What Kind of Catheter Do You Need?

Urinary Catheters:

What Kind Do You Need?



How to Select the Correct Catheter


Urinary catheters are a complex and diverse group of medical products. While they all serve a similar ultimate purpose, the specific needs and demands of each individual patient can lead to some confusion as to which product is right for them.

Patients who are considering catheterization as a solution for urinary incontinence should exercise diligence in choosing the right urinary catheter for their lifestyle and health requirements. (Image above: Straight Catheter – Comfort Medical)



Intermittent Catheters

By far the most common type of catheter is the Intermittent (or Short Term) Catheter.



An intermittent catheter is inserted into the urethra on demand to empty the bladder, and then removed again as soon as the bladder is empty. Users are taught how to catheterize themselves, and it is a straightforward technique that can be performed by most people.

Even children as young as seven or eight years old can be taught how to catheterize, and by using aids, people with reduced hand function can practice it as well.

Catheterization is undertaken roughly at the same intervals as you would normally go to the toilet, about 4-6 times a day.

Medicare will cover up to 200 of these single-use, disposable catheters each month, allowing for frequent catheterization.

These are available in both straight tip and coude tip varieties. The straight tip is the most frequently used of these two, as Medicare requires patients demonstrate a medical necessity that specifies the use of a coude tipped Intermittent Catheter.

This need will arise from specific patient anatomy which makes straight tip catheter insertion difficult or impossible. This is especially true in men who have an enlarged prostate, where the curved coude tip catheter is the only choice for insertion into the bladder.


Hydrophilic Catheters


As insertion can be one of the main barriers to appropriate catheter use, it is usually recommended that patients use a hydrophilic catheter.

Hydrophilic catheters are lubricated with sterile water rather than gel, more closely mimicking our body’s own natural fluids. This produces greater ease of catheter insertion, helping encourage patients to catheterize whenever the need arises, leading to greater compliance with catheter treatment.



Indwelling (Foley) Catheters

Beyond simple intermittent catheters, there are also Indwelling, or Foley, Catheters. This type of catheter is replaced monthly, usually with the aid of a licensed medical professional.

As with Intermittent Catheters, these are available in both straight tip and coude tip varieties. Again, patients who can demonstrate a specific medical need will often opt for the curved coude tip version of a Foley Catheter as they tend to be easier to insert for many people.

The obvious advantage of Foley Catheters is that the frequent process of catheterization must be repeated much less often. For patients with a more active lifestyle that can make frequent catheter insertion difficult, Indwelling Catheters can be a good option.

This type of catheter is also frequently utilized for a preset period of time, such as after a surgery which can lead to urinary incontinence, since the catheter can be inserted by a doctor or nurse while the patient is already in their care. Foley Catheters are also available in a silicone version which enables patients with a documented latex allergy to avoid any unpleasant reactions to catheterization.



External (Condom) Catheters

For men, Condom Catheters are yet another option for urinary incontinence.

Rather than being inserted directly into the urethra as with Foley and Intermittent Catheters, a Condom Catheter is used externally on the penis.

Medicare provides for up to 30 of these catheters a month. As they can help avoid the sometimes difficult process of catheterization almost entirely, this can be a popular choice for men who have had difficulty with traditional Intermittent Catheters.



Closed System Catheter


While this system is more complex and thus expensive, it will significantly reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections, by far the most common consequence of catheter use.

A closed system catheter is, at a quick glance, a self-contained, sterile, pre-lubricated catheter housed within a collection bag.

The collection bag eliminates the need to void the urine into a receptacle or toilet, and since it’s already self-containing, it also eliminates the need to hook up any other kind of bag or container. It’s basically ready to use once it has been opened.

These systems often include other features to help assist with the catheterization process and keep everything more sterile. As with all other types of catheters, its main function is to drain the bladder of all urine in a comfortable, smooth process while minimizing risk of bacterial infection of the urinary tract and/or bladder.


Conditions for Medicare Coverage of a Closed or Sterile Catheter:

Medicare will cover a Closed or Sterile Catheter System only for patients with very specific sets of medical criteria.

  • If patients already on traditional Intermittent Catheters have had at least 2 urinary infections in the past 12 months, Medicare will cover a closed system.
  • Patients in nursing homes, immunosuppressed patients, patients with vesico-uteral reflux, and spinal cord injured pregnant female patients can also qualify for this system.



10 Steps to Safe, Simple Self-Catheterization


1.  Wash your hands thoroughly.

2.  Set out all necessary supplies – these can include a mirror, the catheter, water, soap and/or a sterile wipe.

3.  Position yourself in front of the toilet or in front of a collection container.

4.  Wash or sterilize around the urethra. For women, wash from front to back, never re-using a wipe. For men, wash in a circular motion, starting at the urethra and working your way out.

5.  Open the catheter. To keep the catheter as clean as possible, do not allow the catheter to touch anything once you pull it out of the wrapping.

6.  Apply lubricant to the catheter if applicable.

7. For women, gently open the labia with your fingers. For men, hold penis straight out from the body and angled slightly upward toward your body and gently squeeze the head of the penis to very gently to open the urethra.

8.  Insert the clean or sterile catheter until urine begins to flow. Gently push the catheter about 1 inch further into the bladder after urine begins to flow.

9.  When the urine stops flowing, shift position a few times to ensure all urine is emptied, then slowly remove the catheter

10.  Wipe the insertion site of any urine, throw away the catheter and wash your hands.



Final Thoughts


Although intermittent self-catheterization may be more intimidating than a Foley (indwelling) catheter, there are some definite advantages of intermittent catheterization (if it is an option for you).

Intermittent catheterization (IC) is the preferable method to empty the bladder when you can’t urinate naturally. It is safe in the short-, mid- and long-term, minimizing common risks such as urinary tract infections (UTI’s), strictures, bladder stone complications and upper urinary tract deterioration.

Intermittent catheterization is closest to natural urination, and gives the user control and freedom. For short-term users, intermittent catheterization gives a faster recovery and return to normal voiding (emptying of the bladder) after surgery.

Of the different types of intermittent catheters, evidence shows that hydrophilic single use catheters are best at reducing the risk of complications.

Of course, the biggest advantage of self-catheterization is having the freedom to choose when and where to empty your bladder, giving you more control over your life. Using a single-use intermittent catheter also reduces the risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) compared to an indwelling catheter.

Navigating the complex decision of which catheter is right for your personal needs should be a collaborative decision between the patient, doctor, and their medical equipment provider.

Ideally, you’re looking for the middle ground between medical necessity and lifestyle preference.  This can be a complicated affair, so be sure to communicate fully and honestly with your doctor during the decision-making process.



Purchasing Your Catheter Supplies


Always purchase your catheter supplies from a company that is a nationally approved medicare provider participant which has been awarded accreditation by Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), a national accreditation organization authorized by the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   This will ensure that you are using quality products made to exacting standards, and that your privacy will be protected by law.



Recommended Catheter Supplier

I recommend Comfort Medical, which is accredited by the ACHC, has a superior reputation for quality and customer service, and is specifically licensed to offer urological supplies to their patients (and are required to keep your information confidential and protected under strict HIPAA guidelines).  Comfort Medical also fills out all necessary insurance forms and bills Medicare or private insurance on your behalf.

Comfort Medical has partnered brand name manufacturers who offer the highest quality products, and ships your catheter and ostomy supplies discreetly to your home.  Shipping from Comfort Medical is free of charge.

Comfort Medical also supports its customers by creating an individualized program; one of their product specialists will contact your physician to verify that you are receiving the correct amount and types of catheter and ostomy supplies, ensuring that you never run out.  The products specialists are always available to you to answer any questions you may have about the supplies.


Why Do I Recommend Comfort Medical?

