Older Adults

Urinary and/or faecal incontinence is common in older adults. 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 10 men, experience issues with bladder control. About 5% of people 65-84 years of age have severe incontinence, and those over 85 years of age are 5 times more likely to experience severe incontinence than those between 65-84.  

A continence nurse, pelvic floor physio, or your GP can help you with management options. Although hard to bring up, I highly recommend you do, as there are various treatment options. 

If you have a permanent and severe issue with incontinence, and have either a pension card, or an eligible neurological condition, you can get funding for continence products through the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS) - Services Australia information page

My Aged Care

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for government-funded assistance for aged care services. To get an assessment you must be 65 years and over, or 50 years and over for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. My Aged Care can contribute to the costs of:

≥75yo Health Assessment

A health assessment is an in-depth assessment of your health and situation so we can identify any interventions that can help improve your health and/or quality of life. It is done once a year and involves an appointment with the nurse and doctor. We will be assessing your:

If you have anything else you want to bring up, you should.

Bone Health

Osteoporosis is where the bone density has gone down, leaving the bone more brittle and easily broken. It is very common, and until a minimal trauma fracture occurs, there are no obvious symptoms of it. Osteoporosis affects about 23% of women and 6% of men over the age of 50. Fracture of the hip is a serious problem with a high risk of poor outcomes. 

A DEXA scan will tell us what your bone mineral density is, and thus guide treatment or prevention of osteoporosis. 

To prevent osteoporosis, we recommend:


Certain immunisations are funded and recommended after a certain age due to the increased risk of disease in older adults. 

Influenza vaccine (the flu shot)

The flu shot is recommended and funded by the government for those 65 years of age and over. The flu vaccine we give to older adults is stronger than the one we give to people <65 years of age. Due to waning immunity and changes to the strains of the flu virus, we have an updated flu vaccine every year in March to April.

Prevenar 13 (for protection against the bacteria that causes pneumonia & other infections)

This immunisation is recommended just once, from 70 years of age. If you have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk of complications from pneumonia, you would receive this vaccine, as a course, starting at the time of diagnosis. 

Shingles vaccine

Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (the chickenpox virus). There is a 50% risk of reactivation of this virus. We are not yet sure if the rates of shingles will be as high in the future, given the high rates of vaccination with the chickenpox vaccine. 

There are two shingles vaccines available. The Zostavax vaccine is available from the government at 70 years of age; you only require one dose. The Shingrix vaccine is available on prescription; you require two doses with 2-6 months between doses. The cost of one dose of Shingrix is currently ~$280.
NOTE: It is expected that Shingrix will be funded by the Government from 1st November 2023. Watch this space!

ATAGI recommends: