Care Plans

National Continence Helpline

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST Talk to a continence nurse

Following a continence care plan


Always read a person's care plan and make sure you understand what you need to do to help them. If you don't understand the plan, or the person you support refuses to follow it, talk to your supervisor, as the plan may need to be explained to you or be reviewed.

What is a continence care plan?

A continence care plan:

  • explains what help the person needs to use the toilet to pass urine or faeces
  • gives information about how to manage any leaking of urine and faeces.

A continence care plan is worked out to meet the needs of each person. Don't use another person's care plan.

How do you use the plan?

When you are supporting the person, you need to:

  • read the goals of the plan
  • follow all the instructions in the plan exactly as they are written
  • make sure you are using the right behavioural management strategies
  • make sure you are using the right toilet and continence aids
  • look at the type and amount of food and drinks the person should have
  • make sure you've read the plan before providing care. Check it again each time it's reviewed or updated in case the plan has changed.

What do you do if the plan isn't working?

Sometimes a plan that was working well, suddenly doesn't anymore. Reasons for this can include:

  • the person refuses to go to the toilet or use continence aids recommended
  • the person has had a change in their diet or fluid intake
  • the person is sick or has an ongoing health issue
  • other people who support the person have not been following the plan
  • the person's continence issues have changed
  • the aids are not working anymore.

If you don't know the reason why the plan isn't working, or if the person's health or needs have changed, the plan may need to be reviewed by their general practitioner (GP), a continence nurse advisor or other health care professional.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

View this content and more for free via the learning modules at

This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.