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An update from Continence NZ

Living with or caring for someone with incontinence requires our best effort in normal times. Amidst the current COVID-19 lockdown we know for many of us life has become much, much harder.

We want to reassure you and all New Zealanders living with or caring for someone with incontinence that we understand, and we are here for you.

Our helpline, 0800 650 659, remains open for calls. Our website is packed with information and tips, and you can also email info@continence.org.nz for support.

Wishing everyone all the very best during these challenging times.

- CEO Louise Judd and the Continence NZ team

COVID-19 FAQs

We understand that this is an incredibly stressful and difficult time for people, especially those living with disabilities or health issues. To help, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions we receive below.

If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly team on 0800 650 659, or email us on info@continence.org.nz

We have compiled a few helpful lockdown tips, which you can read here.

You can also watch our COVID-19 video below.

FAQS:

Is my usual DHB continence service still available?

We have spoken with each DHB service and many are still operating, but via phone. Please call or email us for specific information about your local service, or call them directly.

Can I get my usual product supply?

We have been informed that anyone who receives product from their local District Health Board (DHB) will continue to do so, and that there is enough product to meet demand.

If you are not on DHB supply and usually purchase your product, it can be ordered online at Capes Medical and Health7. Your usual product supplier may also still be in operation, so please check with them.

Pharmacies and supermarkets remain open, and you will be able to purchase some product there if it's in stock - it may be best to order online/over the phone, or phone the store ahead to see if product is available before travelling to make a purchase.

Please call or email us if you have any issues with your supply, or accessing product.

What if I am struggling to afford product?

For some, the Disability Allowance can be accessed to assist with continence purchases if required. Please phone our helpline on 0800 650 659 if you need some advice about this.

I’m not sure which product is best to use?

Call our helpline on 0800 650 659 and we will be happy to help.

How can I get help if I am struggling?

Our helpline 0800 650 659 remains open for calls. Our website is packed with information and tips. And you can email info@continence.org.nz for support too.

If you ever need to talk to a trained counsellor, you can free call or text 1737 any time. You can also call the Depression helpline on 0800 111 757.

To get help from a registered nurse 24/7 you can call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

I’m a carer, where can I get help and support?

All of the above, but you can also contact Carers NZ on 0800 777 797 or visit their helpful website at carers.net.nz

Carers NZ understands it’s a difficult and uncertain time, particularly when you’re responsible for supporting others and says:

“If you are caring for others it is important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you look after, and we want to reassure you that we are here to guide you to what support there is out there.”

We all have a role to play in caring for ourselves, our families, and our communities during the COVID-19 lockdown. Carers NZ and IHC have also launched wecare.kiwi to make it easy to care for and about each other. If you’re on your own during the lockdown, or caring for a vulnerable person, you may need some support. Visit the website, or call 0800 777 797.

Is there anything I can do while at home to improve my bowel and bladder health?

Definitely! Pelvic floor exercises are a great way to start. Find a helpful guide here.

It’s also important to keep active, drink plenty of water and make sure you have enough fibre in your diet. Find a Bowel Reviver recipe here.

I’m using this time at home to toilet train my child, any advice?

We have some hints and suggestions here – but toilet training can be stressful with some children, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

I’m looking for an online fitness class, what should I be aware of?

For women in particular, it’s vital your trainer is pelvic floor safe. Many of those who have done our pelvic floor focus workshops are running classes online. Find a list of Pelvic Floor Safe Fitness Instructors here.

You can also look at our general FAQs page here, where you may find the answer to your specific continence question, or check out our FAQs video series.

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