Managing Incontinence

Healthwick Family

New to Incontinence? You're not alone!

More than 3.3 million Canadians of all ages are managing incontinence, and as many as 50% of people over the age of 65 deal with it daily. Incontinence is simply involuntary urinary or bowel leakage, which can range from very light leaks to heavy bedwetting.

There are many potential reasons for incontinence, including spinal injury, prostate issues, stroke, cognitive impairment, or simply aging, which tends to weaken the muscles which support our bladders. Whether it's you or a loved one managing incontinence, it can bring up a number of difficult emotions:

  • Anxiety about having an embarrassing leak in public.
  • Fear that incontinence will lower one's quality of life.
  • Shame of being unable to control bodily functions.
  • Frustration over finding a suitable incontinence product to use.

These are perfectly normal feelings but they shouldn't hold you back from finding solutions that will help you manage incontinence (for either yourself or a family member) so that life can be lived healthfully and confidently.

 

Healthwick is here to help.

At Healthwick, we've compiled Canada's largest selection of incontinence products, from national name brands to niche products and specialty sizes that can't be found in stores. Our team of Product Specialists are expertly trained to provide exceptional advice and knowledge to help guide you or your loved one to a solution that will ensure optimal quality of life and health. And all orders are shipped discreetly in unmarked packages to your or your loved one's home, so you never have to worry about carrying home bulky boxes from the store.

 

Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Incontinence

 

1) Talk to your Doctor or Registered Nurse Practitioner (if you haven't already)

Many forms of incontinence can be managed or eliminated simply through medication, lifestyle changes or physiotherapy. Talking with a healthcare professional will help you learn your options for treatment.

 

Helpful Tip
Many hospitals offer Continence Clinics where you can speak with a Nurse Continence Advisor who specializes in urinary and bowel incontinence management.

 

 

2) Look at all Product Options

When it comes to products designed to manage incontinence, there are a few different options. The most common product solutions are:

Catheters, for both men and women, are also a viable option for managing urinary incontinence. If you're interested in catheters, please talk to your healthcare professional.

 

 

3) Determine Which Products Will Suit Your Lifestyle

Understanding your daily lifestyle needs will help you in selecting the best incontinence product for you. Below is a chart indicating which products are generally suitable for specific lifestyles.

Pads and Male Guards Absorbent Underwear Adult Diapers/Briefs
Lifestyle Active or athletic lifestyle. Active to sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyle or mobility-impaired individuals.

 *Please note that this information can differ depending on individual circumstances and preferences.

 

 

4) Determine Which Products will Provide Your Required Absorbency

The level of absorbency is essential in selecting an incontinence product. If you choose a product that doesn’t match the level of absorbency you need, you will most likely experience leaks and discomfort.

Adult diapers, absorbent underwear, and pads & male guards are available in different absorbency levels, ranging from very light to maximum. However, some product types are generally more absorbent than others. Below is a chart indicating the products that are typically suitable for different absorbency levels and requirements.

Pads and Male Guards Absorbent Underwear Adult Diapers/Briefs
Absorbency Very light to Moderate Moderate to Heavy Moderate to Maximum

 *Please note that this information can differ depending on individual circumstances and preferences.

 

 

5) Breakdown the Advantages and Drawbacks

It's important to review the advantages and drawbacks that each product option has to offer. Below is a chart that indicates the advantages and drawbacks of each incontinence product.

Pads and Male Guards Absorbent Underwear Adult Diapers/Briefs
Advantages Easy to change and dispose of. Low price point. Doesn't require sizing. Familiar style of product similar to regular underwear. Easy to use. Good absorbency.  Best absorbency. Easy to change without completely undressing. Adjustable fit.
Drawbacks Limited absorbency. Not suitable for heavy or surge incontinence. More prone to leaks. Need to be changed frequently. Not quite as absorbent as most adult diapers. Sometimes difficult to find the right fit. Difficult to change without undressing. Higher price point. Stigma of using a "diaper" product. Not as discreet under clothing. May need to practice application to ensure a proper fitting.

 *Please note that this information can differ depending on individual circumstances and preferences.

 

 

 6) Measure for the Right Fit

Particularly when it comes to adult diapers and absorbent underwear, selecting the correct size is very important. If you select a product that is too small, you may experience skin irritation, and a product that is too large can result in leaks.

 

Helpful Tip
To find the correct size, measure both hip and the waist and use whichever measurement is larger. At Healthwick, all products are clearly labelled with size ranges (in inches) in the product description.

 

Hips

1. Measure the hips of the individual.

Measure Hips - Healthwick

Waist

2. Measure the waist of the individual.

Measure Waist - Healthwick

Select Size

3. Select whichever measurement is larger to find the correct size.

 
Select Size - Healthwick

 

7) Order Free Samples

 Healthwick partners with almost all national manufacturers to provide free samples, so you can try up to 5 products in the privacy of your home before purchasing an entire package. Simply shop online or order by phone and pay shipping, plus get free shipping on your next order over $50.

 

Helpful Tip
Not sure which product to choose? Use our "Choose For Me" option and our Product Specialists will hand-select the best products for you to try. You can select a Choose for Me sample pack that includes incontinence pads, adult diapers or absorbent underwear.

 

 

8) Don't Forget Skin Care

Incontinence can be rough on your skin. The delicate perineal area is prone to irritation and rashes due to contact with urine or feces. Cleanse your private area with wipes or cleansers at every product change and apply a specialty barrier cream to protect the skin. The small additional cost of a proper incontinence hygiene product can prevent expensive rashes and urinary tract infections in many cases.

 

Helpful Tip
Consider a 3-in-1 product that combines a cleanser, moisturizer and skin protector that simply wipes on and wipes off for easy protection.

 

9) Adding Extra Protection

 Unexpected leaks are inconvenient, and can also be embarrassing and uncomfortable. If you’re looking for some extra protection against leaks, there are a few products you can try.

  • Underpads, available in both washable and disposable options, can help to protect your sheets and mattress against any nighttime leaks.

    Helpful Tip
    Consider investing in 2 or 3 washable underpads, which are a better value than disposable ones in the long-term.

     

    • Waterproof pants are another way of adding additional protection, as they can assist in containing any product leaks you make experience. Search for waterproof pants on our website here.
    • If you’re already in a well-fitting and high absorbency product and still experiencing leaks, you may want to give booster pads a try. Booster pads amp up product absorbency, making them a good solution to overflow leakage.

     

    10) Make Ordering Convenient and Easy

    Once you've discovered which of the samples work best for you, simply order online or call Healthwick toll-free at 1-877-775-6656 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm EST) for easy and fast ordering of your products. 

     

    Helpful Tip 
    Eliminate the risk of running out of product AND save when you sign up for the free Healthwick Automatic Delivery Program. Healthwick will automatically ship your order monthly plus give you an extra 5% off your orders. You can cancel or change your order at any time.

     

    11) Don't be Afraid to Ask Questions!

    The Healthwick team is here to help. There is no such thing as a bad question. Our goal is to make sure that you are able to manage incontinence in order to lead a healthy, confident life. Some of our most commonly asked questions are:


    - How do I put an adult diaper on my mother?

    - Should I put a pad inside my absorbent underwear to make it hold more?

    - Can I claim my incontinence products for a tax deduction?

    - Is there a similar product that is less expensive?

    - Where can I find a Continence Clinic in my area?


    Don't hesitate to Contact Us at any point for prompt, professional and compassionate answers to your questions. We hope this helps.

     

    Take care,

    Healthwick Team