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Five Things to Consider When Choosing Right Incontinence Products

adult incontinence productsWhen faced with purchasing incontinence products for the first time, whether you need them for yourself or for a loved one, the selection can be intimidating to say the least. In many instances people simply rely on the selection at their local drugstore, but this does limit your selection when you may need a different type of product, with varied absorbency or coverage.

Every situation is unique so here are the five things you need to consider when developing your incontinence plan.

Is you, or your loved ones, condition permanent or part of a healing process?

If you are recovering from a surgery or a condition, it’s possible that incontinence may only be a problem for a short time. This can make purchasing products more complex, but once you have a good plan of action, it will become much less intimidating. If you are recovering from something, we recommend purchasing your incontinence products with varying degrees of absorbency. For example, if you are recovering from a prostatectomy, you’ll want to start with a heavy absorbent adult incontinence brief, and likely incontinence underpads for your bed or favorite chair just in case.

As you regain control and heal, you can subsequently move to lower absorbency briefs and ultimately to incontinence pads. We recommend buying healing incontinence supplies by the pack, rather than by the case, depending on how quickly you heal. This can limit your outgoing cost and ensure that you don’t end up with unneeded supplies as you heal. Once you regain complete control, it is still recommended to keep underpads on hand, and to get a protective cover for you bed, because depending on various conditions and circumstances, overnight accidents can still occur.

How much absorbency do you need?

Your absorbency level needs to match your incontinence loss, or that of your loved one. In some cases, people have a very small amount of loss, when they laugh, jump or run. This is common among women, especially those that have given birth. In some cases, people will have a medium loss which could be a sporadic difficulty in control or someone who needs to void frequently, but only partially. This would require a moderate absorption product. Finally, some people have limited mobility and may have large gushes or a complete void without being able to reach the bathroom. In this case you want to see a maximum absorbency product.

One product rarely fits all.

Truthfully, one size does not fit all! Before purchasing adult briefs or diapers, you should know your waist measurement. Different brands have different waist size ranges, so you’ll want to be armed with that knowledge rather than simply guessing that you are a “Medium.” Fit is critical for both comfort and containment so make sure you know what size you are purchasing. As you try different incontinence solutions, consider keeping a small notebook where you can jot down the pros and cons of what you try until you find the perfect fit!

How active are you?

This can make a huge difference in the product that you choose. If you are quite active, and have control over your environment, you may prefer to leverage incontinence pads and liners. If you have limited mobility and are restricted to a wheelchair or regularly use a rollator, then you may need a more absorbent product with better coverage to ensure you have security if you can’t reach the restroom. In some instances, a blend of products is more appropriate – where you leverage pads and liners when you are at home and can easily access a restroom and adult pull ups or briefs for when you leave the home and travel to an unknown environment.

Don’t forget wipes and skin care.

For many dealing with incontinence and caregiving, personal wipes and skin care fall off the radar. If you are using briefs and diapers regularly and have moderate or complete loss, skin care and personal incontinence wipes are critical to the health of your skin. You need to cleanse, moisturize and protect your skin to stay healthy - whether incontinence is a short-term challenge or an ongoing condition. High quality wipes, that use all-natural skin conditioners are ideal for these purposes. Just keep them in your bathroom and keep your skin healthy – you’ll be glad you did!