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Karratha, let’s talk about continence

Published 4th June, 2018

Therapy Focus’ specialist continence team PEBBLES is providing invaluable support to the local community in Karratha and the wider West Pilbara region, since expansion of services in early 2018.

Robin Benson and her 8-year-old son Jase were one of the first families in Karratha to access the service, which is available to children and adults with disability who experience bladder and bowel health issues, as well as incontinence.

Jase has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and was experiencing a number of toileting issues prior to services becoming available. Robin said that due to Karratha’s substantial growth, there were a number of medical services the community just didn’t have.

“A lot of people need help and can’t go to Perth, or don’t have the money to go to Perth, so they go without services,” she said.

“Children like Jase need the services but don’t get the opportunities. All these years of not getting the right help for Jase has been hard, but thanks to Therapy Focus’ PEBBLES services becoming more readily available in Karratha, we can now access the support he needs.”

Robin Benson

Therapy Focus Continence Physiotherapist Karina Caldwell said she joined the PEBBLES Team to provide consistent services and more support to people in her hometown who have a variety of continence related conditions.

“Being based in Karratha means I can provide more regular contact and support to families in the Pilbara,” she said.

“I see children with ASD who have difficulty with toilet training, children with ongoing bedwetting, adults with bladder urgency and women experiencing stress urinary incontinence, particularly in the early postnatal period.”

PEBBLES Clients with therapist 
Pictured: A family speaking with speaking with a PEBBLES clinician.

Another local said that the establishment of PEBBLES services in Karratha highlighted the importance of continuity of care for people living in regional areas.

“Being local, Karina has been able to develop relationships with our school to support our son’s needs. The ongoing care we have received from Karina is amazing and I feel that without this support we would not have made the progress we have,” they said.

Karina said it was important to “mention the unmentionable” when it came to incontinence.

“Talk about any concerns you have with your GP or find a continence professional. We often don’t talk about incontinence because we don’t know where to start or who to speak to,” she said.

“Many conditions are very common and can be addressed with non-invasive treatments. They aren’t as scary as they seem once you are equipped with the right information.”

Karina Caldwell

Robin echoed Karina’s sentiments, saying that talking about the issues and getting help makes all the difference.

“We need to talk about toileting. A lot of kids think it’s a joke, but it can cause so many other issues. We knew Jase didn’t go to the toilet regularly but didn’t know how to get help. Now we know the importance of understanding how the body works and it’s been great to finally have someone to guide us,” she said.

World Continence Week runs from June 18 to 24. 

Learn more about Therapy Focus’ specialist continence services. Alternatively, contact the PEBBLES Team on 1300 865 401 or email pebbles@therapyfocus.org.au.

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