Has anyone used washable incontinence panties?


Ok, this may seem like a silly question but I want an opinion if we are doing the right thing. My mother has dementia, has good days and bad days. Had a lot of health issues last year which seemed to increase her confusion and anxiety. But now things seem to be leveling out. Last month she had a pretty bad cold/cough, so we had to start wearing depends on her to help with the bladder leakage. Before she started wearing the depends, she soaked a few chairs in the house. But now that she is well again, we have continued with her wearing the depends, knowing that at some point she will need to wear them permanently. Try to get her accustomed to them. But is this wrong of us to do so? She will comment on them, how much she hates them, how uncomfortable they are. She doesn't need that pad, and doesn't know why we put it in her pants! I should say that she has good bladder functions - at this time. Doesn't drink a lot through the day, but when she goes, she goes a lot! I have ordered some washable incontinence panties, but worry about the potential for infections? Does anyone have any feedback? I'm not trying to be cruel to her. If she didn't realize the difference, I wouldn't even think of it. But since she does, I don't want to treat her like her feelings don't matter.

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I checked into these for my mother, but due to her size and the cost of the underwear - and her tendency to "flood", I decided against them. Even the most heavy-duty undergarment, with an extra-absorbent pad added for extra protection couldn't contain her urine when she would stand up from a seated position. She was terrible about refusing to go to the bathroom until the last minute, and that, coupled with her weight and age made for a huge gush when she stood up, and once it stopped, she simply emptied her bladder because she couldn't stop it.

I, too, would like to know if someone tries them and if they work - and if cleaning and odor control is a problem. I'm thinking you'd have to keep them like cloth diapers for a baby - in a bucket of bleach water to keep the odor down and keep them from being stained. I'm not sure I'd want to add that workload to the already-heavy load of a caregiver, but that's just me.
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I have used such a pantie myself. The one I had was suitable for "leaks" -- not full incontinence. For that purpose, laundering it was no more of a problem than laundering cotton panties that were leaked on. And once they are wet they should be changed as soon as possible, just as you would with other panties. The advantage was that they don't leak through to clothing. I didn't find the one I tried sufficiently comfortable to wear everyday and since I have only an occasional problem I haven't bought a drawer full. But I will experiment with other brands as aging causes more leakage.

The key to avoiding infections is keeping her clean and dry. She shouldn't sit in wet panties whether they are disposable or washable.

Since you have ordered them, try them out and see how they work. Realize that if full incontinence occurs you will need to move to disposables.

On a side note, my husband wore washable padded undies for a few years. He was very glad to, because the unpredictable leakage was embarrassing to him and he welcomed the protection. Later it was more than leakage and he graduated to Depends.

Please let us know what you decide to so, and how it works out. This is a topic of interest to many people!
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You mention Depends, but as far as I know they don't have pads so are you using the pull ups or pads? The Silhouette® style are lightweight and come in pretty colours so she would be less apt to notice that she isn't wearing regular underwear, especially if you place them in her underwear drawer. Frankly I can't imagine having to deal with washable incontinence products, there is more than enough laundry without having to soak, sanitize and thoroughly rinse. I can't imagine they would do as good a job wicking away moisture as the new gel products either, so I would expect more problems with rash and discomfort, not less.
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