Best adult diapers
August 12, 2019 4:36 AM   Subscribe

Elderly male relative has advancing dementia and needs heavyduty continence products. Suggest good brands?

Dementia has led to bladder incontinence a couple times a day, and bowel incontinence a couple times a week.

He's currently in hospital recovering from a stroke. He is eating a new mostly mush diet, gets some IV hydration and various new medications. He seems to be having looser and more urgent stools than usual, perhaps due to the diet and medical changes.

At his healthiest, he's quite introverted and shy and hates to be a bother. He now has extreme short-term memory loss, and cognitive confusion from the stroke so he doesn't seem to notice the sensation of having to go. He's also freaked out by all the new caregivers and doesn't like having strangers interact with him intimately so even if someone leads him to the restroom, he will often not go, but then have an accident later.

It's quite visibly making the nurses dislike him. They talk about his bowel accidents with palpable disgust and contempt, which his family finds extremely distressing. His partner of 50 years asked his lead nurse how they could help maintain his dignity and she scoffed "Dignity? He went all over the floor yesterday!"

Right now he's using the hospital's free adult diapers, which are Tena brand with tabs that close on the front, basically like these, but they don't seem to fit well. Sometimes they fall off completely and often they leak when he's sitting.

He is about 5 foot five and 160 pounds.

What can we purchase instead which will work better?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My younger (adult) brother is incontinent and must wear diapers. Our parents have spent a lot of time identifying a good brand, and they seem to like the Tena brand, but found that adding a men's protective shield to the inside of the diaper helped make the diapers more leak-proof. Basically those shields, which absorb urine/liquids, prevent leaks when sitting/moving and keep the diaper itself more dry/empty for bowel use.

Also, those nurses are abusing your relative. Cleaning up another person's excrement is gross, but that doesn't make it acceptable to shame a person for medical incontinence. Shame on those nurses, and please talk to your relative's partner about finding a non-abusive facility to provide care instead.
posted by shb at 7:22 AM on August 12 [8 favorites]

1) I'm so sorry for your relative's stressful situation. Call the hospital's ombudsman and/or patient services reps, because the nurse behavior is unacceptable.

2) If he's able to stand at all to be changed, pull-up style incontinence products work must better. They can be easily removed by tearing the sides, but while they're on they stay closer to the body and don't leak as much.
Tranquility is a good brand for high-absorbancy--it is an institutional brand, mostly used in hospitals/nursing homes. Attends is also good. For either of those, getting overnight style will give you the highest absorption. Adding a shield/guard to the front is a good idea, as shb mentioned.

3) High absorption is good for his immediate comfort, but leaving him in soiled undergarments increases risk of skin issues. The family needs to make sure that he's being thoroughly cleaned and that a barrier cream is being applied at each change.
posted by assenav at 8:58 AM on August 12 [1 favorite]

I never thought I'd be able to talk about this online, but here we go: due to my dad's treatment for prostate cancer, he is now incontinent, and wears exclusively adult diapers. He wears two pair at a time because he found that one pair was insufficient to protect his clothing and other surfaces from leaks. The kind he wears are pull up in style, and he has the mobility to make that possible. He keeps a pair of scissors in each bathroom in the home to cut away soiled diapers as necessary (he's found that it's easier to cut it away than to risk getting urine or feces all over his pants, lower legs, socks, shoes, et cetera). He also travels with a small bag that has additional diapers, scissors, small trash bags, and wipes. This bag goes with him everywhere and has been a big help more times than he can count. (It's just a small laptop style bag from Amazon Basics.) My father is also showing some significant memory deficiencies, but he is able to maintain this routine. I often prompt him about restocking his "go bag" (an homage to Criminal Minds and, well, going) but he seems to maintain that on his own pretty well.

My father wears the Maker's Mark brand from Sam's Warehouse.

I am sorry your relative is being treated so poorly. There is ZERO excuse for that. If he could help it, he would, and shaming him isn't going to fix his bladder or bowels. Please seek other care for him and report those jerk nurses/caregivers.
posted by heathergirl at 11:30 AM on August 12 [3 favorites]

Stop using anything that doesn’t come from mail order. Nothing that you can buy in stores compares to what you can get online.

Check out NorthShore Care. Their house brand is very good, and they have three levels of absorbency between daytime and nighttime. Choose briefs over pull-ups for absorbency. Also very good and reasonably priced are Betterdry from Germany, available from Northshore.
posted by hwyengr at 11:44 AM on August 12

There's a front page post about urinary incontinence that may be of help.

Shb and others are correct and compassionate. This is an unacceptable level of care for a recent stroke victim.

A very light application of vaseline after bowel incontinence makes the next event a little easier to clean, and prevents diaper rash and discomfort from assertive cleaning. Give him a hug from, and one for yourself. It's hard to deal with this.
posted by theora55 at 11:58 AM on August 12 [4 favorites]

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