  • Accredited by the ACHC
  • Solid reputation for brand-name product quality and customer service
  • licensed under HIPPAA guidelines, protecting your confidentiality
  • They fill out all the paperwork and bills Medicare or Private Insurance on your behalf
  • Delivery to your home is discreet
  • Shipping is free
  • Comfort Medical stays in contact with your doctor to ensure correct type and volume of supply
  • Comfort Medical product specialists are available if you have any questions



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information about urinary catheters. 

I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Top Adult Diaper Products Reviewed

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

Managing Dementia Related Incontinence

Coping With Incontinence – A Guide for Caregivers

Incontinence Management in Assisted Living Facilities

Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

Install a Power Lift Toilet Seat for a Safer Bathroom

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

How to Find and Shop for Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Important Things Your Loved One Needs in a Nursing Home

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Incontinence Management in Assisted Living Facilities

Incontinence Management in Assisted Living Facilities




Advice for Family Members for Managing Incontinence Supplies for Their Loved in Assisted Living or Continuing Care


A growing number of family caregivers are managing incontinence and incontinence supplies for loved ones in Assisted Living or Continuing Care Communities.  Here are some recommendations on how to manage your loved one’s supplies as efficiently as possible:


Get to know the caregivers and care manager for your loved one in the facility.

They should be able to share how the facility helps the resident manage incontinence, and take into consideration skin health, and budgetary limits on how much will be spent on incontinence supplies per month.

Some of the factors that affect your loved one’s incontinence are:

  • how many times the resident is being changed
  • when and if leaks occur
  • how the facility caregivers are helping the resident to manage incontinence overnight
  • what medications are affecting the resident’s incontinence
  • mobility concerns (lack of mobility obviously can affect the ability of a loved one to get to the bathroom in a timely fashion)



More changes per day means diapers, briefs and/or underwear don’t have to be super absorbent.

Super absorbent products (30 oz + of void capacity) are very popular in aging at home environments – these super absorbent products cost more on a per piece basis, but equate to less changes per day.

In an Assisted Living environment, its not uncommon to see caregivers administering up to six to eight changes per day; with a higher frequency of changes, it is not necessary to purchase super absorbent products when “value” selections will stretch your dollars much further.



Use booster pads for overnight use and for male “leakers.

A booster pad is simply an additional layer of absorption material that works inside of a traditional pull-up or diaper. Booster pads can add an additional 8 – 14 oz of absorption material and transform a value diaper into a super absorbent diaper for overnight use – and the caregivers should know to only use booster pads for nighttime use.

A Booster Pad can be wrapped around the tip of a male’s penis to deflect a void back into the diaper – an effective tactic for dealing with Male side-sleepers who are prone to leaking.



Don’t use mass market brands that advertise on television.

To stretch the family’s hard-earned dollar and for the assisted living caregivers who must use the supplies provided, there are a number of higher quality products that will better serve all involved, and that will cost less. Simply put, mass market brands put their dollars into advertising and shelf space – not into the absorbency or quality of their products, leaving caregivers and residents frustrated with their poor performance.  

NorthShore Care Supply specializes in incontinence products, and has an excellent selection of competitively priced high quality options. 

You can also find plenty of choices among Amazon’s incontinence supplies.

For more information on choosing the right incontinence supplies, see my earlier posts:



Write your incontinence directives on a piece of poster board, and tape it to where the incontinence supplies are stored.

This dovetails with getting to know your loved one’s caregivers, as mentioned above, and ensures that your directives are plainly communicated for any new staff or nighttime staff.



Speak up if you notice that some of your loved one’s incontinence supplies are missing.

Sometimes staff within assisted living facilities will “borrow” supplies from an adjacent resident room – rather than walking down the hall to a supplies closet. If this becomes the standard operating procedure, then you are subsidizing your loved one’s neighbors. That is why it is so important to speak to the caregivers and put out written instructions. So, if you notice your supplies are “shrinking,” say something!



Keep track of how much incontinence supplies are being used on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

For a resident with full-time incontinence that requires six changes per day (each change entails a new diaper/underwear + wipes + gloves), the cost can easily exceed $200 – $300 per month. A resident who has light incontinence and/or only nighttime incontinence can budget their monthly expenditure to under $100 per month.



Set up an auto-reorder of incontinence products when possible.

Once you understand how the assisted living caregivers are applying the incontinence products you are purchasing for your loved one, and you are keeping track of order/usage per month, set-up auto reordering – it will be easier for all involved.



Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.




Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!




You may also be interested in:

Important Things Your Loved One Needs in a Nursing Home

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Top Adult Diaper Products Reviewed

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

Managing Dementia Related Incontinence

Coping With Incontinence – A Guide for Caregivers

Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

Install a Power Lift Toilet Seat for a Safer Bathroom

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

How to Wash Your Senior’s Hair in Bed – Full Instructions

How to Find and Shop for Practical Shoes for the Elderly

Shoes and Slippers For Swollen Feet

Ideas to Keep Your Dementia Patient Busy and Happy

Would Your Loved One Benefit from Weighted Blanket Therapy?


Dementia Toileting Tips For Caregivers

Dementia Toileting Tips For Caregivers




Someone with dementia is more likely to have accidents, problems with the toilet or incontinence than a person of the same age without dementia.

There are many reasons.



Causes of accidents and problems can include:


  • not being able to react quickly enough to the sensation of needing to use the toilet
  • failure to get to the toilet in time, sometimes due to mobility problems caused by other conditions such as arthritis













Pictures & Words Communication Flip-Chart for stroke, ALS, dementia, Alzheimer’s, expressive aphasia, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, speech impaired talking disability patients at home/hospital



  • inability to find, recognize, or use the toilet; if someone becomes confused about their surroundings, they may urinate in an inappropriate place (such as a wastepaper basket) because they have mistaken it for a toilet
  • not understanding a prompt from someone to use the toilet
  • not managing the personal activities of toileting, such as undoing clothing and personal hygiene
  • not letting others help with toileting – perhaps because of embarrassment or not understanding the offer of help
  • not making any attempt to find the toilet – this could be due to lack of motivation or depression, or because the person is distracted
  • embarrassment after an accident, which the person unsuccessfully tries to deal with. Wet or soiled clothes or feces may be put out of sight (for example, wrapped up and put at the back of a drawer) to be dealt with later, but then forgotten.
  • In some people incontinence develops because the nerve pathways that tell the brain that the bladder or bowel is full, and also control emptying, are damaged. However, this is an uncommon cause of toilet problems and incontinence in people with dementia. It typically occurs only when dementia is more advanced.



Tips for Caregivers: The Importance of a Healthy Bladder and Bowels


Keeping the urinary tract and bowels healthy is a good first step to preventing toilet problems and incontinence.


It can be helpful if caregivers can work with the person with dementia to ensure the following:


  • The person should drink six to eight glasses of fluids each day – more if they have hard stools. Cutting down fluids or not drinking them for long periods of time (for example to avoid the need to urinate at night) can cause urinary tract infections and constipation.


  • They should eat a balanced diet with at least five daily portions of fruit and vegetables, and enough fiber to ensure a regular bowel movement.


  • The person should keep as mobile as they can. If they are able, walking every day helps with bowel movements.


  • Ensure a regular time, and allow enough time on the toilet, to empty bowels. There are biological reasons why trying to go a few minutes after a meal works – many people favor going after breakfast.


  • If a health professional has suggested the person might have an overactive bladder, they will also advise replacing drinks which irritate the bladder (eg tea, coffee, cola or alcohol) with water, herbal teas, squash and fruit drinks.


  • Women with mild dementia and urinary stress incontinence sometimes learn pelvic floor exercises, with the support of specialist continence nurses or physiotherapists. These exercises can cure stress incontinence caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles due to childbirth or aging.




Equate - Fiber Powder, Clear Soluble, 125 Servings, 16.7 oz (Compare to Benefiber)

Laxatives are widely available over the counter for people with constipation. However, they should not be used for long without seeking advice from a GP or pharmacist, as the symptoms may mask another condition. 


