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Incontinence is a common problem among older adults. As many as 50% of all adult women and up to 75% of women over the age of 65 deal with urinary incontinence, and 11 to 34% of all men have problems with bladder leaks, urgency, and frequency. If you’re one of the millions living with leaks, incontinence products can help you enjoy a normal life without worrying about accidents. The key is choosing the right adult incontinence supplies for you and using them correctly.
Although incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of, many people don’t want others to know about their medical condition. Unfortunately, some adult diapers and incontinence underwear products draw attention to the problem with a bulky fit that shows through clothing or makes crinkling sounds when you move.
The key to wearing adult diapers is to opt for products that feel and look more like underwear. Often, these products are pull-ups that the wearer steps into and slips up over their legs to their waist — just like regular underwear.
Unlike plastic adult diapers, adult pull-ups or briefs are made from a cloth-like material. They stretch to conform to the shape of your body, making them less visible under clothing. The breathability of the material also increases comfort. Plus, fabric-like undergarments are less likely to make rustling sounds. Switching from diapers to incontinence underwear is one of the best ways to keep your protection discreet.
Incontinence pads provide an alternative to adult diapers and incontinence underwear. You can wear this type of incontinence protection inside your regular underwear, so it’s typically very discreet. Although different brands offer a variety of products, most have different options for men and women. Women’s incontinence pads look similar to maxi pads and go along the crotch area of underpants.
Men's incontinence pads or guards go toward the front of undergarments, where men are more likely to experience leaks. They have a flared shape with one wider end and one narrower end. To learn how to wear men’s incontinence pads, follow these steps:
How to put on adult diapers correctly depends on their design. For adult pull-ups, follow these steps:
To put on an adult diaper that comes flat like a baby’s diaper, follow this step-by-step guide:
Whether you're putting on a pull-up or securing an adult diaper, avoid touching the inside as this could cause contamination and pose an infection risk.
Choosing the right product for your needs will boost your confidence while reducing worries about bladder leakage. Here are some things you can do to make using adult diapers easier so you feel better wearing them.
Most manufacturers offer a range of diapers with different size options. To select the best adult diapers, consider which style you prefer: traditional or pull-ups. Then, focus on products for men or products for women, depending on your sex.
Finally, select the size option that’s right for you. Brands develop their sizing systems, so it’s a good idea to refer to their adult diaper size charts to determine which to buy.
At Because, we size our products based on body measurements. If you’re a woman, measure around the widest part of your body — typically your hips. For men, measure the waist just above your belt.
Use a flexible measuring tape and pull until slightly snug but not so tight that it cuts into your body. Having a friend or family member help you can make the process easier. If you don’t have a flexible measuring tape, cut a length of string or yarn to length and then measure it with a tape measure or yardstick.
Wearing the wrong size can cause a number of issues. Here are a few signs you might be wearing incontinence underwear that doesn’t fit:
Absorbency is the final piece of the puzzle when selecting incontinence underwear. Brands typically offer different levels of absorbency.
The best absorbency level for you depends on your type of incontinence, the severity of your symptoms, and other factors (like limited mobility). For example, a person with stress incontinence due to weak pelvic floor muscles who experiences occasional light leaks should choose products with moderate absorbency levels. Someone who has fecal incontinence or experiences complete bladder control loss due to multiple sclerosis or another medical condition will likely need maximum incontinence protection or overnight incontinence protection.
Your medical provider can provide information about how much urine leakage you may experience in terms of volume. Look for incontinence protection products with an adequate absorbency level.
Practicing good hygiene can keep you smelling fresh while reducing the risk of urinary tract infection or other infections. Here are some hygiene tips to keep in mind:
To prevent leaks while using incontinence protection, follow these tips:
Many people find that incontinence problems worsen at night. Wearing overnight incontinence underwear for men’s incontinence or women’s incontinence can reduce the risk of leaks due to the highly absorbent materials and special design. You can add a booster pad to increase absorbency further. Bed protectors also help keep your mattress dry if an accident happens.
Your habits can also have a positive impact on nighttime accidents. Avoid drinking fluids close to bedtime and empty your bladder before sleeping. Don’t drink alcohol in the evening, as it can irritate the bladder and increase the risk of urinary urgency.
Disposing of bladder control products can help maintain sanitary conditions and your privacy. If you’re using pads or guards, place the wet product inside the wrapper of a fresh one and toss it in the trash. For a wet or soiled diaper, use a waterproof biodegradable bag.
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