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.

-Laurie

 

 

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?

 

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.

-Laurie

 

 

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

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