Suggestion:  Equate Fiber Powder – Clear, Soluble (this product isn’t fancy, but it’s effective and gentle, as well as inexpensive).


If constipation is the cause of fecal incontinence, caregivers can learn to massage the person’s abdomen to relieve the blockage. Specialist continence nurses can train carers in this technique, though it requires co-operation and is not to everyone’s liking.




Tips for Caregivers: Helping to Reduce Accidents



Help with using the toilet at home


The following ideas may help someone to find, recognize and use the toilet more easily:


  • Help the person identify where the toilet is. A sign on the door, including both words and a picture, may help. It will need to be clearly visible, so place it within the person’s line of vision and make sure the sign is bright so it’s easy to see. Help the person know when the toilet is vacant; leaving the toilet door open when not in use makes this obvious. Check the placement of mirrors in the bathroom. The person with dementia may confuse their reflection for someone else already in the room, and not go because they believe the toilet is occupied.


  • Help the person make their way easily to the toilet. Move any awkwardly placed furniture or prop ajar any doors that are hard to open. The room and the route to the toilet should be well lit, especially at night. Movement sensor lights in the bedroom and bathroom can help at night.


These decorative night lights are great for added safety in your bedroom, bathroom or hallway; they detect motion up to 25 feet within a 100-degree-wide zone, and will auto shut-off after 90 seconds.  Their light sensor prevents the light from turning off during daylight hours or when you have the lights turned on.



  • Make using the toilet easier for people with mobility problems. Aids such as handrails and a raised toilet seat may help. Occupational therapists can give free advice on these, or you can ask someone at a local independent living shop.


For more help, see


  • Help the person identify and use the toilet. A contrasting color (eg black seat on a white base) can make it easier to see. Some men who have poor mobility or balance, or who can no longer direct their penis when urinating, may find it easier to sit rather than stand.


  • Help the person undo, remove and replace clothing easily. Trousers with an elasticated waist (tracksuit bottoms) are often easier than zips. Some people find Velcro™ fastenings easier to use than zippers or buttons.


Shop for


  • If getting to the toilet becomes too difficult because of mobility problems, an aid such as a commode may be useful. Using this will require the person to recognize the commode, be willing to use it, and find it an acceptable piece of furniture.  commodes and other aids can be very helpful.


  • The person should have privacy in the toilet, but make sure they don’t have difficulty managing locks. Some people with dementia struggle with this. To avoid the person locking themselves in, disable locks or ensure you can open them quickly from the outside.




Out and About


There are several ways to make traveling or being outside easier for the person with dementia. Being more confident and able to cope with accidents is important, because toilet problems can lead to giving up activities or becoming isolated.


  • Plan in advance. Find out where accessible toilets are.


  • Go prepared. Fit a light pad (the kind that attaches to underwear) and carry spare clothing and pads, as well as a bag for soiled items.


For more help, see



Remembering to Use the Toilet


  • Giving regular reminders about using the toilet is a common approach to help with accidents. For someone with urinary incontinence, the caregiver asks regularly (every 2-4 hours) whether the person needs the toilet. The person is given encouragement and assistance with using the toilet if they ask for help. It is important to check that the person has used the toilet, and not forgotten or become distracted. There is evidence that, over time, this can help some people reduce the number of accidents.
  • Prompting needs to be done sensitively, to avoid patronizing or annoying the person with dementia. Watch discreetly for signs that the person wants to go to the toilet, even if they cannot communicate this directly. These signs may include fidgeting, pacing, getting up and down, or pulling at their clothes.



Scheduling Toilet Use


  • For someone who is regularly wet it may be better to develop a timetable to offer help or reminders for going to the toilet, for example when they wake up, before each meal, at morning and afternoon coffee or tea, and before bed.
  • For fecal incontinence, it is often possible to re-establish continence by going to the toilet at a set time each day and helping the person stay long enough to have a bowel movement.



Night Time


Many older people wake during the night to urinate. A person with dementia may wake disorientated and unable to act quickly enough to find (or get to) the toilet. Ideas that might help include:


  • light motion sensors and/or night lights in the bedroom, passage ways and bathroom

As you can see, I am a big fan of night lights; these small, inexpensive items make a huge difference in your home’s safety!  

These automatic LED night lights are small, low-maintenance, and bright.  They will turn on automatically in low light and remain on until morning light.  This way, you “set it and forget it.” 

For more on lighting, see




  • a urinal bottle (designed for men and women) or commode next to the bed at night.  Many people don’t realize these products exist, but they can be really helpful, especially for nighttime toileting.



  • not having drinks for two hours before going to bed, but remember that the person should still drink enough during the day to avoid becoming dehydrated.



For more help, see:




Dealing With an Accident


Hygiene is a very personal issue. From a young age, people are trained to control urges to go to the toilet, so having problems or being incontinent can make a person feel like they are losing control. This can affect their sense of dignity and self-esteem. Many people find it very hard to accept that they need help from someone else in such an intimate area of their life, even (or sometimes, especially) if the help is from someone very close to them.

Every individual will react differently to the experience of incontinence. Some people find it very upsetting, while others find it easier to accept. Approaching the problem with understanding, matter-of-factness and humor can help to improve the situation for all concerned.


If someone has an accident, it is important for carers and friends to:


  • remember that it’s not the person’s fault
  • try to overcome any embarrassment or distaste they may feel
  • avoid being angry or appearing upset.


This may not always be easy. If as a caregiver, you find feelings about incontinence difficult to handle, it is a good idea to talk things through with a health professional. This could be the GP, a community nurse or a continence adviser (a nurse with specialist training in management of incontinence). It is important to try not to let dealing with incontinence get in the way of your relationship with the person you are caring for.



For more help, see



Ensuring Good Personal Hygiene


Incontinence can lead to skin irritation and a general feeling of discomfort. After an accident, it is important to act quickly to make sure the person feels comfortable again and to ensure good hygiene.


  • If someone has become wet or soiled, they should wash afterwards with mild soap and warm water, and dry carefully before putting on clean clothes and fresh pads, with assistance if necessary.


  • Soiled clothes, reusable pads or bedding should be washed immediately, or soaked in an airtight container until they are washed.


  • Used pads should be stored in an appropriate container and disposed of as soon as possible.


  • Moist toilet tissues may be suitable for minor accidents, but be aware that some can cause an irritating rash.



Professional Support


It can be hard to seek professional help for incontinence. Many people do so only at a point of crisis, as it may feel like a loss of dignity for the person with dementia. Some may see incontinence as inevitable, but for many people with dementia, given the right advice and patience, accidents and incontinence can be managed or sometimes even cured

The GP should be the first port of call. The doctor should review the symptoms and any underlying medical conditions (urinary tract infection or constipation), diet or medications that might be causing the problems. The doctor may do an internal examination of the bowel.

If this assessment is unable to resolve things, ask to have the person referred to a continence adviser. You may have to be persistent here you may have to push to see someone who understands incontinence in people with dementia. There may be a wait for these services.

The continence adviser will assess the problems and how they are affecting quality of life for the person and any carer. It is common to be asked to keep a chart of toilet habits.

After a thorough assessment the continence adviser will write up a continence care plan tailored to the individual. The plan should include things that the person with dementia and any caregiver can do to help. It should also describe the support that professionals should provide, as well as follow-up and next steps.

The goal – agreed with the person with dementia and carer – should be to cure toilet problems or incontinence wherever possible. In many cases, identifying and addressing practical issues, changing medications or making simple changes to lifestyle (diet, fluids, exercise) are sufficient to achieve this.

In a few cases referral to further specialists such as a geriatrician or urologist will be needed. For some people, advice will focus not on cure but on containing the incontinence as comfortably as possible using aids.



