes:

  • assistance to maintain or manage incontinence, and
  • the use of aids and appliances designed to manage incontinence. 

The above must be provided at no cost to residents.

When do fees apply?

While an aged care home must provide incontinence sheets and goods to assist with toileting and incontinence management (including absorbent aids, commode chairs, disposable pads etc), fees may apply where the resident:

  • is not exempt from additional fees, or 
  • requests the use of a different product or brand of product, in place of an effective alternative the aged care home must otherwise use.

Are there any limits?

The Quality of Care Principles 2014 does not place any limits on the number of continence aids providers must provide to a resident. The department expects aged care homes to provide sufficient continence aids to maintain the resident’s hygiene and to meet their care needs; this may vary from person to person. Maintaining the dignity of the resident is to be recognised and respected.

In considering a person’s needs for continence aids, the aged care home should take into account, among other things, how many continence aids were being used prior to entering residential aged care.

More information

Information on the provision of continence aids can be found in the Care and Services in Aged Care Homes – information for approved providers.