Hi All...

Need some advice, mom has tried Depends, Assure and more recently a CVS brand of disposable underwear and, none of them are any good. She soaks them up badly and the big problem is when she starts to pull them down. A lot of urine leaks out; down her leg, into her slipper and then onto the floor. With each brand she’s used, it always seems to leak out of the left side. So, what do y’all think the problem is? With as much as leaks out, only when she’s pulling them down, doesn’t it seem like the urine just isn’t being absorbed by the underwear? But then it’s always from the left side/leg. Very strange. She is getting extremely upset about this and I don’t blame her. It’s completely frustrating!

Any thoughts or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much,


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You are the resident depends queen! I agree--if there is urine actually trickling down the leg, the patient is probably actively "going".

My mother's depends (I don't know what actual brand she wears) absorb something like 4 cups of fluid. PLUS she wears at least 2 extra duty pads AND she's catheterized---and considering she drinks less than 30 oz of fluid a day--it's always amazing to me that she even HAS a urine output.

Perhaps the "removal" of the depends triggers a response in mom that makes her suddenly urinate--start to remove the depends and wait a minute--have a pad handy to quickly collect the "extra".

Toileting on a schedule and withholding water after 6 pm may help.

This spurred my curiosity. I just took a 2-3 month size diaper and poured water into it--it's holding 3-1/2 cups of water. Now, if it were on a baby, it might "explode" but I tossed it around a bit and it's holding the liquid well.

An adult depends would definitely hold a lot more than that. Not saying it's COMFORTABLE--just saying, it's not leaking.

I know for mother, she hates to change everything so she only dresses once a day and empties the cath bag once a day and puts ONE depends w/pads on once per day. The smell can be pretty bad---but as long as she is not complaining about leaking and such--we are happy.

As far as it being down the left leg--well, women have no idea which "direction" the urine flow is going to go! Made "rough camping" with our 4 daughters a real treat. Somebody always had wet shoes.

Not to make light of a situation that is clearly a frustration to you. Good luck!
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Rainmom Jan 2019
Lol, Midkid!

Whenever I have to give a sample for my doctor - I always ask the lab tec for gloves. I inevitably pee all over my hands in the attempt to get a “catch” into that tiny cup!
I’m gonna state my qualifications first - cause I may offend or upset you - which of course is not my intention, at all.

My son is disabled. He’s almost 26 yrs old now. Rainman has been in diapers all his life - he lives at home.

A few years ago, out of twisted curiosity- I did a rough estimate of how many diapers I have changed. I came up with a rough count of over 15,000. I’m sure that was a low estimate - likely well over 16,000 by now. So - if Aging Care wanted to award me the “Expert” title in this field I would say Ive earned it.

Don’t even get get me started on quality wipes, mattress protectors, wet bedding and wet clothing - laundry products, cleaning techniques and tips for eliminating odor!

Sure - Rainman is a guy so things work a bit differently but I also saw my mother through five years of incontinence - my dad through one. Luckily, with my parents I was a spectator rather than hands on. But still...

Soooo - if your mother has actual streams or trickles running down her legs when she’s pulling down her Depends- she is most likely actively urinating. It is very possible for this to happen without her realizing it.

Depends - or other quality adult diapers just don’t work that way. Even if you squeeze a wet Depends like a sponge- it’s not going to release urine. Yes, your hand would get wet but there would be no steady stream or even dripping.

UNLESS the Depends is very, very, “full”. Very. I would suggest - as a previous post stated - getting your mother on a regular bathrooming schedule. If the Depends is already “wet” at any point - change it. Even if it’s not totally “full”. These products are not really made to absorb a second time.

So heres an example from Life With Rainman which might be an example of another possibility...

There have been times when Rainman has wet his bed. The sheets are wet, the blankets are wet, his pjs are wet - and even occasionally- his pillow is wet. BUT - the Depends is dry as a bone. It really is an amazing feat!

It it took me a bit to figure out - and pardon the intimacy here - but it was because Rainman is a young MAN. And - young men have that “morning issue”. If you get what I mean. Positioning is everything when it comes to adult diapers.

I will say - that no quality adult diaper is full proof. They ALL leak at one time or another. But not consistently.

If this is a consistent issue with your mother - look outside the diaper for the cause of the problem.
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I agree with the idea of using the toilet more often - say every 2 hours? - to cut down on the volume.
There are a lot of comparisons available about how much different products hold but it's not as easy to find out how quickly they absorb, I think the best you can do is to look for good leak guards and to try one of the online suppliers that offer samples.
As for the leaking when she is pulling them down - that seems a little odd, is she rushing to the bathroom to change so quickly that they don't have time to absorb the urine? Maybe she just needs to slow down a little.
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My mom also sticks in a maximum absorbency (Poise) pad in with the maximum absorbency Depend pull up. That catches a lot, but if there is a full bladder release... it doesn't absorb all of the urine. (It seems to me that the disposable pull ups are designed more for leakages than for an actual adult bladder emptying...)

I have tried different brands on mom too, and they all fit a bit differently... and absorb drastically different. Store brands are awful. Mom says she prefers the Depend fit. Some online incontinence products rated as 'super absorbency' are the tape kind, and don't have any leg elastic.

Your mom could try a heavy duty pad stuck towards the left side of the pull up, though it might feel a bit uncomfortable as it wouldn't be centered.

Is this mainly happening during her first morning bathroom change? Or every single time she checks herself in the bathroom?
Perhaps she can toilet herself more frequently ( every 2 hours or so) and if it is happening more during the night, try to limit her pm fluid intake more ? ( Just thoughts...) It must be frustrating for her to have to wash and clean up with every toilet experience.

One would think that someone would design a truly, fully- absorbent adult pull up, even if it added some bulk to their profile (...and we would all flock to buy that brand for our loved one.) The brands that at least differentiate between male and female anatomy come close, but still miss the mark.
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