AADL incontinence benefits

Alberta Aids for Daily Living (AADL) provides assistance for incontinence supplies for clients age 4 years and older with daily unresolvable urinary and/or bowel incontinence. Bathroom equipment may also be provided.

Eligibility for incontinence benefits

To qualify for incontinence supplies you must:

  • be an Alberta resident
  • have a valid Alberta Personal Health Number (PHN) and
  • have been assessed by an AADL authorizer.

Note: Clients with third party insurance may not be eligible for AADL funding.

The program does not provide funding for clients with:

  • incontinence that has not been investigated
  • incontinence for which strategies have not been implemented, evaluated and re-assessed
  • incontinence that has been present for less than 6 months
  • children under 4 years of age
  • nighttime enuresis (bedwetting)
  • post-surgical incontinence
  • acute drug-induced side effects
  • psychological incontinence (voluntary control of incontinence)
  • menstruation

Obtaining incontinence supplies from AADL

AADL provides several types of incontinence supplies, including disposable products, condom catheters and indwelling catheters.

AADL has minimum absorbency standards and maximum quantity guidelines for all incontinence products. These standards and guidelines are based on best practice and current research.

Incontinence assessment (adult/child)

  1. Contact your local office of Alberta Health Services to make an appointment for an assessment by an approved AADL authorizer. AADL authorizers are health care professionals (typically a registered nurse) who are trained and approved to authorize AADL benefits, such as incontinence supplies.
  2. The authorizer will complete an assessment summary for incontinence products.
  3. The authorizer will also ask how you manage your incontinence. The authorizer may have you try different products, suggest changes in your fluid intake and suggest bladder-training exercises. The authorizer may also suggest that you obtain a referral from your family physician to a nurse continence advisor or urologist for further assessment.
  4. If you are eligible for incontinence supplies through AADL, the authorizer will determine the appropriate products and quantity based on your clinically assessed needs.
  5. The authorizer will provide you with an authorization form along with other information you may require.

Where to get your incontinence supplies

Take the authorization form provided by the authorizer and present it to the vendor. AADL vendors do not assess or authorize clients for incontinence supplies, but have product knowledge of different products and absorbency standards and can help match your clinical need with the appropriate product. Vendors will often provide samples as requested by your authorizer during the assessment process.

Paying for your incontinence supplies

AADL will not reimburse you the cost of products or supplies purchased from stores that are not on the AADL vendor list.

AADL is a cost-share program. Clients pay 25% of the cost of the incontinence supplies to the AADL vendor. The AADL vendor will bill AADL directly for the remaining 75%. There are exemptions from cost sharing for low-income clients.

AADL provides assistance for incontinence supplies in 2-month periods. The program pays a pre-determined price, called a benchmark price, that each vendor must match. You and AADL pay shelf price, sale price or benchmark whichever cost is lower. If you want a more expensive product, you have to pay the cost difference between the benchmark price and the price of the product you choose.

AADL does not reimburse clients or pay for incontinence supplies purchased before an AADL authorizer has completed an authorization.

Bathroom equipment

Your authorizer will review appropriate equipment choices with you and arrange for trial equipment to be delivered to your home. This is a “dry” trial to ensure the equipment fits your child and your bathroom.

  • Upon successful trial, the authorizer will complete an equipment authorization and submit it to AADL for processing.

Follow these healthy bladder tips –

  • limit alcohol intake
  • limit tobacco intake
  • limit caffeine intake
  • maintain healthy weight
  • maintain good fluid intake (8–10 glasses daily)
  • limit foods high in acid content (e.g., tomatoes)
  • exercise on a regular basis
  • practice pelvic floor exercises regularly (Kegel exercises)
  • practice bladder retraining

Note: the term “void” means to urinate or empty the bladder.

  1. Take regular bathroom breaks to avoid overstretching your bladder – To promote a healthy bladder, it is best to have bathroom breaks every 3–4 hours during waking hours. Holding the urge to void stretches the bladder and can promote incontinence.
  2. Drink 8–10 glasses of “good” fluids daily (water, milk, juice, herbal tea) – Many people think if they limit their fluid intake, they will not have to visit the bathroom as often or experience as much wetting. Actually, not drinking enough fluids can increase the need to void, increasing incontinence. Dehydration can also promote the development of urinary tract infections.
  3. Drink fluids throughout the day and limit fluids late at night – Limiting your fluid intake at night will decrease the workload on your bladder and prevents voiding during the night. For example, after 8 p.m. try to limit your fluid intake.
  4. Limit caffeine intake – Caffeine is a bladder irritant. When you drink coffee, caffeinated tea and colas, you jumpstart the bladder, causing frequent trips to the bathroom. Beverages containing caffeine dehydrate rather than hydrate. It is best to decrease or eliminate caffeinated beverages. Remember, each cup of caffeinated beverage needs to be replaced with two glasses of “good” fluids.
  5. Avoid constipation – When you are constipated, the bowels put more pressure on the bladder. This pressure can promote incontinence. It is best to maintain a regular bowel routine. If you need help getting started, consult a health care professional such as a registered nurse, pharmacist or a physician.
  6. Exercise regularly as regular exercise promotes strong pelvic muscles – Strong pelvic muscles promote bladder continence. Walking, for example, encourages the movement of feces through the bowel and promotes regularity.
  7. Practice pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) – Strong pelvic floor muscles promote a healthy bladder. Practicing Kegels on a regular basis keeps the bladder muscles toned. This helps promote and maintain bladder continence. If you need help getting started, consult a health care professional such as a registered nurse, occupational therapist or physiotherapist.
  8. Use appropriate bathroom equipment – Specialized commodes can support an adult who is unable to sit safely without assistance. See your health care professional for a bathroom assessment and information on equipment options.

Note: If you have trouble following any of these health tips, please make an appointment with a Nurse Continence Advisor (NCA) or a family physician for further assessment.

More information

If you have any questions, contact AADL