Incontinence Supplies - Products to Make Life Easier

Incontinence Supplies - Products to Make Life Easier

Incontinence isn't a topic that many people willingly discuss, but it is something that needs to beast discussed with your loved one if he or she has trouble holding urine or is experiencing inability to control the bowels.

Incontinence problems are common among the elderly, and taking a no-nonsense, practical approach to the situation may help spare both the senior and their caregiver’s undue embarrassment.

A variety of supplies may help caring for an individual dealing with incontinence a little easier on both of you. Anticipate needs, understand the types of incontinence supplies available, and how to purchase them. Incontinence supplies may be purchased through your local medical care or home health care provider in your area, or ordered online. Privacy and discretion is available in each type of scenario.

Supply Needs Basics

Providing care for a loved one dealing with incontinence requires some discretion, understanding and compassion. Incontinence products will help make your job easier. Whenever possible, avoid using the term "diapers", and use the term "briefs" instead, which is often recommended in healthcare facilities to preserve the dignity and comfort level of seniors.

Here's a list of the most basic supplies that may be necessary to care for your loved one, but is by no means inclusive. The 10 most common supply needs include:

  • Briefs - disposable briefs are available in a variety of sizes and absorbencies, depending on need. Some briefs are specifically designed to capture urine, while others may also have additional backing and support for bowel incontinence.
  • Disposable gloves - necessary for protection as well as hygiene, disposable gloves are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Disposable gloves can be purchased in boxes containing up to 100 or more.
  • Underpads - also known as Chux, underpads are very useful when placed on top of wheel chair cushions, mattress pads, and between an individual and bedding. Underpads can help save cleaning time and are easily disposable.
  • Wipes - also known as bathing cloths, wipes help to clean urine and feces from the skin. Whenever possible, choose wipes without deodorizers that may cause skin irritation. Check often for signs of skin irritation or rash when using disposable wipes.
  • Skin ointment - purchase waterproof skin ointment to help protect sensitive skin in the genital area from irritation caused by urine and feces. Apply a liberal layer of skin ointment around the genitalia and rectal area of individuals experiencing chronic incontinence to help prevent skin breakdown, redness and rash, especially at night. Dry, cracked, and calloused or scaly skin will benefit from use of such creams several times a day, and help protect your loved one from sensitivity and pain caused by contact of urine against the skin.
  • Pads and liners - incontinence pads and liners may be used for those with intermittent periods of incontinence rather than briefs. Several varieties are available, from sticker pads that may be placed inside underwear to those that may be attached with a special belt under garments.
  • Catheters - catheters and catheter supplies may be necessary for some seniors. Supplies for female and male catheters are available in bulk supplies. Tubing for catheters as well as clips to utilize on catheter tubing should be purchased ahead of time.
  • Leg bags and other types of urine collection bags are often necessary for individuals who must wear a catheter. Urine collection bags come in a variety of styles and types.
  • Cleansing foam - cleansing foam is a gentle wash that may be used on the more tender skin of the genitalia area. The foam makes cleaning up easy, and often contains moisturizers for skin care. Choose brands that are alcohol- free and latex-free to help reduce irritation and skin rash.
  • Covered waste basket - keep a covered wastebasket in your loved one's bathroom, lined with plastic liners to facilitate disposal of incontinence products and wipes. Flush waist as soon as possible to avoid odors and unnecessary embarrassment for your loved one.

Taking care of a loved one with incontinence doesn't need to be difficult, embarrassing or unpleasant when approached with the correct incontinence supplies, dignity and respect, understanding and compassion.

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