Let's be honest; no one here at Healthwick grew up thinking "When I get older, I'm going to learn everything there is to know about continence care products."
But after you've spent thousands of hours in conversation with caregivers, nurses, manufacturers and end-users, and run hundreds of tests on incontinence briefs, underwear and pads, you’d be amazed the tips and tricks you learn!
Today, we wanted to highlight five products that you, dear reader, probably haven't tried, maybe you don't even know about... but you should.
(Hint: #4 is something we never even thought of before.)
1) Stretch Briefs – For the life of us, we can’t figure out why more people aren’t using stretch briefs.
Regular incontinence briefs have two small sticky or Velcro-like tabs on each side, which do up like a baby’s diaper. Sure they work, but they’re also often inflexible and prone to “popping” if the wearer is active, or have to be fastened uncomfortably tight for a snug fit.
Stretch briefs, on the other hand, have just one double-wide stretchy tab on each side with a Velcro-like closer that sticks to anywhere on the brief. The stretch of the tab is the key - it allows the user to do the brief up snugly, but still have comfortable free range of motion without discomfort.
As a bonus to caregivers, the stretchy side tabs allow a much wider sizing range than traditional briefs. That means if your loved one is hovering between a large to extra large size, you’ll find one single size that fits him or her perfectly.
2) Booster Pads - The healthcare community is divided on this product but customers who use them love them.
Booster pads (also known as "diaper doublers") are pads that boost the absorbency of a continence brief or underwear. They go inside the continence product, absorb urine and (when full) allow the urine to flow through.
If you’ve been adding regular incontinence or feminine hygiene pads to briefs to accomplish the same thing, STOP. Regular pads have a waterproof backing, which means when they’re full, urine leaks out the sides (around the legs). Booster pads are the way to go.
And if you're following a consistent schedule for changing briefs, you'll often find you can simply replace the booster pad alone, instead of the whole brief, which can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
3) Adult Wipes – Oh, you’re still using baby wipes? That’s cute. But how many are you using per day?
Adult wipes and washcloths are the grownup version of baby wipes, with a much larger size and stronger weave, designed to clean more surface area with a single wipe, saving you money in the long run vs smaller, less effective baby wipes.
And if you’re not using any wipes at all, consider that for just pennies, you can help prevent painful skin breakdown and urinary tract infections when you remove traces of urine and fecal matter from the skin.
TENA even has one that’s completely flushable and safe for plumbing!
4) Male Guards (and not just for men) – Male guards are pads specifically designed for the male anatomy and have a shape similar to a jock strap cup, instead of the more traditional oval or hourglass shape of female pads.
But one of the most innovative uses we’ve heard for male guards is actually for those with light bowel incontinence. By rotating the pad backwards and placing it in the back of underwear, it creates a small, discreet pocket to catch minor soiling and absorb odours.
This handy idea works for either men or women and is substantially more cost effective (not to mention convenient) than full incontinence underwear or briefs when you just need a small amount of protection.
Thank you to several of our customers with IBS for this fantastic tip!
5) Cleansing Cream – Okay, so you don’t want to waste money on disposable wipes but you still want to protect your loved one’s skin and practice proper hygiene.
Consider cleansing cream, also known as perineal wash cream. This specially design cream cleans and protects the delicate perineal area while neutralizing urine on the skin. Simply wipe on with a soft cloth or gloved hand – no need for rinsing with water.
Have any other tips and tricks we should know about? Leave us a comment below.