Disposable absorbent underwear products, sometimes called “adult diapers” or briefs, help caregivers to manage incontinence in aging loved ones. These products are not a treatment for incontinence, rather they are a tool to help keep symptoms from interfering with one’s daily life. There are plenty of incontinence supplies to choose from but finding the right one can be tricky.
Receiving an Incontinence Diagnosis
If a senior is experiencing a loss of bladder or bowel control, it is very important to consult a medical professional who can properly diagnose the type of incontinence, rule out any serious underlying causes and recommend treatment options. Even if treatments like behavioral changes, medications, surgery or other interventions are appropriate, a senior will likely still need to use incontinence products to manage leaks and continue participating in their normal daily activities.
Finding the Right Incontinence Product
There are many factors to consider when choosing an absorbent product, including flexibility that corresponds with your loved one’s activity level, choosing a unisex product or one that is gender specific, sizing, style (tab-style or pull-on), absorbency level, and preference for disposable or reusable products.
Some trial and error is usually necessary to determine how well a specific product works and how comfortable it is to wear. You may find that one product is best for containing leaks overnight, another has a slimmer profile for outings during the day and a third more flexible option is ideal for activities like walking and light exercise.
Incontinence supplies can be expensive, especially at the beginning when you’re buying multiple brands and styles trying to find the best possible solution. Try not to look at the price tags first and instead choose contenders based on your loved one’s needs. You may find that a pricier product is more durable and provides better protection, therefore requiring fewer changes and costing less in the long run. Keep in mind that many incontinence product manufacturers offer free samples and coupons that can help you through the discovery phase and defray costs once you settle on something.
Prioritize Skin Integrity
Skin care is an important part of incontinence care that cannot be overlooked. In addition to prompt changing of soiled briefs and liners, private areas must be gently yet thoroughly cleansed and dried. Repeated exposure to urine and fecal matter can be very damaging to sensitive skin. Improper care may lead to rashes, sores and even serious infections. Look for incontinence products that effectively trap and wick moisture away from the skin and feature soft, breathable lining. Application of a skin barrier ointment can further protect the area from moisture and prevent irritation.
Shopping for Incontinence Products Online
People are often embarrassed to purchase incontinence products at their neighborhood drug or grocery stores. Thanks to the explosion in internet shopping, there are plenty of online retailers that sell incontinence supplies and other elder care products and offer discreet shipping. Joining a subscription service can be helpful as well, since regular shipments can ensure you never run out of necessary supplies.
Source: The Simon Foundation, an organization that advocates on behalf of people with loss of bladder and bowel control. https://simonfoundation.org