If incontinence becomes a big problem for an elderly person, the use of incontinence aids will help ensure peace of mind and comfort. Aids can be personal, such as incontinence pads and pants, or they can be items to protect furniture and bed linens.
Personal incontinence aids
Incontinence shields and pull-up panties.
These can be worn almost all the time, or during the night only. They are designed to draw fluids away from the skin, thus preventing sores and rashes. You will need to find the correct type and absorbency for the elderly person in your care. There are many brands available on the market. You will need to make sure that they fit comfortably and do not rub or leak. Personal incontinence protection needs to be changed as necessary.
Incontinence sheaths for men.
An incontinence sheath is a silicone condom which fits snugly over the penis. A tube runs from the sheath to the bag attached to the leg of the elderly person. The bag serves as a receptacle for collecting urine. Incontinence sheath’s can be worn in the day or night time.
Waterproof mattress protectors.
Protecting mattresses from urine penetration is very important for good hygiene and to prevent unwanted odours. Waterproof mattress protectors will help stop urine penetrating through the sheets into the mattress. They are often used in conjunction with personal aids in case of leakages at night. The protector should not touch the skin, as it could cause chafing and rashes. Special water repellent duvet covers and pillowcases can also be bought for added protection.
Absorbent furniture/bed pads.
These are under sheets with give a dry surface to a bed or lounge chair. They help protect furniture and mattresses from urine penetration, then preventing unwanted odours and stains. Absorbent furniture/bed pads are available as washable or disposable products.
Other sources of help
If it becomes obvious that incontinence is a serious problem for an elderly person, get in touch with your local doctors surgery and ask for professional advice. Occupational therapists will be able to advise on the range of products available. In the UK, the NHS offer a range of aids but many people who can afford it prefer to source their own products. There are many shops and websites that specialise in incontinence products for the elderly and it is often a matter of trying a few brands to find out what works best for the elderly person concerned.