Incontinence Aids


It may be that everything has been tried and toilet problems and incontinence persist. In this case, use of aids can help ensure greater comfort and protect clothing, furniture and bedding. The main aids are:

  • Incontinence pads and pull-up pants. These can be worn day and night, or during the night only, to draw fluids away from the skin. It is important to find the right type and absorbency for the individual: they should be comfortable without chafing or leaking. They should be changed as often as necessary.
  • Male continence sheath. This is a silicone condom which drains into a bag attached to the leg. It may be especially helpful when worn at night.
  • Waterproof mattress protector. This is often used in combination with an absorbent bed pad. The protector should not come into contact with the skin, as it may cause chafing and soreness. You can also buy special protective duvet covers and pillowcases.



For more help, see:



Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.




Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!



You may also be interested in:

Incontinence Supply Management for Your Loved in in Assisted Living

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Top Adult Diaper Products Reviewed

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

Managing Dementia Related Incontinence

Coping With Incontinence – A Guide for Caregivers

How to Buy an Elevated Toilet Seat

How to Give a Sponge Bath in Bed

Shower Chair and Bath Bench Guide

All About Grab Bars and Hand Rails for Safety

Help for Painkiller Induced Constipation (OIC)

Prevent Bed Sores

Should You Install Bed Rails?

Caregivers – How to Reduce the Risks from Heavy Lifting

Natural Depression Remedies – What Works?

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed


Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

(Leaks Happen!)









Incontinence Protection for Furniture, Car and Bed Makes Cleanup So Much Easier


When your older adult is incontinent, your furniture is likely to get soiled even if they always wear incontinence briefs – leaks happen.

Nobody wants to deal with that kind of intense cleanup or have to worry about odors that get stuck deep inside of unwashable cushions.

Of course, it’s not reasonable to get a new couch or recliner chair every time it gets too stained or smelly. The best thing to do is invest in protective pads to prevent damage to chairs, couches, and even car seats.

For example, I found pads and covers that are discreet, stylish, comfortable to sit on, and make cleanup much easier – just toss in the wash. And, covering furniture with these pads is far less expensive than replacing it. As a bonus, these pads and covers also protect furniture from beverage and food spills.  Read on for lots of practical suggestions:




Start With Basic Protection


The first thing to do for anything that’s upholstered is to spray on a fabric protector like Scotch Gard Fabric Protector.


Scotchgard Fabric and Upholstery Protector, 10-Ounce, 2-Pack




Next, keep these stylish and discreet disposable pads on hand.


They’re easy to throw on any unprotected surfaces in case your older adult wants to sit somewhere different. Or, use them as a top layer to reduce the need to wash cloth pads and covers.



Protect  Your Chairs



For wheelchairs, car seats or other chairs, add a waterproof pad to the seat. Buy two to double up or get a few to keep on all of your senior’s favorite seats.


Here are some options – all washable, reusable, and waterproof






Protect recliners, stuffed chairs, sofas, and couches


It can be tricky to find covers that fit your chair or sofa exactly and are 100% waterproof, so it’s a good idea to use pads on top of the cover for extra protection.


Here are a few options for covering your recliner and sofa:


  •  GPD water resistant cover for recliners or stuffed chairs
  •   Serta Ultra Suede Waterproof Sofa Protector
  •  GPD Heavyweight Luxury waterproof sofa cover



Protect car seats

Infina Waterproof Car Seat Cover - Durable Neoprene Protector, Pet Protection - CrossFit, Yoga, Running, Beach, Gym, Fitness, Athletes - 100% Money Back Guarantee (Gray)


It’s equally important to protect car seats from accidents and leaks so you don’t have to worry about driving your older adult somewhere.

You could always use a chair pad to protect the car seat, but in case you need heavy duty protection, try one of these with a chair pad as an extra layer on top:


  • Seat Saver waterproof universal car front seat cover
  •  Infina waterproof neoprene front seat cover
  •  Amzdeal waterproof front seat cover




Incontinence Pads for Beds


If your older adult is incontinent, you probably spend a good amount of time cleaning up after accidents even if they wear adult diapers. Plus, you’re forced to deal with unpleasant lingering odors.

Preparation makes incontinence cleanup so much easier!  Save time and money and prevent a smelly house by prepping the bed with expert layering tips and highly-rated protective products that really work. After all, replacing a soiled mattress is expensive!



Protecting The Bed


Multiple layers are the key! One waterproof mattress protector and a leak-proof pad can’t always do the job by themselves. Plus, once urine gets into the mattress or pillows, it’s difficult to get out and will smell. That’s why it’s best to prevent them from getting wet in the first place.

If your mattress is already a little bit soiled, clean and deodorize it with a diluted vinegar spray or a urine neutralizing product before wrapping it up.

You’ll need to wrap the mattress in multiple layers to keep it from getting soiled. Of course, some of the outer layers will get wet, but at least those will be easily washable.



Layers for the mattress, in this order:


  1.  Start with a zippered, vinyl, waterproof cover on the mattress like by Aller Zip.



2.  Then use a waterproof mattress cover like this one on top of the zippered cover.


Optional: Put on two layers of the waterproof mattress cover in step 2.



3.  Next, put on a regular fitted sheet, followed by one or two layers of a waterproof absorbent pad like this one on top of the fitted sheet. Your older adult will sleep on top of this pad.




Tip:  Instead of a thick comforter, try layers of thinner blankets and large, heavy towels;  these are easier to wash than a thick comforter and the goal is to fit all the soiled bedding and pads into one load of laundry.




Layers for Pillows


4.  Put a waterproof cover like this one on the pillow. Use two layers of covers if your older adult is likely to get their pillow wet.




5.  Last, put on a regular pillowcase.



For more information on personal incontinence products, see:

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Top Adult Diaper Products Reviewed



Final Thoughts


With incontinence, there will always be leaks and accidents. But if you prepare your older adult’s bed with good protection products and this layering technique, you’ll make cleanup easier and protect the mattress.




Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas. 

I welcome your comments below.




Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!



You may also be interested in:

Caregivers Guide to Coping With Incontinence

How To Buy Adult Diapers

Top Adult Diaper Products Reviewed

Incontinence Supply Management for Your Loved in in Assisted Living

Managing Dementia Related Incontinence

How to Choose and Purchase Urinary Catheters

How to Choose Adaptive Clothing

Caregivers Need Sleep!

How to Give a Sponge Bath in Bed

Power Lift Chair Guide

About Me

Create Your Own Blog


Help Your Older Adult Move from Wheelchair to Toilet

Help Your Older Adult Move from Wheelchair to Toilet




Caregivers, save your back!


Since family caregivers don’t get formal training in safe lifting and transfer techniques, it’s easy to hurt yourself while helping others. These instructions will allow you to confidently help your older adult move from wheelchair to toilet while also saving yourself and the wheelchair user from injury.


Important Tip:

For Wheelchair Transfers involving a wheelchair and toilet. I recommend having a raised toilet seat with arms; a raised toilet seat with arms helps ease this type of wheelchair transfer because it helps the wheelchair user by giving them something to hold onto for support, this will allow the transfer to be made with extreme caution and safety.



Instructions for proper transfer from wheelchair to toilet


1. Starting Transfer From Wheelchair To Toilet

The wheelchair user should be currently sitting in a wheelchair, in a position where it is easy for them to transfer from the chair. When the user is ready, you should make sure that the brakes are engaged on both sides of the chair before attempting a transfer.

The wheelchair user should be currently sitting in a wheelchair, in a position where it is easy for them to transfer from the chair. When the user is ready, you should make sure that the brakes are engaged on both sides of the chair before attempting a transfer.


2. Removing Footrests & Clearing a Path To Transfer

The next step would be to remove any type of components of the chair that are in the way of an easy transfer. That would include footrests (if they are removable), leg rests, and/or any extra accessories or components that are removable. Some wheelchairs do not have the feature to remove the footrests, others allow you to “swing away” the footrests to the sides so that they are not in the way when attempting a transfer.


3. Caregiver Positioning & Precautions

You should be in the right position to attempt a wheelchair transfer. This means that if you are the caregiver, you should make sure that you are ready to support the user’s weight in case you need to assist them during the transfer.

