For the last couple of days, we have been talking about incontinence. It’s not a pleasant subject, but it is definitely one that deserves attention as nearly all people affected with Alzheimer’s disease eventually become incontinent.
Today, we’ll talk about incontinence products for men and women. You might find it helpful to read the previous posts on this subject:
These posts will give you background and courage to deal with this sometimes embarrassing and difficult issue.
Although incontinence is caused by several different factors, there are really only two types of incontinence. Either you are dealing with urinary incontinence, the inability of a person to voluntarily control his or her bladder; or fecal incontinence, the inability of a person to voluntarily control his or her bowels; or it could be both.
Incontinence is one of the primary reasons that caregivers finally give up and place their loved ones in nursing facilities. We’ll discuss the question of when is it time to place a loved one in a nursing facility at a later date. For now though, I want you to know that as the primary caregiver your family and loved one have entrusted you with a tremendous responsibility, and trust that you will consider all the options and make the best decision for everyone involved.
So, let’s talk about some incontinence products that will make it a little easier to keep your loved one protected.
Pads–These come in various levels of absorbency and are made for men and women. Effective for low to moderate urinary incontinence, they are usually worn with cloth underwear and changed as necessary.
Protective Underwear–Made for men and women, and called by various names. They come in a wide variety of absorbencies and are basically adult disposable diapers. They can be used in conjunction with the pads mentioned above or stand alone.
The most popular brands are Depends and Poise (both by Kimberley Clark). They can be purchased at grocery stores, pharmacies, and warehouse stores. They can also be purchased online and from medical supply companies. There are other brands. It may be best to experiment to see what is most comfortable and effective.
Disposable bed pads–These pads are lightweight and can be placed on the bed to keep the sheets from getting soiled. They come in two sizes and two levels of absorbency. They can also be used in chairs or wherever your loved one may have an accident.
Reusable bed pads–This pad is larger and heavier than the disposable version. It is waterproof and sturdy enough to be washed and reused several times.
Plastic Mattress Covers–These will keep the mattress from getting wet and or soiled if the above measures fail for some reason. An inexpensive plastic shower curtain works as well.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about:
Keeping your loved one’s skin healthy, keeping your loved one clean and odor free and doing it all in a way that is safe and sanitary for you as a caregiver.