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How to Manage Incontinence: A Caregiver's Guide

Author
Nobel Hygiene

If you are a professional caretaker or someone caring for your loved one who is bedridden and suffering from urinary incontinence, you have to undertake the task of changing adult diapers. To keep the patient’s skin to remain rash and infection free, it needs to be kept clean and dry at all times. While it may not be difficult for a healthy adult to achieve this, incontinence patients especially those who are bedridden, need special assistance to make sure that their skin is healthy.

Adult diaper pants and pads are made for soaking the accidental urine leaks. These are waterproof and hypoallergenic to keep away stains, discomfort and messy situations. Diaper pants can be worn like a regular underwear by adults suffering from incontinence. Some of these are disposable while others are washable and reusable. Some patients also use underpad sheets for adults to get extra protection for their sheets. Changing adult diapers in periodic intervals ensures that the skin is clean and free from diaper rash. Prolonged exposure to urine can cause tissue breakdown and even lead to bedsores.

Changing an adult diaper for the first time may seem daunting, but following a few easy steps can make the whole process of managing urinary incontinence simpler for you and your loved one. One should start by unfastening the diaper and fold it back in such a way that the excrement is contained within. Slowly pull the soiled adult diaper pant and throw it away in a separate covered bin. Caretakers must use fresh wipes and clean the skin around the diaper area gently. Remember to wipe from the front to the back as this prevents bacteria from spreading and reduces the chances of infections. Fold the wipes while thoroughly cleaning each part and keep using fresh ones as soon as the wipe becomes dirty. This makes the process more hygienic.

While cleaning the skin around the nether regions, caretakers must be very gentle and check for signs of rashes or inflammation. The skin in these areas are fragile and vulnerable and an early warning signal for infection can help in getting timely treatment. It is important to clean and subsequently dry all the folds of the skin and leave it open for at least two minutes. Caretakers should also straighten the underpad sheets designed for adults and ensure it is clean and free of creases. Once this is done, caretakers should slowly pull up the diaper from both sides until it snugly fits the wearer.

Caretakers responsible for tending to urinary incontinence patients must store all of the required supplies near the patient’s bedside. By keeping supplies like underpad sheets, diaper rash cream for adults, wet wipes and soft cotton towels within a moment’s reach can save time and effort of the caretakers while changing the diaper pants and assisting their loved ones. It also prevents any accidents if one suddenly rushes to the bathroom or scrambles to look for essentials. An incontinence patient’s supplies should be kept exclusive and not shared or used by anyone else to prevent infections of any kind.

While managing incontinence through underpants and diapers, one must remember to use a properly fitting adult diaper as a wrong sized diaper can cause chafing and damage to the skin. While tending to bedridden incontinence patients, one needs to be very gentle, caring and careful as patients can find themselves overwhelmed with feelings of shame and guilt and caretakers must help them overcome this and preserve their dignity.

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