The caregiver should also keep in mind which side of the user is their weak side; this allows you to know which side they are more likely to lean or fall over if that occurs.

The weak side of the user is determined by finding out which side they have a weakness in their extremities. This may include their arms & legs, depending on their current condition.

If you are able to determine their weak side, you can position yourself so that your knees are between their legs, ready to support the knee in case they need help. Your hands should be positioned so that you are ready to support their hip area as well.


4. Wheelchair User Shifting

The user should now be in position to lift from the chair. This means that they are positioned at the edge of the wheelchair seat with some minimal momentum building towards the front of the chair.

When they are at the edge of the seat, ask the user to ensure that their legs are level with the ground, and that their feet are positioned straight underneath the seat so that they are ready to stand up.


5. Standing & Transfer

When the user is in position and ready to stand, make sure that your hands are on their hip area. The user’s arms should be positioned on top of the armrests to provide stability and support.

Direct the user to lean towards the front of the chair, this will help the caretaker handle the weight of the user when they are assisting the person during a transfer.

The user should push themselves upward and out of the chair. Their arms positioned on the armrests, and their feet leveled with the ground, which will help ease the pressure of the transfer for both parties.

Once they are in a standing position in front of the chair, the caretaker should shift their positioning towards the opposite end of the user’s weak side (or their strong side). The toilet should be directly in front of the user when they are in a standing position after exiting the chair. They should face the front of the toilet, the user’s eyes should be facing the wall where the toilet is facing.

Once they are ready to sit down, assist them by providing limb and hip support, then you will want to instruct them to slowly step back until they are positioned to sit in the center of the toilet seat. While doing this step, the arms of the toilet should help the user by providing support, the user should place their hands on top of the arms of the toilet.


Transfer From Wheelchair To Toilet Tips

  • Make sure you allow the user enough time to complete each step without having to struggle with their body weight.
  • If able, the user should be able to lift some of the weight of their body out of the chair during the transfer, to allow an easy transition.
  • You should always double check the brake mechanisms of the wheelchair before attempting a transfer.
  • Remember that some bathroom surfaces may be slippery when attempting a transfer, some may not provide enough support to enable a wheelchair transfer.


And that is how you can properly transfer a person out of their wheelchair and into their toilet.

If you are consistently having to transfer out of a wheelchair and onto a toilet, or from a wheelchair to , or any type of transfer, you should research information to buy a wheelchair that comes standard with flip back armrests, or removable armrests. This should help you and your caregiver to easily transfer in any type of situation.

  • Always protect your back by bending your knees instead of from your waist.
  • Consider using an inexpensive gait belt to help you safely support your older adult.


  • Ask your older adult to use the wheelchair or toilet seat arms for support rather than holding on to your shoulders.


  • If their legs are not strong, place your knees in front of theirs (called blocking) while they stand.
  • If one side is weaker than the other, stand on the weaker side for extra steadiness and support.


Go regularly to reduce accidents

It takes some preparation to help your older adult from wheelchair to toilet. To reduce the chance of an accident because it takes so long to get to the toilet, make regular trips to the bathroom to reduce urgency. Try after meals and every couple of hours. Don’t wait until your older adult says they need to go – by then the need might be too urgent.


Video below: an occupational therapist demonstrates a wheelchair to toilet transfer using a raised toilet seat with arms.



Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.






You may also be interested in:

How to Reduce the Risks of Heavy Lifting for Caregivers

Install a Power Lift Toilet Seat for a Safer Bathroom

Best Hemorrhoid Treatment Product Reviews

How to Give a Sponge Bath in Bed

Find the Right Power Wheelchair

Choosing a Transport Chair

About Me

Create Your Own Blog



Top Adult Diaper Briefs Reviewed

Top Adult Diapers Reviewed



If you or a loved one has to deal with ongoing or occasional incontinence, you know how important it is to find a product that allows someone to go about their daily routine in comfort while providing the best protection.
 Drawing on a variety expert advice and owner reviews, this report on adult diapers recommends the best incontinence products for users with differing needs, while providing important shopping tips for making the right choice.


Best Overall Adult Diaper


Widely regarded as one of the best high-absorbency adult diapers, the Molicare Super Plus brief is an excellent answer to daily incontinence.
Its super-absorbent core makes it ideal for overnight use or heavy bladder and bowel leakage, and reviewers say the padded panels make for a comfortable fit.


These briefs also feature DryPlus polymer fiber filling and standing anti-leak guards for containment. All in all, expect both protection and comfort.


  • Highly absorbent
  • Comfortable padded panels
  • Hardly ever leaks
  • A little bulky
  • Plastic covering can irritate skin
  • Larger sizes may run small


Extremely absorbent and infinitely wearable, the Molicare Super Plus Adult Diaper gets strong feedback from wearers and experts.


If you’re looking for quality coupled with peace of mind, this diaper can offer you excellent leakage protection, effective odor control and a comfortable fit.




Protects all through the night, and then some. In XPMedical.com’s comparative absorbency test, the Molicare Super Plus took in a total of 46 ounces of fluid — an admirable yield, in league with some of the other most absorbent brands of adult briefs.

But the Super Plus truly shines in the test’s “wicking distance” category. Outdoing the other contenders, it absorbed fluid over the space of 18 inches, allowing much of the padding to be used before needing to change.

Other experts fall in line, rating these adult diapers tops in absorption and freedom from leakage. John Davis at IncontinentSupport.org notes that because of its high absorbency, the Molicare Super Plus is a particularly good choice for overnight use.



Ease of Use

A secure, snug fit. The general consensus seems to be that the Molicare Super Plus briefs are comfortable to wear, although a review by the IncontinenceSupport.info warns that the brand’s sizing at the larger end of the spectrum is somewhat skewed. (They advise taking four to five inches off the size specifications for the larger sizes.).



Odor Absorption

High-tech materials keep odors at bay. The Super Plus’ three-part absorbent core is designed to neutralize odor, and most wearers seemed satisfied with this feature, as it went mostly unmentioned in user reviews.

IncontinenceSupport.info says that while the Molicare Super Plus is a relatively pricey product, it’s worth its cost for the “peace of mind it gives me in leakage and odor control protection.”



Best Adult Diapers for Extended Wear



If you need an adult diaper for heavy incontinence or for extended wear — up to 10 hours or more — the Dry Care ConfiDry 24/7 should receive serious consideration.

These land at the top of the charts in testing for absorbency, and experts laud their comfort and performance.

Fit is described as comfortable and accurate, and Dry Care ConfiDry are among the most absorbent products you can buy.

If there’s a downside, it’s that these are relatively bulky, and that the plastic shell is a little noisier than most, so the self-conscious might be hesitant to wear them for all occasions.


Best Discreet Budget Adult Diaper


Attends Briefs Waistband Style adult diaper has an absorbent core that’s effective for light to moderate incontinence, and the elasticized waistband allows for a customized, comfortable fit.
It’s discreet enough to wear under most clothing without detection, giving added piece of mind to the self-conscious. Though not rated as highly by some as premium adult diapers, Attends Briefs are also substantially less expensive than other top choices.

  • Discreet under clothing
  • Good absorbency
  • Comfortable fit
  • Budget priced
  • Tend to bunch up with activity
  • Plastic sometimes crinkles


Attends Briefs Waistband Style draw kudos for their snug fit and discreet appearance under clothing.

While the Attends don’t measure up to briefs like the Molicare Super Plus (Est. $25 for a pack of 14) when it comes to absorbency and capacity, they still perform admirably for light to moderate incontinence or single wettings.

Their elasticized waistbands, soft leg gathers to prevent leakage, and contoured shape make them quite comfortable for extended use.

Attends are also priced less than most premium adult diapers.




