Adult Diapers – Managing Incontinence Issues for the Medically Compromised
Family members, friends and caregivers of individuals who have serious medical or functional problems may be very familiar with managing incontinence issues. Due to aging, illness or accident, coping with incontinence or physical problems calls for resolution and sanitary care products. Many people are not incontinent, but due to other factors cannot utilize the bathroom or bedside commode. Use of a bed pan or catheter may not be indicated or manageable. Most people will opt for adult diapers or briefs as the best way to keep a person dry with the least amount of movement or physical distress. Whether this is the first choice or the last choice, there are facts about the use of these products that are worth noting.
WHO USES ADULT DIAPERS?
Some people who are otherwise completely independent, must rely on an adult diaper to stay dry. Incontinence can affect virtually anyone who has bladder or bowel problems. Weak muscles may be unable to control urine or feces adequately. Sometimes, this can become a major problem. Other causes for urinary incontinence, such as lack of sensation below the waist, as seen in neurological impairments, cause lack of control as well. Prostate cancer treatments may cause incontinence. While age may be a factor, younger individuals also may rely on extra absorbent undergarments.
Many of those who need to buy incontinence supplies will ask if insurance can cover the cost. Unfortunately, not usually. Medicare and Medicaid, as well as most private insurance companies state that this product is not a “medical” supply, nor is it needed for medical therapy, such as bandages or walkers would be. While there are specialized organizations that will assist with the cost of incontinence supplies, most do not. The exception, under Medicare and Medicaid is Hospice. Hospice is always glad to discuss equipment or supportive needs with anyone who has questions about therapies or supplies in the home. They have the ability and the funds to secure needed incontinence supplies for patients in their care. Some community organizations will also assist with or provide incontinence supplies for low income individuals.
The manufacturers for incontinence briefs make every effort to make wearing and changing them easy for the wearer or caregiver. Therefore, designs are made for alternative fasteners at the sides, or pull-up styles which are elasticized. For recovering patients, it is important that they perform as much self-care as possible for independence, modesty and dignity. Most individuals who are otherwise independent, manage their own needs well, and become completely comfortable performing all changes themselves.
For those who need nothing short of an adult brief for urinary issues, it is important that moisture stays within the confines of the garment itself, and does not leak or smell. Products are designed to control both urine and feces, and in that way are designed with snug fit around the legs and waist. The legs may use elastic elements to prevent leakage, and the waist band may, also. Proper fit can otherwise be attained by fasteners that are adjustable for comfort and movement. Anatomical differences between men and women may necessitate different designs for maximum absorption. For males, extra padding or shape may be in the front, while for females, it may be at the bottom or back. Designs and materials also focus on keeping the wetness away from the wearer as much as possible.
CONCERNS ABOUT USE
One of the most important issues concerning the use of adult briefs is the need for frequent changes. Urine and feces contain acids and chemicals that are irritating to the skin if kept in prolonged contact. In the elderly, especially, this can lead to skin redness, rashes or skin breakdown. This may result in skin ulcers, discoloration, infection or deep sores that may take a long time to heal. Bed bound individuals or those who spend long hours sitting in wet briefs are especially at risk. Therefore, it is important to change them frequently to avoid medical complications and to minimize unsanitary situations.
Deciding to wear an adult diaper or brief can often be difficult for an individual who wants to maintain their independence. It is important to support the wearer in this decision, and to let them know what the benefits of wearing them will be. Benefits that may be identified to a new wearer might be increased independence, less risk of falls or other injury, convenience, caregiver relief, and modesty. Educating a new briefs or diaper wearer about the widespread use of them in other situations than incapacity, is important. A few minutes spent in research online will reveal many instances where diapers or briefs were worn out of need or convenience by people who were completely capable of using the bathroom. Astronauts, workers who could not take bathroom breaks, or those who did not have suitable facilities or place to relieve themselves are only a short list of users of adult briefs. Some people wear them simply because they feel it is more sanitary and convenient. Use of the words “brief,” “pull-ups” or “undergarment” may be more psychologically acceptable to an adult who will wear them.
Due to consumer needs for size and design options, it may be difficult to locate a suitable brief design in local grocery stores, drugstores or through medical equipment suppliers. Sizes may be very limited, or other factors may indicate specific requirements. Incontinence supply stores may also order special designs as needed. Online incontinence products sites offer a lot of variety, also. Manufacturers use different materials in their products, to provide alternatives for those who may be allergic to the materials or tape in specific brands.