Natalie Gentile and Lisa Gyselman are Stomal Therapists and Clinical Nurse Consultants. As paediatric stomal therapists they support young people with complex continence needs on a daily basis. Their service offers face-to-face and telehealth clinical care, assessments, recommendations, education, and guidance around product selection. They know that continence isn’t a topic that is regularly spoken about outside of the confines of home and medical facilities, and because of this, families are often ill equipped with the knowledge needed to support toilet training and continence. When speaking with families, there are many similarities in their stories. For children with disabilities, there are unique challenges that families experience including finding accessible toileting spaces, sensory seeking, and sensory avoidant behaviours, and how to improve awareness through the development of interoceptive skills.
There are so many resources that can be useful for families, and many are free. Having the right information available is imperative in ensuring the right strategies are implemented, at the right time and for the right young person.
The Continence Foundation of Australia provides a directory of clinicians and resources for families in a variety of languages.
Having an accessible toilet near by is a requirement for many families when accessing the community. The National Public Toilet Map is available online, and as an app. It can be particularly useful for families requiring wheelchair accessible toilets.
For families requiring higher support needs including height adjustable adult sized change tables, ceiling track hoist systems, larger rooms, and automatic doors, the Changing Places toilets are ideal. Whilst not as common, they are becoming a requirement for many newly built public buildings.
The Australian Association of Stomal Therapy Nurses has some wonderful online resources for ostomates and their families.
Should you want to speak to a community stomal therapist and continence nurse, Lisa and Natalie are happy to help! They have extensive experience supporting young people and their families with bowel and bladder stomas, MACEs, Chaits, Mitrofanoff’s, and complex continence needs. They can support families with NDIS assessments, obtaining samples, preparing a prescribed list of consumables, and providing educational workshops for day care.
Continence may not be commonly discussed, but we all deserve the opportunity to have a comfortable and dignified approach to toileting management and continence.
Children’s Nursing Queensland aims to support families in their health care journey by providing specialised paediatric nursing care in the home, early childhood services and school environments. Lisa and Natalie can also assist families to obtain appropriate NDIS funding and support to meet their individual needs through specialised nursing assessments. Assessments can be carried out nation wide over the phone or via in person consultations state wide by our industry expert nursing team.