Good protection for more moderate needs. According to the adult-diaper retailer XPMedical.com, which tests its products in a lab, the Attends Brief Waistband Style has a total capacity of 18 ounces, which is a decent enough absorbency rating for those with light to moderate issues, but pales compared to what top rated diapers can accommodate.

But what the diaper lacks in capacity it makes up for in discreetness and comfort, experts say.

Its plastic outer covering is designed to prevent leakage, another plus. User reviews aren’t uniformly positive, but enough give it a thumbs up to qualify Attends Waistband Briefs as a dependable, discreet solution for many situations.



Ease of Use

All in all, a discreet, comfortable brief. Attends Briefs generally receive excellent reviews for comfort and fit. XPMedical.com says the product has “a unique square leg cut that looks odd but is comfortable for most people.” The soft, stretch waistband and six tape tabs allow for a customized fit, and users generally say that the diapers stay in place well.

I did see a few comments, however, regarding the plastic outer covering crinkling, though most say it’s quiet enough.

Some users also noted that the diapers have a tendency to bunch up around the crotch after physical activity.



Odor Absorption

Odor neutralizers are up to snuff. Attends Briefs Waistband Style features super absorbent beads meant to quickly lock in fluids and prevent odor, according to Walgreens.com. User reviews there and elsewhere back that up, noting no issues with odors escaping.



Best Pull-On Disposable Underwear


For those with mild to moderate incontinence, Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus pull on disposable underwear provide both protection and dignity.
Just like standard underwear, they can be pulled on and off — or can be torn away quickly for easy clean up.
Elastic in the waistband assures a good fit, while elastic in the crotch prevents leakage.


  • Cloth-like outer covering is breathable, soft
  • Good absorbency
  • Easy to remove and discard
  • Not effective for severe incontinence


Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus pull-on disposable underwear is designed to mimic normal underwear, offering more dignity and freedom than adult diapers. Experts and users praise the fit and comfort level.

Though not rated to be as absorbent as the best standard adult diapers, users are nonetheless pleased how well these deal with daily or even overnight incontinence issues, yet are snug enough to fit under clothing without embarrassment.




High absorbency, low leakage. Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus is available in a variety of sizes and absorption levels, maxing out at 74 ounces for the highest level 3, or Extra (depending on the packaging) variety, says retailer NationalIncontinence.com. That’s as much or more than all but the most absorbent adult diapers, making Abena Abri-Flex a good alternative for everyday use by those with mild to moderate incontinence.

Users seem very pleased — ratings for the various sizes and absorbency ratings are high, with much praise around them being discreet to wear while providing excellent absorption and leakage protection.



Ease of Use

Comfortable to wear; quick to remove. Abena Abri-Flex pull-ups can be put on or taken off like standard underwear, and the elasticized waistband and crotch area make for a snug but comfortable fit. In addition, just like Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear (Est. $55 for a pack of 64), Abena Abri-Flex has tear-away side-seams for easy removal and disposal.



Odor Absorption

Core material reduces the risk of unwanted smells. Abena Abri-Flex Premium Air Plus has an advanced super-absorbent core designed to securely trap fluids, preventing the release of odors. Reviews are relatively silent on how well it works, though I spotted no complaints of odor issues.



Best Overnight Pull-On Underwear

Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear garners high praise from owners and expert reviewers alike for its good absorbency, comfortable fit and ease of use.
Absorbency is excellent and the pull-ons are available in a wide range of sizes.
Though their thickness makes them best for overnight uses, those with heavy incontinence could consider them as an alternative to a standard adult diaper.


  • Holds over a quart of liquid
  • Soft, breathable fabric
  • Tear-away side seams for easy removal
  • Comes in many sizes, including XS
  • Relatively thick
  • Sizing sometimes inaccurate


If you’re looking for a highly absorbent nighttime or extended wear diaper with the ease and simplicity of a pull-on, Tranquility Premium Overnight Underwear should be at the top of your list.

With its effective “Peach Mat” construction to contain odors and disperse urine, this product will provide you with reliable protection all through the night, and its tear-away sides will ensure quick, easy removal in the morning.




An undergarment that doesn’t underwhelm. With an absorbency level of 34 ounces in its larger sizes, the Tranquility Premium Overnight disposable underwear is a high-capacity diaper ideal for nighttime or extended use.

John Davis at IncontenentSupport.org generally recommends against pull up underwear, especially by those with fecal incontinence, but makes an exception for Tranquility, adding that they are “the best pullup I have found so far.” Davis notes that the standing leak guards and leg gathers are effective in controlling leakage — a major issue for those who toss and turn at night.



Ease of Use

The simplicity of a pull-on with the absorbency of a high-capacity brief. Tranquility Premium Overnight disposable underwear is designed with tear-away side seams to allow for easy removal, and it also features a cloth-like outer backing that ensures discretion and quiet movement. The fabric is soft and breathable.

Users generally praise the comfortable fit of the underwear for overnight or extended day usage, though some add that the sizing can be off; some trial and error might be needed to find the right fit.



Odor Absorption

Impressive inner core stops odors in their tracks. Tranquility Premium Overnight appears to control odors remarkably well.

The product contains Tranquility’s “Peach Mat” construction, a patented, super-absorbent composition designed to disperse urine, keep the skin dry and repress odors.

This inner material neutralizes urine pH, preventing the growth of bacteria and fungi in order to protect the skin and eliminate bad smells. Users who comment on that feature give it a thumbs-up for effectiveness.



Best Disposable Incontinence Pads


Whether you need a little protection, or a lot, there’s a size and absorbency of Abena Abri-San Premium incontinence pads to meet your needs.
You can use it with close fitting standard underwear for maximum discreetness. Capacity varies greatly by size, yet is good considering the relative slimness of each.


  • Can be worn with regular underwear
  • Good for mild incontinence
  • Discreet under clothing
  • Not as leak-proof as adult diapers


If your incontinence is mild to moderate and you don’t want to wear a brief-style diaper or disposable underwear, reviewers say Abena Abri-San pads are one of the most absorbent pads on the market.

While the Abena Abri-San is constructed with a leak guard and a waterproof plastic backing, the product is not nearly as leak-proof as a brief-style adult diaper fastened with tape. Pads, however, are less bulky while still offering reasonable protection.




A great solution for occasional or mild-to-moderate incontinence. According to adult diaper retailer NationalIncontinence.com, the largest version of the Abena Abri-San Premium, the Abri-San X-Plus, absorbs a total of 114 ounces — a shockingly high capacity for a disposable pad.

However, the pads may be better suited to people with mild to moderate incontinence than those with severe incontinence because they can be prone to leaks, users say.



Ease of Use

Lightweight, comfortable, and easy to remove. Abena Abri-San Premium pads aren’t as bulky as traditional disposable diapers, so they can be worn discreetly inside regular underwear or optionally under specially designed washable mesh pants.

The largest sizes provide nearly the same absorbency levels as the best full adult diapers without the hassle of tape tabs.

Abena Abri-San’s design also allows for easy removal, as users can simply tear them out of the host underwear and replace them without getting undressed.



Odor Absorption

Double absorption core designed to neutralize smells. Abena Abri-San Premium pads contain a two-layer, super-absorbent core designed to protect the skin and prevent the development of unpleasant odors. However, we did not find enough feedback to rate how effective the pads are in controlling smells.



Best Booster for Added Protection



If you’re in need of an extra dose of protection, the Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad can extend the capacity of your primary diaper, helping you get through the day without needing a change. The pad’s design allows it to fill first, and only transfer liquid to a host diaper once its capacity is exhausted.



  • Great for extra protection
  • Lightweight
  • Soft material
  • Material is a little thin


Booster pads like the Tranquility TopLiner aren’t designed to be used alone, but rather to increase the capacity of a primary incontinence product, such as adult brief-style diapers and disposable pull-on underwear.

The TopLiner is designed to fill to capacity before transferring the liquid to the primary protective garment. It fits well inside adult diapers and is easy to remove.




