Caregiving for Aging Parents: When Only One Sibling Steps Up to the Plate.

Tips for siblings caring for aging parents. 
Guest Post contributed by Edward Francis and 

With the aging population today, more and more parents end up needing help from their children as they get older. This switch from the earlier life roles can be difficult for both parties. It can also lead to conflict between siblings, as they may have differing opinions on what would be best, or they may not all carry the same share of the load. If you are in a situation where you need to provide care for an aging parent, here are some tips.

7 Things Every Caregiver Should Know About Adult Diaper Brief Banks

Marlene Ceragno and her organization,
The Adult Diaper Brief Bank in New Jersey
A huge percentage of the US population live below the federal poverty line, and the fastest growing segment of that population is individuals over 85. This means that those who are often the most vulnerable and need the most assistance have the least amount of resources to get what they need. The lack of aging population services is a big problem in our country, and one area is that of incontinence supplies. 

Incontinence supplies can be very costly, and are not usually covered by Medicare or insurance. For seniors on fixed incomes, the need to buy incontinence supplies could be causing them to go without other essential things.

If you are a caregiver to an adult with incontinence, senior or otherwise, and are finding it challenging to fund the need for absorbent products, consider diaper banks. Here are the seven things every caregiver should know about adult diaper banks.

High-Tech Tools Help Seniors Stay Safe and Independent

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

One of the many ways technology has changed our lives is helping seniors live independently, which, in turn, makes caregivers’ jobs a little easier.

Protect Yourself from Incontinence After Robotic Prosate Surgery

Improve your symptoms and protect from dribbles and leaks. 
Prostate cancer is the most common form of male cancer. When an individual with prostate cancer receives treatment, possibly robotic prostate surgery, the goal is to only destroy cancer cells. Unfortunately, sometimes healthy cells and tissue are also destroyed, and one of the common side effects of this is urinary incontinence. 

Because the urinary sphincter is surrounded by the prostate gland, it is often damaged in surgery. While the incontinence that results is usually only temporary, and most men regain complete control within 18 months or so, those months of recovery can be challenging.

What can you do to protect yourself from incontinence after robotic prostate surgery?

7 Adult Incontinence Product Tips You Need

Protect yourself with these 7 adult incontinence product tips.

Do you have incontinence? You are not alone. Millions of adults have bladder or bowel incontinence. 1 in 8 men will experience some kind of bladder leakage in their life, many as early as 40 years old. Women have even higher risks due to pregnancy and childbirth. 

The fact is, many men and women suffer from incontinence in some degree, and often need absorbent products to help protect against leaks, odor, and embarrassment.

Is Muscle Damage Causing Your ABL?

Weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles
can be a common cause of ABL. 
ABL is a common ailment that tens of millions of people in the US suffer from. It can occur in anyone, male or female, and at any time. In fact, one in five women over age 40 experience ABL, and half of them don’t speak up about it. 

Why? Why are men and women so afraid to talk about a problem that is so inconvenient? It is embarrassing, but it is often treatable. ABL has many common causes, and speaking with a doctor to determine the cause, and come up with treatments and solutions can lessen symptoms and increase quality of life.

Easy Incontinence Supplies Selection

Incontinence supplies do not have to be confusing.
Do you or someone you know have incontinence? Have you faced the sometimes overwhelming task of trying to select incontinence supplies that provide great fit, comfort, protection, odor control, and discretion? 

You are not alone. According to Kimberly Clark, makers of Depend and Poise, customers buying incontinence products for the first time waste an average of $130 trying products before finding what they need.

And it is not surprising. There are so many different brands, styles, sizes, absorbency, and features that just trying to sort it all out in your mind can be a challenge, let alone find the best product for your situation and condition.

However, incontinence supplies do not have to be confusing. There is help. And you don’t have to waste hundreds of dollars to find the products that are going to work best for your needs. The CareGiver Partnership offers three unique services to cut through the confusion and provide solutions to your incontinence supplies needs.

