Adult diapers are the best way to deal with urinary incontinence. The strain the condition places on those suffering from it and their caregivers is greatly reduced.
Urinary incontinence is common among the elderly, but it could happen to anyone, at any age. 15 to 20% of the elderly are affected by urinary incontinence. The figures for those with chronic medical conditions or who are in care homes can go up to 70%. Obesity, multiple pregnancies, surgeries, medications including diabetic drugs are the common causes of the condition. Strokes and cognitive impairment are other risk factors.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about in wearing an adult diaper – they are simply products developed to improve the quality of life, just like using a walking stick to aid mobility.
While adult diapers can give a person with incontinence problems the freedom to enjoy life without worrying about leakage or the need to go to the bathroom frequently, how effective they depend on their proper use. If you use adult diapers or have a loved one who does, here are a few dos and don’ts to help get the maximum benefit from them.
Adult Diapers Do's And Don'ts
- Check the brands on the market. There are highly absorbent ones that can be worn for longer periods of time (often more expensive) and less absorbent ones that need to be changed frequently (usually less expensive). Use the type that suits your needs best – if you are out and about a lot, the longer use ones will be better. If you are generally at home, then the less expensive ones that need to be changed frequently will suffice.
- Ensure that the diapers you use are the right size. Too large and the risk of leakage is greater. Too small and they will be uncomfortable.
- Always keep a stock of diapers ready at home. You never know when you may have to go out suddenly and need to put on a fresh one.
- When traveling, ensure that you have enough to cover you for the trip – adult diapers are not always easily available, especially in smaller towns.
- If the diapers start to feel wet and uncomfortable, change them as soon as you can. A wet diaper rubbing against the skin for a longer period can cause rashes and infections.
- Care should be taken to ensure that there is no skin peeling or irritation.
- Use disinfectant wipes to wipe yourself when changing diapers.
- If the need to urinate is greater at night than in the day, consider wearing a larger more absorbent diaper when sleeping so your rest is less disturbed.
- Don’t wear a diaper longer than is recommended.
- It is fine to try out new brands on the market, and switch if the new one is better. But do not keep changing the type of diaper you use -it will become difficult to judge if the fit is right and how long it can normally be worn before needing to be changed.
- Don’t use other products like sanitary napkins instead of diapers. Both are absorbent but the difference in size, design, and the way liquid is absorbed means that they are not interchangeable.
- Don’t flush used diapers down the toilet. They do not dissolve and can cause blockages.
- Do not wear a diaper that is wet for longer than you must just to avoid the effort of changing it. It will result in rashes and infections.
- Don’t feel embarrassed about using diapers. They are a simple necessity, just like wearing spectacles to improve vision.
- Don’t reduce your water intake to reduce the level of urine produced. Staying hydrated is important for your health.
- Don’t let the fact that you use adult diapers affect your lifestyle. You will have to take some precautions and make some modifications, but the objective of wearing them is to give you the freedom to do what you want.
- Don’t overindulge in tea, coffee, aerated drinks, and spicy foods. These are all diuretics that will increase the need to empty the bladder.
Adult diapers are meant to give you back your freedom and confidence. If you are unsure about using them or have questions about the usage, talk to a geriatrician who will be able to give you the advice and guidance you need to find the right diaper, wear it correctly and return to greater enjoyment of life.