By Lynn Wilson, Co-Founder of The CareGiver Partnership
There are as many incontinence products on the market today as there are types and causes of leakage, and buying the wrong product is an expensive mistake.
New research from the University of Michigan, published in the journal Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, shows caring for a patient with fecal incontinence costs $4,110 per person per year. Factored into this figure are direct medical costs, direct nonmedical costs and loss of productivity.
Choosing the right incontinence products can help minimize costly mistakes. First, choose a retailer who offers trial samples, personalized advice from caregivers and doorstep delivery. Then consider activity level and how the individual wants to wear and remove the product.
For Active Men and Women
Men and women who are physically active — through exercise, travel or socializing — may like products that look and feel like regular underwear. Prevail makes boxers for men that look like ordinary pull-on boxers but offer moderate to heavy incontinence protection. Stride now makes washable boxer briefs and classic briefs that look like regular underwear. Even the most active of dads, such as those who play sports or travel, can comfortably wear them all day.
You may have seen a recent video of actress Lisa Rinna modeling Depend Silhouette for Women under an evening gown. (If you haven't, see the link at the end of this article.) Designed to be quiet, clothlike and smooth fitting, this pull-on brief helps enhance normalcy while offering moderate to heavy incontinence protection.
Machine-washable incontinence panties, such as Fanny Pants, are a eco-friendly, practical and stylish option. Great for those who need a little protection when exercising or have small dribbles. Multi-layered washable pads fit into the gussets in the underwear.
Solutions for the Moderately Active
Men and women who are less active but appreciate comfort can choose from many garment styles and manufacturers. Undergarments, which absorb a smaller amount of urine than full briefs, are held in place with elasticized or button straps.
Offering greater absorbency are pull-on underwear, which are put on and taken off just like regular underwear but include stretchy side panels for a snug fit and tear-away sides for removal. Adjustable underwear typically have similar tear-away sides but add repositionable tabs for easy fitting.
Men who’ve undergone prostate surgery and have temporary incontinence may choose guards. Made by a variety of manufacturers, this product may be worn with regular underwear to catch leaks.
Best Products for the Sedentary
In cases where absorbency is the most important concern, we recommend the Wellness Brief. It absorbs 87 ounces, so it’s ideal for overnight use and going longer periods between changes. Active seniors also choose this product for travel, when bathroom schedules can be uncertain.
Briefs, also often called adult diapers, offer maximum protection for complete loss of bladder or bowel control. This style has tape tabs for easy caregiver removal. Briefs may be combined with waterproof underpads placed on beds and chairs to protect against urine and feces.
To learn more about these products, visit our Incontinence page or try our Incontinence Product Finder.
Lynn Wilson founded The CareGiver Partnership based on her experience in caring for loved ones as well as providing the highest level of customer service. She takes pride in offering personalized service that helps her customers find the best solutions for their individual needs. Now that her children are grown, Lynn enjoys spending time with her granddaughter while also helping to care for her mom. To find out how The CareGiver Partnership can serve you, call 1-800-985-1353 M-F 9-4 CST.