Is incontinence getting in the way of your lifestyle or that of a loved one? These days, there is no excuse to let this happen: there are excellent incontinence aids on the market that prevent leaks and odors, and enable users to enjoy everyday life.
Incontinence Aids to Consider
- Underpads. Washable underpads control and absorb liquids. Underpads can be used on beds and chairs, including wheelchairs. Sizes, prices and styles vary, from the economic and basic to pricier designer products. All types, however, feature three-layer construction to maintain shape.
- Moisture-absorbing, washable panties and briefs. The wide range of washable underwear products will surprise you. Washable panties and briefs come in light, moderate and heavy-absorbency options that feature moisture management and odor control.
- Waterproof, unisex cover-ups. These undergarments, which contain plastic-coated nylon or brushed polyester, hold absorbent pads, panties or diapers, and come in lite, moderate and heavy absorbency. You can also choose between pull-on and snap-on styles.
- Waterproof bedding. Aside from underpads, another option for protecting beds is reusable, waterproof sheeting made of flannel and rubber.
- Disposable pads and liners. The National Association for Continence (NAFC) points out that “while the idea of wearing an absorbent product may take some getting used to, the freedom it gives back makes it all very worthwhile.” Disposable pads and liners, which are available in different degrees of absorbency, are discreet and easy to bring along and throw away, wherever you go. A waterproof outer layer adds extra security. Note: For managing urinary incontinence, feminine hygiene pads are not the right choice, since they’re designed to absorb blood rather than urine.
“In the greater scheme of things, there are products that we buy because we just want them. And then there are products that literally are life-changing in both big and small ways,” says NAFC, which recommends trying out different incontinence aids until you find something that’s right for you.
You may also find a solution with multiple products. According to Continence Product Advisor, “Both men and women often find that using a combination of products offers them the flexibility they require for a range of daily activities and circumstances. The combination of products that works for you will depend upon your lifestyle and personal circumstances.”
Keep in mind that in comparison to other techniques of managing incontinence, such as catheterization or surgery, the use of incontinence aids is simple. You require no prescription for the aids, so you do not need to consult a doctor before purchasing them. That said, you may wish to talk to your doctor about the products most likely to address your needs.
The most important thing to remember is that many types of incontinence are treatable. And, the types of incontinence that aren’t treatable can be effectively managed with incontinence aids. So try moisture-absorbing, washable underwear; disposable pads and liners; underpads and waterproof bedding – and don’t let incontinence prevent you from living your everyday life.