Extends the capacity of any diaper. While the Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad is strictly a supplementary means of protection against incontinence, it’s effective in increasing the capacity of a primary diaper so that even those with the heaviest incontinence can get through the night or day without needing a change.

Reviews say that the regular size TopLiner absorbs a total of 10.9 ounces before liquids begin being transferred to the primary diaper. Users are generally pleased with the additional absorbency these incontinence booster pads provide.



Ease of Use

Extra absorbency in a hassle-free package. Users describe the TopLiner as easy to put on and dispose of, although a small minority criticize the pad’s fit inside briefs. IncontinentSupport.org gives the Tranquility Topliner a recommendation, saying the pad fits better within the primary diaper than other booster pads and provide as much boost as double diapering, but with less hassle.



Odor Absorption

Little feedback, but a little boost couldn’t hurt. The Tranquility Topliner Booster Pad is designed to boost the absorbency of a primary disposable brief or undergarment, thus preventing skin irritation and controlling odor.

The pad does not appear to contain any components meant specifically for odor neutralization, but its essential function should, in theory, inhibit the diffusion of unwanted smells. However, no reviews mention anything about the Tranquility Topliner’s ability to absorb odors.






Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas. 

I welcome your comments below.




Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!




How to Buy Adult Diapers

 How to Buy Adult Diapers

Protection differs among various styles of adult diapers


Millions of adults struggle with chronic fecal or urinary incontinence on a daily basis. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of quality products on the market designed to meet their needs.

The most common solution to total bowel or bladder control loss is the brief-style disposable adult diaper.

Of all the types of incontinence products out there, these protective undergarments offer the most consistent leakage protection, the highest absorbency and the most security.


Molicare Super-Plus Briefs Size Medium Pk/14

Molicare Super-Plus Briefs


They generally feature a cloth-like or plastic outer surface, a highly absorbent inner core, leg elastics, and either tape tabs or hook-and-loop fasteners. Brief products by Abena, Attends, NorthShore and Molicare consistently outshine other competitors in this category.


Alternatively, pull-on disposable protective underwear products work like regular undergarments by pulling on and off, and they are meant to offer more dignity and freedom than brief-style diapers.



Abena Abri-Flex Air Plus Pull-Ons, Extra, Medium M3, 14

Abena Abri-Flex Air Plus Pull-Ons



However, pull-ons often don’t have the capacity or protection to handle severe incontinence.



Disposable incontinence pads, much like female menstrual pads, are designed to be worn inside regular underwear.

Abena Abri-San Premium, X-Plus 11 Pad, 16 Count

Abena Abri-San Premium, X-Plus Pads


They are generally not absorbent enough to protect against major bowel incontinence, but they can provide adequate protection against urinary incontinence.



Absorbency booster pads are worn inside a primary diaper for supplementary protection.


Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad Medium Diaper Inserts Case/100 (4 bags of 25)

Tranquility TopLiner Booster Pad Medium Diaper Inserts


When they fill to capacity, wetness passes through them and into the host garment, extending the longevity of the main diaper. Many people with severe incontinence rely on booster pads for extra overnight protection.

When it comes to adult incontinence products, the general rule is that high absorbency comes at the cost of discreetness. For the most part, the higher a diaper’s capacity, the bulkier it’s going to look under clothing. It’s almost always a trade-off, although some are slightly less conspicuous than others.

Finding the best adult diapers


There isn’t a lot of informative testing out there on adult diapers, and I based much of these findings on owner reviews and ratings.

The best website by far for testing and reviews is XPMedical.com, an online retailer specializing in incontinence products. Owner Gary Evans and a small staff perform exhaustive testing on their products, and their ratings have a good reputation in the online adult diaper community. Their diaper reviews are detailed and specific, and information on each style includes wet and dry measurements, features, results of wetting and rewetting tests, cost per diaper and comments on overall quality and effectiveness.

I also considered the reviews done at IncontinenceSupport.info. They are more anecdotal than scientific, and I’d be happier I we knew more about those who administer the site, but the reviews are based on hands-on testing and cover most aspects of what those who need adult diapers should know before making a selection.

To name the best-reviewed adult diapers, I considered performance (how well the diaper retains contents, how well it absorbs fluids and how well it protects against leaks), ease of use (comfort, fit, convenience of removal) and odor absorption (whether the product neutralizes odor and how long the protection lasts). My top picks for disposable briefs, pull-on underwear, incontinence pads and booster pads all receive favorable reviews from experts and strong feedback from owners.

What the best adult diaper does


  • Absorbs and retains liquid. Absorbency and leakage protection are the most important things to consider when buying a new brand of adult diaper.
  • Proves easy to use and comfortable to wear. If the underwear or disposable brief doesn’t fit snugly, it could lead to leaks or discomfort.
  • Neutralizes odor. Most styles and models of adult diapers contain an absorbent core that has been designed to suppress odors, although the effectiveness of this feature varies widely.

Know before you go


Consider your personal needs. A light pad may provide enough protection for mild stress incontinence, and a standard diaper may work well enough if it’s changed after each use. For those with severe incontinence or those who want to use a single diaper for multiple wettings, a premium diaper is the most reliable choice.


Choose a diaper that’s compatible with your clothing. Although premium diapers are the most effective, they can also be bulkier. While the increased bulk shouldn’t be an issue for those who wear fairly loose clothing, a less absorbent style or a highly absorbent pad worn inside close-fitting underwear will be more discreet under tighter clothing.


Pull-on underwear allows for easy removal. Users say pull-on underwear or pads are far easier to pull up and down than adult briefs, which need to be refastened on each side after a trip to the bathroom. Another option is to place a booster inside a brief and change the booster as needed while leaving the brief in place.


Start with a sample pack. Because of the variation in people’s body shapes and lifestyles, experts say there’s no incontinence product that works for everyone. Many makers and/or retailers offer small sample packs — usually two or three diapers — at a reduced price, so you can try the product before you commit to a larger order.


What about the backing? Adult diapers are available with either a plastic or a cloth-like paper outer shell. Experts say that plastic does a better job containing moisture and odor. However, plastic can sometimes make a crinkling sound when users move about.


Buy the smallest size that fits well, unless you need extra protection. Adult diapers and disposable pull-on underwear come in a range of sizes from extra small to extra-large and beyond. The snugger the fit, the less likely leaks will occur. Larger sizes, however, offer more absorption.


Try new products out at home first. An incontinence product that works well for one person’s body shape may be uncomfortable or leaky for someone else. Experts caution that even a top-rated brief, pull-up or pad should be tested in a private setting before being worn out in public.


Value Expectations: The Dollars and Cents of it


The cost of adult diapers varies widely based on retailer, quantity and size, so it’s difficult to pin down exact numbers.

In general, you can expect to spend between 60 cents and $2 per diaper, but buying in bulk can sometimes reduce the price.

Another great way to save is to buy booster pads, which are much more affordable, so that the primary garment needs to be changed less often.

What’s to Come


On the whole, adult diapers are trending toward a slimmer, more discreet fit. According to an article by the online retailer DiaperBuys.com, “More diapers are beginning to look like underwear and lack the significant padding of previous products. These diapers and briefs still provide the same absorbency and protection but allow for a more discreet appearance.” As brands develop increasingly effective chemicals and crystals for liquid absorption, the need for bulky diapers is gradually declining.



Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas. 

I welcome your comments below.




Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!




You may also be interested in:

Top Adult Diaper Briefs Reviewed

Incontinence Supply Management for Your Loved in in Assisted Living

Coping With Incontinence

Incontinence Protection Products for Home, Car and Bed

Managing Dementia Related Incontinence

How to Choose and Purchase Urinary Catheters

Help for Anxiety in the Elderly

How to Give a Sponge Bath in Bed

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Coping With Incontinence

Coping With Incontinence – A Guide for Caregivers




Many family and partner caregivers say that heavy incontinence would tip their decision towards moving a loved one to a nursing home.

