Products for Incontinence Protection
Who wants to wear diapers? Nobody!
So, let’s change the terminology when you are referring to adults wearing disposable, absorbent undergarments. These products come as pads, briefs, and protective underwear. Each product comes in a variety of sizes, styles and brands. Their purpose is to aid the adult, man or woman of any age with urinary incontinence protection from urine leakage in sanitary and convenient ways.
Attends is the particular brand that we at Caregiver-Aid sell, and that we have used with the ones we cared for at home. For information on Attends incontinence protection products, kinds, sizes, and features, please go to the website www.attends.com.
Generally, all brands of disposable, absorbent undergarments have three main kinds of products:
Pads, Briefs, and Protective Underwear
- A pad is suitable for occasional light leakage and pads usually are meant to adhere to fabric underwear. For men, there are pads called “guards”. Attends has a booster pad that is made only for insertion into another absorbent undergarment. Attends also sells mesh pants where pads can be inserted. People who are active are often the users of this type of incontinence protection.
- A brief is appropriate for persons who need more protection than a pad. They are thicker with absorbent polymers to lock fluid in the core. Most briefs also have an outer moisture-proof layer and are made with leg gathers to prevent leakage beside and between the legs. Most feature tabs on the side for closures to hold them securely in place. These side tabs make them very adjustable for different figures. Other briefs may look like a pull-up type of underwear. Attends brand briefs have a color indicator to signal when the brief needs to be changed. Attends briefs come in bariatric sizes and youth sizes also.
- Protective underwear is worn under clothing just like regular underwear. Attends cloth-like protective underwear has a comfortable, stretch waistband. They are made of breathable material that allows air flow to promote dry, healthy skin, while a moisture-proof inner layer prevents leakage. The cloth-like texture does not bunch up or bulge under clothing. Attends brand protective underwear are a unisex style pull-up with tear away sides. Prevail brand even has a boxer-shorts style for men that is disposable and absorbent. Incontinence protection underwear comes in various sizes and absorbencies, just like the pads and briefs do.
Absorbency is important
Absorbency is very important in selecting a brand and a product for leak protection. Generally, protective undergarments come in absorbency ratings of light, moderate, heavy and severe. The severe absorbency rating is for those users who experience constant incontinence day and night and heavy volume and uncontrollable flow. Consider the frequency and the volume of the patient’s urination and how capable the patient is in getting to the toilet at different times of the day and night. It might be necessary to use a higher absorbency product for overnight protection.
Sizing is also important for a proper fit. Knowing the measurement of the patient’s waist or hips, whichever is largest, and their weight will help you determine what size of brief and protective underwear is most comfortable for the patient. When the patient is wearing the product, take a look and consider if the undergarment bunches up or bulges out, if it is too loose or too tight, and if it fits between the legs.
The comfort of the patient is very important. Check to see if the material too stiff and scratchy? Perhaps the garment difficult for the patient to get on or take off? Is it comfortable when the patient is sitting and walking? Does the product help reduce odor? Is the patient’s skin dry, and of normal color? Let the patient try on different brands and different products to see which is the most comfortable, effective and practical.
How can one afford incontinence protection products? There are government programs such as Medicaid that provide reimbursement for qualified medical expenses. Expenses for incontinence products may be tax deductible if you can demonstrate that they are needed as a result of a specific medical condition. According to IRS guidelines, “You cannot include in medical expenses the amount you pay for diapers or diaper services, unless they are needed to relieve the effects of a particular disease.” Just get a letter from your doctor that addresses your medical need for incontinence products.
Insurance plans, flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts may also be ways to afford these supplies. Your local Area Agency on Aging may help you with information, and may even provide a collection of donated incontinence products for those who cannot afford to pay.
There are solutions
Don’t let urinary incontinence frustrate and embarrass you or your loved one. Talk to your doctor, and see what can be done medically. Take preventive measures in your home, bedroom, and bathroom. Solve the odor problems with furniture and clothing with cleaning and laundry products. And, find a great-fitting, absorbent, disposable protective undergarment that will provide the incontinence protection that the patient’s needs.
These steps can help you and your loved one have better days ahead.
For more information:
- The Simon Foundation for Incontinence is known worldwide for its innovative educational projects and tireless efforts on behalf of people with loss of bladder and bowel control.
- The National Association for Continence works to destigmatize incontinence, promote preventive measures, motivate individuals to seek treatment, and provide collaborative advocacy and service for those who are affected by this problem.