How to Regain Confidence With Incontinence Products

The proper incontinence products will provide confidence.
Do you or someone you know struggle with feeling confident because of incontinence? Incontinence is a common condition, impacting millions of Americans. However, despite the prevalence, lost control over bowels or bladder can lead to loss of confidence, especially in social situations. Many people with incontinence will isolate themselves to avoid embarrassment. 

Don’t let this happen to you or someone you love. Having the right incontinence products can really help. The proper products will provide protection, coverage and confidence by reducing or eliminating leaks, reducing odor, and providing solutions to common incontinence problems (such as discretion).

How to Use a Personal Health Record to Improve a Senior's Personal Healthcare

What you need to know to set up and use a PHR. 
Guest post by Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH, Geriatrician and Caregiver educator 

Reposted with permission. Originally posted at Geriatrics for Caregivers 

All family caregivers want their older loved ones to get the right medical care. But doctors are often lacking key medical information at the time they see your aging relative.

The solution: setting up and using a personal health record (PHR).

This is a big step up from what many families do, which is to create an “in-case-of-emergency” packet. Such medical information packets usually include a list of medications, chronic conditions, and allergies, along with the names of next-of-kin and perhaps a POLST form.

Taking Charge of Incontinence After Prostate Surgery

Take charge and regain control of incontinence after prostate surgery.

If you are experiencing incontinence after prostate surgery, know that you are not alone. Millions of men experience bladder leakage after prostate surgery. Statistics show 1 in 8 men experience leakage at some point in their life, and 1/3-1/5 of men will experience temporary incontinence after prostate surgery. 

The prostate gland sits just below the bladder and encircles the urethra at the point where it leaves the bladder. When the prostate gland is removed or receives radiation therapy, damage can occur to the urinary sphincter. Depending on the extent of the damage, temporary or permanent incontinence can result.

If you are experiencing incontinence after prostate surgery, take charge, and regain control by doing the following:

Emotional Support an Important Part of Managing Neurological and Other Diseases

Support can help a loved one improve quality of life.
by Dianna Malkowski, Physician Assistant & Nutritionist

Diagnosis of a neurological disease often brings a heavy emotional burden that includes fear and depression. Setting up a support system is an essential part of managing these and other serious health conditions.

Your Guide to Making Sure the Care Facility Doesn't Mismanage Your Loved One's Products

A step by step guide
to make sure your loved one's products aren't mismanaged.
Because long-term care facilities have a high percentage of residents with some degree of incontinence, it is important to recognize there is a potential for mismanagement of incontinence products and supplies. 

Incontinence supplies, on a national average, make up about 8% of the care facility’s spending each year. As residents are the ones who pay for those expenditures, it is worth knowing how to monitor and insure your care facility is not mismanaging your loved one’s products. Here is your guide for doing so:

The Most Absorbent Urinary Incontinence Products: 2014 Update

Styles of incontinence products explained. 

Incontinence impacts millions of Americans in varying degrees. From light incontinence such as LBL to more severe cases, or even total incontinence, there are absorbent products available to meet every need. The trick is figuring out which is which, and knowing what best suits your body type, size, and absorbency needs. 

Because there are tons of brands, sizes, and styles, it can be confusing and overwhelming. Which is why we are providing you with a 2014 update on the most absorbent urinary incontinence products available right now, as well as some tools to help you find, try, and buy the best products for your needs:

Diabetes, Obesity, and Celiac...Oh my! How your Health Impacts ABL

Type 2 diabetes and obesity can increase the risk factor for ABL.
Do you have accidental bowel leakage? Do you feel anxious about social situations because you never know if you are going to leak? Accidental bowel leakage or ABL impact millions of Americans but is often untalked about.

In fact, for many of those with ABL, treatment of diseases or conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and celiac can help to reduce or eliminate ABL symptoms.