What makes this such an emotionally difficult turning point?


Incontinence can be the last straw in a stressful caregiving situation.  Providing for the personal care needs of someone with bladder or bowel control issues will always be an unwelcome task, but there are many effective solutions to managing incontinence that can result in increased dignity and improved quality of life for your loved ones, and less frustration and difficulty for you.


Below are some of the issues that make incontinence so difficult to deal with, and tips on how to cope with these concerns.





What should you do when your loved one is resistant to using pads or protective underwear?


An individual asked to use incontinence products daily may feel that they are no longer capable of taking care of themselves at the most basic level. Their response to you might be one of denial, anger, refusal or passive inaction.



Coping: It is important to talk with your loved one in a calm, understanding, and honest way about how their incontinence is affecting you and your ability to provide the best possible care for them. This can make acceptance easier—of the incontinence as well as the incontinence products.  If the care receiver lives with a mental or cognitive condition like dementia, learn the best approaches by taking a class or attending a support group where you can learn useful tools for more successful communication.

Be tactful; walking in and saying the house smells may offend the care receiver and cause a defensive response rather than one of cooperation.



You might feel a sense of embarrassment not only for yourself but also for the care receiver. It’s hard to be responsible for caring for someone, like your parent, in this very personal and often invasive way. If you are caring for someone of the opposite sex, it can be awkward having to see, touch and care for their private areas. If you are caring for a parent of the same sex, it may still feel like you’re invading their privacy.  And finally, there is compassion for the loss of dignity felt by a loved one who now needs care at this level.

Coping:  Talking it out with supportive family, friends, or professionals can be helpful. Acknowledge your uncomfortable feelings. Hire a home care worker or recruit another family member or friend to provide care when is too hard for you to do.



Caregivers are often not at their best when dealing with incontinence.  It might feel like the care receiver allowed an incontinence episode to occur on purpose to punish you. You might find yourself getting angry or impatient, especially if help is needed at an inconvenient time, such as when preparing dinner or sleeping. The cost of incontinence supplies can be a concern in the budget of the caregiver/care receiver. And if the care receiver is not cooperative, it puts even more strain on your relationship with them. Some people may also have physically reactions and discomfort to bodily fluids and odors.


Coping: Admitting to your discomfort is a good first step.  Pretending this is not an issue for you, if it is, only makes matters worse for both you and the care receiver.  Know that the care receiver is not trying to make your life harder; they have no control over what is happening.  This is difficult for them, also. Seek out help through an in-person or online support groups, from a friend or family member who has had a similar experience, or from a Social Worker, Nurse, Occupational Therapist or other health professional.



You might find yourself getting angry or resentful for having to deal with this situation. Maybe it’s just too hard for you to do. Sometimes it may feel easier to just not clean someone up, but this is neglectful of the care receiver and puts the care receiver at risk for skin breakdown and infections, particularly urinary tract infections.



Coping: Acknowledge the many feeling you might have about dealing with incontinence and ask for help.  Support groups, either in-person or online, can offer you both emotional encouragement and tried and true practical strategies. No doubt other caregivers will share their research and experience with various products. Get product recommendations from your doctor, pharmacist or an occupational therapist.


Seek out products that make it easier for you and the care receiver. Having the right product for the right situation can make a big difference.



Consider hiring a personal care aide or allowing other family members help whenever they can. You don’t have to do it all.


Physical Limitations


Mismatched body types, physically disability, or age or disease related physical weakness may make providing incontinence care for your loved one difficult.   A small person trying to help a much larger person out of bed might risk hurting their back or straining other muscles.

You might be at risk for falling when roused in the middle of the night to aid the care receiver in getting to the bathroom or using a urinal.  And the lack of sleep that results from getting up several times during the night will definitely affect your functioning and capacity to cope the next day.

Coping: If you are caring for someone with a physical disability, such as paralysis or weakness, make sure you have a physical therapist or occupational therapist teach you how to use your body so that you don’t hurt yourself while trying to help the care receiver. Work with your physician to make sure any plan of care includes what YOU need as well as what the care receiver needs.  It’s okay to acknowledge your own limits and set limits when something might be harmful to you.


Going out with someone who is incontinent takes some advanced planning. Caregivers and care receivers often become socially isolated because of concerns about dealing with incontinence outside of the home setting.


Coping: Prepack two small shoulder bags with everything you might need such as incontinence pads, wipes, gloves, change of underwear and other supplies you require. Be sure to include a couple of plastic bag to stash soiled products.  Keep one bag with you and one in the car, just in case.

If traveling, look for a family/companion bathroom that allows two people to go in together. Or carry a laminated flyer that you can affix to the entrance of a public bathroom that says, for example, “wife caring for disabled husband inside”.

Know that in some states, like California, a state law allows a family caregiver or paid attendant of either sex to assist a care receiver in a public bathroom. Arrange to have a seat near the bathroom in an airplane or on other transportation. 

Keep in mind where bathrooms are on an outing, which will reduce anxiety for both of you. Stop by a rest room frequently, even if the care receiver has not said they need to go.

Time and Resources


Incontinence makes the caregiver’s job harder in many ways. Incontinence product leaks, their inconsistent usage, or even lack of use when called for, will result in more loads of laundry and more time consumed cleaning up the bathroom and around the house. Additional time is required if help is needed to bathe your loved one after a urine or bowel accident.



As personal care takes more and more time, you may find yourself growing less patient and more frustrated.  These feelings are only compounded if cleaning and bathing demands occur throughout the night leaving the caregiver without adequate sleep. Increasing time demands needed for incontinence care will influence when more help is needed, e.g. recruiting another family member or hiring an attendant, and possibly if it’s time to look into residential care placement.


One additional factor that cannot be overlooked is the cost of incontinence care products and keeping track of having enough stock on hand to meet the need.


Coping: Hiring help can take some of the strain off of the caregiver.  Many caregivers suggest searching online to find the best price for incontinence supplies and for finding coupons to help reduce the cost at the store.  Don’t hesitate to ask another caregiver – in person or on an online caregiver support groups – for their suggestions on the best places to buy products. 


You may ultimately decide that placement is the best choice both for you and the care receiver – even if you promised never to move then to a nursing home. Then the caregiver can return to being a partner, adult child, friend, sibling and not the personal care attendant. The change from loving partner to caregiver can result in grief, guilt and depression. Taking care of your own needs is most important in being able to care for someone else.

You are not alone . . .


It will be easier for you, as a caregiver, as well as for the care receiver if you can make incontinence care as natural as possible. It is, after all, very common—25% of women and 15% of men experience incontinence at some point in their lives.  It is also a symptom common to many advanced diseases.



Get a medical evaluation to see if there is something that can be done to decrease the urgency of needing to use the bathroom and to find out if it’s a treatable condition,  such as a urinary tract infection or prostate problem. Discuss with the care receiver’s physician if medication or bladder training would be effective in this situation.  Above all, seek out and get help from family, friends and paid help if possible so it is not all on you to do all of the care.

Important Tips for Caregivers Dealing With Incontinence



There are many things you can do to help a person manage incontinence. In some cases you can help decrease the number of incontinence episodes by making a few simple changes about the home.


Focus on identifying ways you can facilitate easy access to the toilet, transferring on and off the toilet and faster removal of clothes.


Things you can try:


  • Ensure the bathroom is easily accessible, relocating a bedroom to be close to the toilet can help
  • Install grab rails or bars in the bathroom and by the toilet if a person is unsteady on their feet
  • Keep lights on in the bathroom at night



Final Thoughts


If you are caring for someone with incontinence, you may find it to be one of the most difficult aspects of caregiving. 

Incontinence can be unpredictable, add dramatically to your workload and be very costly.  Follow the tips above and seek further advice from a healthcare professional.  Having the right products, the right advice and support can help make this aspect of caregiving more manageable.




Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.




Incontinence Care Products at Northshore Care!





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