How do I get mom to wear an adult diaper when she refuses?


Q: Mom is becoming increasingly incontinent and needs to wear an adult diaper. How should I approach the subject?

A: This is a challenging subject and one that requires sensitivity. You are dealing with a senior who is in transition. By this I mean that there are certain points in a senior's life when physical changes serve as major obstacles and they often don't know how to deal or cope with them.

Incontinence can be a normal part of the aging process. I know of many seniors for whom this is an issue. The best way to discuss the subject is with sensitivity and clarity. Find a time when you and your aging mother can be alone together and have ‘the conversation'.

If she is of relatively sound mind, chances are good that she is well aware of her incontinence issue. She is probably embarrassed, but doesn't know what to do. This is a dignity issue. Help your mother understand that her dignity is very important to you and you know it's important to her.

Many seniors who are suffering from incontinence are not even aware that very good undergarments exist that can save them from embarrassment. Explain that by wearing an undergarment (try to avoid using the word "diaper") she will be able to continue to go out and be with friends and family and not have to worry about embarrassing situations.

Let her know that this will help her to be comfortable when a bathroom might be too far away or if she has a sudden urge to "go" and she can't control her bladder. Explain that the undergarment will give her more security and peace of mind. Explain that she can also sleep in it, which will make getting up at night less fearful for her.

I think we always worry about broaching the subject; however, usually the outcome of these conversations is one of relief and resolve.

Cindy Laverty is a Caregiver Coach and Founder of The Care Company, an online support website for family caregivers. Through programs, coaching and products, Cindy is dedicated to empowering family caregivers.

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We call it the "disposable underwear." for men,,they even make it in gray, which feels less diaper like. Initially, we called it the "emergency underwear" to get him to wear it out of the house. I was able for 90 seconds to be quite clear, firm, and kind in saying, "we can't get in the car to tiXYZ place until you have on the emergency underwear." by speaking confidently and kindly only has to last two minutes...we made that transition, After a few accidents at night, I just started saying "here is the disposable underwear, dad." maybe something like this will work for you, too. It's not just a transition for them, it's one for US! Just quake it till you make it. Good luck.
I agree with JaneB about the disposable, or protective underwear. Their use is much easier to swallow since they fit and feel like regular underwear -- you aren't really wearing a diaper, but some of the products are almost as absorbent as the best adult diapers. Second, is that you need to make absolute sure that you have the proper fit, since nothing says "I'm wearing and adult diaper" like and leak or accident. You CANNOT GUESS about size.As these two sources state, you must take and actual hip/waist measurement or you will be asking for trouble. Best of luck.
They can be helpful if the BM is firm. If it's lose or diarrhea no. You'd need the diaper like briefs because they have the gathered leg. Good luck.