Live Confidently: How to Choose the Right Incontinence Products

Shopping for products to manage incontinence can feel like a daunting task. With so many options available, many folks who need these important supplies can feel paralyzed by choice; often settling for a random pair of absorbent briefs they find at the nearest drug store. It’s unlikely this shopping process will result in the best product for you or your loved one. That’s why so many struggle with the burden of supplies that often leak or cause skin damage.

But – good news! – Medical Monks is here to help. We’ve created this short guide to help you navigate these supplies so that you or your loved one can live life with less worry and more confidence.

Identify the severity of the incontinence.

The first thing you need to consider is the amount of fluid output.  For most, a product’s absorbency and potential risk of leaking should be a chief concern.  There is a delicate balance to be struck between the absorbency of an item and its bulk.  Understand that absorbency rating on incontinence products is related to the amount of superabsorbent polymers it contains.  

When assessing the output of the incontinent individual, consider that urinary incontinence can range from the occasional drip to full loss of bladder control. The amount and frequency of fluid output may vary greatly. Some people can maintain control when they’re awake, but lose it at night due to age-related complications. Others may have full or partial loss of control due to an injury or surgery.

Whatever the cause, the important thing is to determine just how much fluid the garment or bed pad is going to be expected to absorb in a given period of time. With that knowledge in hand, you can then select the best product type based on output level.   

Assess the person’s mobility and size.

The next consideration has to be the patient’s mobility. It’s very important to keep the day-to-day use of the item in mind when you’re deciding which option is best. The needs of immobilized individuals and those with more active lifestyles will differ. Just know that products exist that will better meet the needs of people across the mobility spectrum.

The size of the person is also a concern. Most brands of incontinence protection garments are available in several sizes to accommodate different body types. Yet, improper sizing is the number one culprit in leakage issues. When you’re making a selection, it’s vital to have certain measurements ready, such as waist and hip size.

Remember to consider skin health

Skin health is perhaps the most important thing to consider when selecting a protection garment. Very serious damage can be done if incontinence output is allowed to rest against the skin for a prolonged period of time. So absorbency is the key element here. A high-absorbency garment should not only soak up the output, but also pull it away from the skin, keeping the patient as dry as possible. possible. Some product manufacturers also incorporate certain technologies that create conditions more favorable to the skin, such as pH buffering to avoid alkaline burns.

When to Use: 

Bladder Control Pads

Bladder control pads are the least conspicuous option and so a favorite of active people with light urinary output. They are simply absorbent pads that are positioned in the relevant area inside the user’s regular underwear. Although some pads like the MoliCare Premium Men Pads and Lady Pads, can handle a fairly large amount of leakage. These pads also feature some of the same skin pH-regulating features as the full size MoliCare garments, which help guard against skin irritation.    

Protective Underwear

For active, mobile folks with light incontinence, you’ll likely be looking for a less obtrusive product that will blend in with clothing. This means protective underwear or bladder control pads.

Protective underwear tends to have more of the look, feel and function of regular underwear but are less absorbent than briefs. Like regular underwear, they will have an elastic waist and can be pulled on and off normally. Hartmann USA’s MoliCare Premium Mobile line of protective underwear is a great example of a garment that is light, soft and elastic, but doesn’t sacrifice absorbency or leak protection. 

Adult Briefs

For those who are less mobile and/or have heavy incontinence, you’ll want to find a product focused on absorbency and ease of change. Generally, that’s going to mean adult briefs. 

Adult briefs are designed to be more easily removed and replaced by a caregiver if the wearer has difficulties with mobility. The MoliCare Premium Elastic line, for example, can be adjusted and removed using tabs at the waist. This allows for a complete change with the patient in a lying position during the entire process.

Adult briefs are also typically available with more absorption and leakage protection than any other type of incontinence garment. The Molicare briefs feature Hartmann’s highest level of absorption and help keep skin healthy with the pH-regulating “Curly Fiber Technology.” 

Other Incontinence Products

For additional skin maintenance, no-rinse skin washcloths will come in handy. They allow a patient or caregiver to thoroughly clean their skin on a regular basis, even with reduced mobility.

You may also find that an underpad is necessary for additional nighttime protection. Aside from providing superior absorption and mattress protection, the Molicare Repositioning Underpad is
also breathable, and it offers a bonus feature for caregivers of reduced mobility patients. Despite being a disposable underpad, its construction is so solid that it allows for staff to lift and reposition a patient up to 375 pounds. 

We hope…

… this guide has helped give some focus to your search for incontinence solutions. For more information, please contact Medical Monks. We’re available to help weekdays via phone (844-859-9400) and LiveChat. Email us anytime at [email protected].

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