People with diabetes, celiac, and other health concerns commonly experience problems with controlling their bladder and bowel. This can interfere with work, social life, and personal and sexual relationships.

5 Things Caregivers Can Do For Increased Peace of Mind

Choosing the right incontinence products is one way
caregivers can improve their own peace of mind. 
If you are a caregiver to someone with incontinence, limited mobility, or any of the myriad of other conditions that often face seniors, consider the following five tips for increasing comfort, health, and safety for your loved one while also improving your own peace of mind.

Is Your Care Facility Mismanaging Your Loved Ones Product Needs?

Your care facility may be mismanaging your loved one's product needs.
Are you seeing inconsistency in product usage from month to month? Are your absorbent product costs higher than you expect? Are you unsure of how products are managed, tracked, and accounted for? Your care facility may be mismanaging your loved one’s product needs.

There are warning signs you can look for:

Care Facilities Mismanage Products, and What You Can Do About It

Warning signs to look for that the care facility is
mismanaging absorbent product uses.
Do you have a loved one in a care facility? Is that loved one incontinent? You are not alone, in fact the CMS stated recently that over half of the population of care facilities experience some degree of incontinence.

This means that there are lots of absorbent products used, and a lot of potential for mismanagement. Because care facilities spend nearly 8 billion dollars a year on disposable incontinence products, taking steps to insure your loved one’s products are not mismanaged can help you, and other residents save big.

3 Steps to Reduce Worry and Stress Over Senior Loved Ones

Eliminate stress and worry and improve care for your loved one.
Caregivers often find themselves stressed and worried about their senior loved ones. Even when they provide great care, it can be hard to be there all the time, to catch all the little things, and to recognize red flags for what they are. 

Fortunately, caregivers are not alone, there are many tools, resources, and services available that can help to eliminate stress and worry and improve care for the seniors.

The follow are 7 steps caregivers can take to reduce worry and stress while improving quality of life and care for their loved ones:

The CareGiver Partnership Poised to Carry New-to-Market ‘Always Discreet’ Incontinence Line

New Always Discreet is coming soon!

by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

The CareGiver Partnership is carrying the new Discreet line by Always. Always Discreet for women signifies Procter & Gamble’s re-entry into the disposable incontinence category.

10 Questions to Ask Your Care Facility About Product Management

Ask the right questions to insure
 your loved one's products are managed properly.
According to recent information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), over half of the nursing home population experiences some degree of incontinence. This implies that care facilities use a great deal of absorbent products for incontinence management. And there is a lot of room for mismanagement of those said products. Asking the right questions can help you insure your loved one’s products are managed properly. 

The following are 10 questions you should ask your care facility about their product management:

The Golden Standard for Caregivers

Guest post by Brandon McBride from 1+1 Senior Care

For more than three years, I cared for my disabled mom who lived with me and my grandmother who lived across town on her own. Between those two splendid ladies and a borderline rebellious pre-teen, I plowed through a season when my family's needs always seemed to be more important than my own. I worked part-time outside of the home, but on a daily basis, I cleaned and ensured the meals for two households. I also assisted both seniors with personal care, medications and doctor appointments... all while keeping my daughter grounded through her adolescent years. Like so many caregivers, at one point I felt like I was just riding out the tempest of a sacrificial storm. However, now that the storm is over, I see a few things I would do differently, but I also see some valuable lessons learned that are still empowering my life today.

7 Things to Watch for If Your Loved One is in a Care Facility

Rest assured of proper incontinence product management.
If you have a loved one in a care facility chances are you have heard horror stories of neglect, abuse, and other problems. You probably feel some guilt associated with their care. However, with proper monitoring and regular check ins you can insure the care facility is meeting your loved one’s needs, and those horror stories just stay stories. 

One potential problem area for care facilities is the mismanagement of incontinence products. With over half the population of nursing homes and care facilities experiencing some degree of incontinence, a significant sum of money is spent each year on these products, and the residents are the ones footing the bill. So how can you make sure your loved one’s incontinence products are not mismanaged and costing more than they should?

