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”Words” really do matter.

It depends on the elder. (No pun intended!). Ask them what they call them, and call it that! My dad calls them diapers, so I call them diapers.
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Reply to SofiaAmirpoor
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I used the term "protective underwear" or panties to her and anyone else I spoke to. The rehab referred to them as protection. Good term when dealing with many families.
Of course Luz only used them as pull downs not pull ups. I would have to chase her down to pull them up. fond but sad memories.
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Reply to OldSailor
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I always call it underwear when speaking to my husband and Depends when speaking to caregivers. To him it is underwear.
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Reply to Franklin2011
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Agreed. I will not use the word 'dementia' when speaking to my mother about her memory issues, so it's the same math with using the word 'diapers' when referring to what I call Depends. Both words contain exactly 7 letters so the typing is the same.......lol!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I think that since we are questioning and answering incontinence issues of our LO's.....diapers seem to be acknowledged as a pretty standard expression for communication purposes. Not necessarily the word some would use while addressing their loved ones. I really don't feel that in an open forum session we need to be that delicate when seeking advice. Just my thoughts.
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Reply to Abby2018
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AnnReid, I agree with your statement that "Many adults prefer to be spoken to and about as adults, and not as children."  The exact words we use differ according to age, experience, country, etc.

Myself and friends have no problem with the word 'diaper', which I need at age 72.  My aunt, however, hated the word, so I substituted another.

The real complaint is one of attitude.  Although our elders with dementia sometimes act like children, they need to be treated with dignity. One employee at a rehab my aunt went to called my aunt 'Rosie', not Rose, and said things aloud in dining room like, 'come on Rosie, lets eat your lunch', and never listened to her response.  It was like the adults at her table were incapable of talking or thinking.   My aunt was insulted and finally refused to talk at all.  Or eat.  When we transferred her to a MC facility, she blossomed again, smiling and happy. 

Thanks to everyone for all the opinions and experiences shared.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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I get it. I never refer to them as diapers as I think the elderly have enough trouble maintaining their dignity in the eyes of others. I call them adult undies or protective undies.
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Reply to Geaton777
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I don't know what your complaint is or why you're dictating what words other people use to describe underwear, so I'm gonna go somewhere else.
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Reply to anonymous831857
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AnnReid Jul 27, 2019
Not “dictating” to anyone here, not now, not ever.

If YOU are offended by something I SAY, I encourage you to disagree with me, and I will step aside to give you your say.

Many adults prefer to be spoken to and about as adults, and not as children.
In my country, the word “diaper” and the word “bib” strongly connote items used by infants and small children, and therefore may in fact offend people in chronologically older populations, who may or may not be able to protest on their own behalf.

”Complaint”? Yes, it is very uncomfortable for me to hear or read the constant use of baby terms when speaking to or about LOs because I think doing so is disrespectful to this vulnerable population (of which, in fact I am a chronological member myself).

Any of us who are caregivers CAN of course use any language we wish to choose when speaking to anyone. As long as the speaker would be comfortable if hearing the same language used when they themselves are addressed, no problem!
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Semantics matter when we are speaking directly to our more sensitive elders, I agree; But I as a nurse see no shame in the need for an adult diaper when the time comes. I am certain I have offended more than a few by saying "Which brand of adult diapers do you find works best for you?" I have also had elders open up to me in a way they do not to their own perhaps more prudish family members. I often had family tell me "She (or he) told you THAT! I am amazed". But there you go. Nurses will question you to the inth degree about the color, odor, and amount of your vaginal discharge without a thought in the world to "comfort". Its just another body mystery being solved by information gathering.
We are all different. The truth is that I always found the words "undies" and "panties" kind of uncomfortably-giggle-provoking; they are the words most used in crime fiction and crime non-fiction. They make me squirm a little.
I at first giggled about your post; but it is worth thinking about for the sake of our more sensitive elders.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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AnnReid Jul 27, 2019
ABSOLUTELY no “shame” at all with NEEDING absorbent underwear, nor any need for cutie language!
Thank you for serving in your noble profession!
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I had a Nurse that hated the term "diaper". I never used that word when talking to my Mom. Just called them panties because she used pull ups.

I agree, on here its just easier to say diaper or Depends.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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KNICKERS!!! :)

I agree - except that sometimes you really do need to be a bit more explicit. E.g. with the lady currently posting whose husband needs maximum absorbency "shorts."
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Reply to Countrymouse
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The words we use here are not necessarily the words we used with our LOs.

Also as an international forum, words can have very different meanings in different places. It is important here to use the proper word not an euphemism which can be lost in translation.

Here on the forum when we say diaper or diapering, it is generally understood that the writer is having to change their incontinent parent, generally while laying in bed, as an infant is changed. This does not mean that the writer uses the word diaper or diapering when talking to their loved one.

Depends refer to a different type of absorbent garment, which the wearer can often pull up and remove on their own or with help.

I have stress incontinence. I wear a pad in my panties. I am not embarrassed by this
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Reply to Tothill
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We're on a website of caregivers talking to other caregivers, sometimes it's simpler to type diaper than one of fifteen other euphemisms. What we call them IRL may be totally different.

I do have to say though that I don't think calling them diapers is always wrong, many of us ,as well as those we care for, are pragmatic people who fully understand that it's a diaper no matter what fancy name we give it and really couldn't care less.
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Reply to cwillie
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AnnReid Jul 26, 2019
“Diaper” is plainer than ”underpants”? I’m about as pragmatic as they come......
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I agree totally. I would not say diaper or diapering.
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Reply to anonymous901498
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I do exactly what you’re asking with my dad, try so hard to preserve his dignity as he’s mentally fine. And he persists in saying “diapers” without fail. He wears the ones that look like men’s briefs but to him, if he’s peeing in it, it’s a diaper. He’s says he knows one thing for certain, that he entered this world in a diaper and he’s leaving in one!
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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AnnReid Jul 26, 2019
Sounds like a GREAT GUY! Blessings to you both!
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