Dealing with Incontinence as We Age

Dealing with Incontinence as We Age

By Kevin Cleary

The saying goes: With age comes wisdom. While that might be true, age can also bring on some conditions that are a little less desirable. As we get older the problem of incontinence can increase. Prostate cancer, BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), and advancing age can all contribute to bouts of incontinence. With all the options on the market today there is no reason to live in fear of incontinence. Whatever your lifestyle is there are products to help you maintain your quality of life.

Overcoming the Stigma of Incontinence

We’ve all heard the jokes about getting older and the need for adult diapers, but the fact of the matter is there are real medical conditions that can cause incontinence. A lot of these reasons have nothing to do with age or the aging process so there is no reason to live in shame. The stigma of incontinence can sometimes prevent those who suffer from it from finding the support and resolution they need. In an article written for nursinginpractice.com, research presented at the Global Incontinence Forum found only 60% of those who suffer from incontinence feel comfortable talking about it with their partner while less than 30% choose to tell members of their close family. Women seem less comfortable than men discussing this social taboo. But once this malady is brought to light, sufferers will quickly realize that, with the abundance of resources and support, they are not alone.

Talk to Your Doctor

The first step in solving this dilemma is to discuss it with your general practitioner (GP). Your doctor (as well as his nurses) is a great resource for finding the correct product for your situation not to mention support groups if needed. Most importantly, your physician will understand the root cause of your incontinence and its impact on your lifestyle. They have a thorough knowledge of how prostate cancer or BPH can cause incontinence and the best way to prevent embarrassing social situations.

What Are My Options?

There have been great improvements in the manufacturing of incontinence products. Whether your case requires diapers, protective underwear/pants, or pads and liners the options are plentiful. The key is identifying which products offer the proper protection you need, not to mention matching the correct product for different social situations. For example, you might opt for a more lightweight/discrete brief instead of a diaper for an occasion that requires more formal wear for a shorter period of time. With advances in materials used for adult briefs/diapers the ability to tailor your protection to your social situation allows for greater flexibility.

Diapers /Briefs

When we think of incontinence the first thing that comes to mind is adult diapers. In the past they have been bulky and uncomfortable, but with innovations in materials newer diapers aren’t anything like their predecessors. To further illustrate how things have changed, adult diapers aren’t even referred to as diapers anymore. They are more commonly referred to as adult briefs. This subtle difference goes a long way in overcoming the stigma of incontinence. A great option is made by First Quality Prevail. They offer a variety of options including Premium Protective Underwear and Protective Underwear with Extra and Super Absorbency. The manufacturer Covidien has created the Kendall line of adult briefs. There is a wide variety of options for consumers such as Wings Quilted Overnight Adult Brief and Simplicity Disposable Adult Quilted Briefs. These manufacturers of also discovered that the use of different materials makes these products more comfortable and absorbency. Tranquility offers the Slimline Briefs in both disposable and breathable versions. They also offer the Tranquility ATN (All Through the Night) Disposable Brief for maximum protection during the night. Another choice for consumers is Attends and their Super Plus Absorbency Underwear with Leakage Barriers. They also offer bariatric patients the Bariatric Severe Absorbency Briefs. Plus Companies such as Medline offer many options such as FitRight Ultra Disposable and FitRight Plus Cloth Like Adult Disposable Briefs. Many manufacturers offer different levels of absorbency in their briefs. A good example is Abena Abri-Form Comfort Adult Briefs which are available in four different absorbency levels. Manufacturers have also realized that men and women are built differently and offer briefs made for each. Depend offers men Real Fit Briefs for Men and women Silhouette Maximum Absorbency Brief for Women for proper anatomical fit. There are even reusable briefs such as the Wearever Men Super Reusable Incontinence Briefs which are machine washable up to 250 times.

Pads and Liners

These are comfortable, moisture proof, and cloth like (not to mention superabsorbent) for dryness and odor control and provide maximum hygiene with dignity. They usually anchor via adhesive to your own underwear making them effective yet discrete. There are many options, from moderate to maximum absorbency. Customers have the option to choose different products that work for them in different social situations. Kendall offers consumers the SureCare Bladder Control Pads and Versalon Peri-Pad so users can tailor their protection to their exacting needs. They even offer the Curity Maternity Pad with a unique barrier to prevent strike-through. Tena offers many different options such as Dry Comfort Day Heavy Absorbency Bladder Control Unisex Pads and Ultimate Overnight Bladder Control Pads. They even offer Tena Pads for Men, which are anatomically designed specifically for men. Attends offers different pads in varying absorbency. They offer the Attends Heavy Absorbency Shaped Pads for patients who have a greater need for more protection and the Attends Light Absorbency Insert Pads for lighter needs. Tranquility Adult Liners are designed with an adhesive strip in the back for secure placement when worn with regular underwear. Also available by Tranquility are the Trimshield Pads in 2 styles, Super-Plus and Mini. First Quality offers Prevail Bladder Control Pads and Male Guards. These wick moisture away from skin and eliminate odor. The options seem almost limitless; Abena offers consumers a fecal incontinence pad, Abri-San Special Shaped Pad for Fecal Incontinence. Whatever your need or situation there are options out there, you’ll be surprised at how many different options you have.