The Secret (and Often Ignored) Side-Effect of Child-Birth That Shouldn't Be Secret Anymore

Are you keeping your ABL a secret? 
While giving birth results in a beautiful baby to be enjoyed, many happy moments, wonderful memories, and so much more, it can also have some negative side effects. I remember with my first pregnancy the worst side effect I could imagine was stretch marks. I religiously drank my water and rubbed my belly with lotion to help skin elasticity and prevent stretch marks. 

I had lots of silly fears during that pregnancy. I remember I was terrified of pooping on the table while giving birth, and told my husband not to look because I was afraid it would cloud his view of me.

Enter to Win Two Prizes In August Through Our ‘Helping You Get On With Life’ Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win both of these prizes 2014!
by Lynn Wilson, Founder of The CareGiver Partnership

This month’s prize bundle includes seven choices from Mom’s Meals home-delivered food service and a package of versatile Heaven Scent scented disposable bags.

What to do When You Wet the Bed as an Adult

If you suffer from nocturnal enuresis, get help.
Bed-wetting is not something that just happens to children. While it is far more common amongst children, millions of adult Americans experience bed-wetting, or nocturnal enuresis at some point. 

What can you do if you are an adult who has wet the bed?

It Happened to Me, and Could Happen to You, Too: Adult Bed Wetting

Adult bed wetting is not as uncommon as you would think.
No adult wants to wake from slumber to find that they have wet the bed, but it does happen. And it is not as uncommon as you would think. With over 26 million Americans dealing with some degree of incontinence, and about 2% of those having nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting), you are not alone. 

The best thing you can do is learn about it, seek treatment, and manage it so that it does not interfere with your day-to-day life.

When Neurological Disorders Cause ABL

Having a disease that affects the nervous system can cause ABL. 
Over 5.5 million Americans have bowel incontinence leading to light to moderate accidental bowel leakage (ABL). People of all ages and both sexes are affected by ABL, although it is more common among elderly individuals, and in women. There are many causes, from weakened muscles to improperly functioning sphincters. Having a disease that affects the nervous system, such as Diabetes, Parkinson’s or MS can be a contributing factor to ABL. 

10 Things to Know About Adult Bed Wetting

Don't let your embarrassment stop you
from seeking the help you need.
1. You are not alone. Approximately 26 million American adults are affected by urinary incontinence and 1-2% of those experience bed-wetting. While it is an embarrassing problem, it is something that can usually be treated, and there are options for management. Don’t let your embarrassment stop you from talk to a doctor and seeking the help you need. 

Kimberly-Clark's Poise Fires Yet Another Shot at P&G's Always Discreet - Updated October 9

KMB claiming Poise is 3X's drier than Always
As predicted, P&G (#PG), re-entered  the incontinence category, this time under the brand, Always Discreet

The day before the introduction, Kimberly-Clark (#KMB) preemptively released another version of their Poise, 'I've got SAM in my pants' commercials.  Now they've added the claim that not only is it 'crazy thin' (a claim that P&G may make about Always Discreet), but Poise is three times drier than Always.  The words: 'vs. Always incredibly thin liners' are superimposed.  This same message was repeated in a Sunday coupon insert on August 17.  The claim is a bit disingenuous because its comparing apples to oranges - comparing the performance of a much less costly Always pad for feminine care use to a much more expensive Poise pad with super absorbent.

Here is the spot on YouTube.

Poise is 'crazy thin' and 3 times drier than Always
Sunday coupon ad that ran Aug 17, 2014 with a per-emptive claim

While this comparison is made versus an Always period liner, not new Always Discreet pads for incontinence, much of that nuance may be lost on consumers.  Moreover, the edginess of 'I've got SAM in my pants' is working to grow share, notwithstanding the fact the some consumers find it offensive.  We've had calls to The CareGiver Partnership from consumers taking it out on us for representing the Poise brand.

