tag: Incontinence

Which Incontinence Products Does Your Senior Need

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There is a wide variety of incontinence products available out there and it can be hard to figure out which solution is best for your senior. Factors such as activity level, level of protection needed, gender, and size should all be taken into account when considering products. Here is a brief description of some different products that can be helpful when trying to make a decision.

  • Diapers and briefs: These products are highly absorbent and are secured by side fasteners. The side fasteners are ideal if your senior needs assistance getting them on and off. Because of their Breezers-by-Prevail-Brief1high absorbency, these are ideal for seniors with heavy to complete loss of bladder or bowel controlDiapers and briefs are generally recommended for elderly individuals with little to no activity.
  • Adult Pull-Ups: These products have the same absorbency as diapers and briefs, but are ideal for a more active and independent individual. Instead of being secured with side tabs, they are pulled on and off, like you would with regular underwear. These are close fitting and discreet, which provides maximum protection against leaks for active individuals. These products are recommended for seniors with little to no bladder control, but wish to continue an active lifestyle.
  • Reusable Underwear: Reusable underwear may be a good option for active seniors with light to moderate loss of bladder control. Similar to adult pull-ups, they provide full coverage and maximum leak protection. They are softer and more comfortable than the disposable pull-ups, but tend to be bulky and less absorbent.
  • Undergarments: This category includes both beltless undergarments and belted shields. These products are discreet and provide high leakage protection. Beltless undergarments are worn inside of underwear, while belted shields can be worn inside of underwear or replace it completely. Both options are less bulky than adult pull-ups and reusable underwear are recommended for seniors with little to no bladder control.
  • Shields, Liners, and Pads: These are a variety of products that all serve the same purpose. They are all ideal for an independent, active individual with moderate to light loss of bladder control. They are form-fitting, discreet and are placed inside of underwear. They feature adhesive strips to help hold them in place and are easy to remove and replace.
  • Underpads: These products simply provide additional protection to bedding, sofas, chairs, and other surfaces. These absorbent pads are flat and rectangular and simply go underneath the individual and on top of the surface they are sitting on. The can be useful for seniors with all degrees of incontinence.
  • Mattress Covers: These are similar to underpads, as they just provide the bed with another level of protection against leakage. Mattress covers are quilted, waterproof sheets and recommended for all levels of incontinence.
  • Skin Care: Regardless of what products your senior is using, having the right skin care products is crucial. Urine can be harmful to the skin, which can cause injuries and infections over time if the skin isRenew_Dimethicone_Skin_Protectant-1 not properly cared for. Some important products in the skin care category includemoisturizing creams and skin cleansers. The moisturizing cream provides protection against skin breakdown and promotes healing for damaged skin. The skin cleansers and incontinence washcloths are used to clean, neutralize, and deodorize skin from urine, while being gentle and not doing any further damage.

There are many ways to prevent and treat the damage caused by incontinence. We at Senior Home Advocates are committed to providing excellent service and quality products to the seniors and the families we serve.  To learn more detailed information on how to care for your incontinent loved one download our free Educational eBook or call (714) 921-9200.

What are the Health Risks Associated with Incontinence?

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How does incontinence damage the skin?

  • Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control and if not treated properly, can damage the skin. When skin is exposed to moisture and urine for long periods of time, it loses its ability to protect against friction, bacteria, and fungus. Extended exposure to urine can raise the skin’s natural pH levels, and those higher levels can actually encourage the growth of bacteria. The excess moisture will also lower the skin’s temperature and reduce skin’s blood flow when under pressure.

What injuries can incontinence cause?

  • Incontinence-Associated DermatitisThis is caused by repeated exposure of skin to urine that results in skin inflammation. This can manifest in a variety of ways, including redness with or dermaseptinwithout blisters, erosion, and the loss of the skin’s barrier function. The injured skin may also have induration, or be firmer than the surrounding tissue. In addition to being very painful, the skin loses its ability to protect itself and surrounding tissue. The moisture from the urine causes the skin to become over-hydrated and when the skin contains too much moisture it is not longer to act as an effective barrier.
  • Pressure Ulcers: Pressure ulcers are formed when there is continuous pressure being placed on part of the body. The pressure prevents a constant blood supply, which contains oxygen and nutrients, from reaching the tissue. Without these nutrients, the tissue is damaged and will eventually die. The lack of a constantblood supply means that the ulcer is also vulnerable to infections. The amount of pressure being applied and the skin’s vulnerability to damage will determine how long the ulcer takes to form. Incontinence increases the risk of developing pressure ulcers because the moisture from urine can break down the epidermis, the outer layer of skin, and because moisture reduces skin’s blood flow, which we mentioned earlier.
  • Maceration: Maceration is when the skin becomes waterlogged due to overexposure to moisture. When incontinence causes maceration, the skin becomes very fragile and can be damaged from friction, shear, and pressure. Macerated skin is so fragile that gentle rubbing from bed linens and wash cloths can cause injury.
  • Bacterial Infections: Incontinence allows the surface of the skin to come into contact with urine and other waste products. Urine contains ammonia, which raises the pH of skin and can serve as a source of nutrition for bacteria. Bacterial infections can be especially dangerous for the elderly with dry skin because skin cracks and fissures can absorb micro-organisms.
  • Fungal and Yeast Infections: Seniors with incontinence are at high risk for fungal and yeast dermaphorinfections. When the skin is exposed to urine, it creates a warm, damp environment, which is ideal for fungi. Fungal infections will result in a skin rash that itches, burns, and fiery red and are usually found in skin folds.

There are many ways to prevent and treat the damage caused by incontinence.  We at Senior Home Advocates are committed to providing excellent service and quality products to the seniors and the families we serve.  To learn more detailed information on how to care for your incontinent loved one download our free Educational eBook or call (714) 921-9200.