P&G has recently responded by modifying this spot which compares Always to the 'leading brand.  It now makes a direct comparison to Poise and they show the Poise package on screen.  

Introduction of Game Changing Poise Impressa
Stops leaks at the source, rather than absobing them.

The most effective strategy of competing against P&G is to out innovate the.

Kimberly-Clark has a successful track record of doing this with Huggies baby diapers and wipes, Depend and Poise, Pull-Ups training pants, Goodnites and Little Swimmers.

Following this strategy, K-C pulled out their trump card soon  after P&G introduced Always Discreet by announcing Poise Impressa - a game changing new to the world product form which prevents leaks rather than absorbing them.  This inherently makes Always Discreet look ordinary and old fashioned.

We think these competitive tactics by Kimberly-Clark are smart because they:
  • Take some wind out of P&G's news.
  • Help cement the notion that Poise is superior to Always and Always Discreet.
  • Demonstrate Kimberly-Clark's ability to innovate and to aggressively defend its market share.
  • Position Always as 'ordinary' and inferior to the Poise brand.
  • Help reassure the investment community that KMB can effectively compete against P&G in this category.  There is quite a long track record with Huggies diapers, Depend, Poise, Pull-Ups, Goodnites and Little Swimmers, not to mention Kleenex and others.
Further cause for concern about TENA as a viable brand in the U.S.
The combination of P&G's re-introduction into the incontinence category coupled with the significant marketing KMB's is putting forward to defend its share position bode poorly for the TENA brand in the U.S.  They need some big news right away.  The TENA twist isn't going to suffice.  With the recent announcement of Poise Impressa, it makes this even more urgent.  As of October 2014, you can't even find TENA in some retail stores.  This situation is likely to get worse.

Further Reading 
Poise Impressa (Pessary).  The Next Frontier in Stress Urinary Incontinence for Bladder Control.
P&G Formally Announces The Re-Entry Into The Incontinence Category
Pessaries.  P&G & K-C's Next Incontinence Frontier?

Having competed against P&G since 1974 across a wide range of categories including detergents, cleansers/cleaners, bar soap, dish liquid, baby diapers, pull-ups, adult diapers, and feminine care, this  introduction by P&G's will be very interesting to watch.  I've seen some big ones including Pringles, Bounce, Always and Olean.  Two of those didn't pan out. 

By Tom Wilson, Co-Founder and President of The CareGiver Partnership.  You can reach me at or at 920-886-8162.

7 Things to Watch for If Your Loved One is in a Care Facility

Make certain your loved one's incontinence products
are not mismanaged and costing more than they should.
If you have a loved one in a care facility chances are you have heard horror stories of neglect, abuse, and other problems. You probably feel some guilt associated with their care. However, with proper monitoring and regular check ins you can insure the care facility is meeting your loved one’s needs, and those horror stories just stay stories. 

One potential problem area for care facilities is the mismanagement of incontinence products. With over half the population of nursing homes and care facilities experiencing some degree of incontinence, a significant sum of money is spent each year on these products, and the residents are the ones footing the bill. So how can you make sure your loved one’s incontinence products are not mismanaged and costing more than they should?

Bed-wetting Blues Adults Face

Involuntary bed-wetting impacts adults. 
Have you heard of nocturnal enuresis? It is involuntary bed-wetting, which impacts adults. You may have wet the bed as a child, or have a child that wets the bed. They usually grow out of it, and it stops plaguing them at least by age 7 or 8. But what about adults? 

Approximately 26 million American adults are affected by urinary incontinence and 1-2% of those experience bed-wetting. Adult bed-wetting does happen, and it is uncomfortable, embarrassing, and frustrating. But it is real.

There are any number of reasons an adult may have nocturnal enuresis: neurological disorder, prostate obstruction, diabetes, overactive bladder, complications from childbirth or other medical issues, can all increase risk factors for adult bed-wetting.