Contents

  • Introduction
  • What are incontinence aids and why should you use them?
  • Incontinence aids may help those with the following health conditions
  • Top tips for using incontinence products
  • Which incontinence aids are right for you?
  • Things to consider

how to choose the right incontinence products

BUYING GUIDE

introduction

If you, or someone you care for, have difficulty controlling their bladder or bowel, or reaching the toilet in time, incontinence products may be a good solution.

Many people experience incontinence, and it’s not something to be embarrassed about.

A person may be affected by urinary or bowel incontinence, or both. There are lots of ways to manage incontinence, to live comfortably and feel good, whether you have small leaks or complete incontinence. Incontinence products come in various forms and the main ones are:

Various incontinence products can be used together to achieve complete protection, hygiene and comfort. There are also lots of special washes and hygiene products for carers to use, to ensure cleanliness for themselves and the person they are caring for.

What are incontinence aids and why should you use them?

Most incontinence products are made of special absorbent and waterproof materials to keep you, your clothes and bedding feeling fresh and dry. Liners, pads and pants give you confidence throughout the day and peace of mind during the night. It’s important to choose the right level of protection. If you have occasional leaks, choose pads or pants that are suitable for a smaller volume of liquid. If you have partial or complete, uncontrollable bladder or bowel movements, then choose items which hold the appropriate amount of waste.

Bed and chair pads protect you and your furniture at home so you can relax or enjoy a good night’s sleep, without worrying about leaking and damaging bedding or chair upholstery. Bed and chair pads are available as disposable or washable options, so you can choose whichever is easiest and most affordable for you.

If you have incontinence, your skin can sometimes become sore, inflamed or damaged from wee or poo being on or close to the skin for even short periods of time. Many incontinence pads draw waste away from the body, but it is important to ensure areas of the body are kept clean and moisturised, with specially formulated continence skin care items.

There are also incontinence alarms available which can be linked to a nurse-call system to alert a carer that a person may need assistance.

Incontinence aids can help to:

REMEMBER

If you’re caring for someone with continence issues, think about their dignity and wellbeing as well as practical aspects of managing incontinence – they may feel embarrassed that you have to help them with this. Involve them in choosing and using their own incontinence aids, if possible. Find items they can wear or use discreetly, if this is important to them.

Incontinence aids may help those with the following health conditions

REMEMBER

Incontinence is not always associated with a healthcare condition and can occur for lots of reasons. If you, or someone you care for, are experiencing incontinence, talk to a healthcare professional as there are often lots of potential solutions and things you can do to help, from dietary changes to special exercises.

Top tips to get the most from your incontinence products

  • Make sure you check the maximum volume that a product can hold and choose one that will have more than enough capacity for the amount of liquid/waste that a person is likely to excrete (it’s best to overestimate).
  • Check out our How to Fit Incontinence Pads and Prevent Leakage guide to ensure you are using products in the most effective way.
  • There are lots of different brands available – each brand offers slightly different benefits but many can be used interchangeably.
  • Check if pads or pants are unisex or specifically for males or females, as some are designed to fit men’s or women’s bodies.
  • Incontinence can cause sore skin - ensure the person’s skin is kept clean and fresh with cleansing wipes and washes designed for delicate skin.
  • If you are caring for someone and you help them with continence care, remember to do so hygienically – you may require vinyl gloves, hand sanitiser and surface wipes.

Which incontinence aids are right for you?

VS

    • Disposable

    • Available in different sizes

    • Includes neutraliser to reduce odour

    • Stretchy, soft material

    • Can be worn at home or out and about

  • Title

    • Reusable and washable

    • Available in five sizes

    • Elasticated waist and legs help reduce leakage

    • Made from non-crinkle nylon

    • Can be worn over regular or incontinence underwear

Things to consider

  • Have you gained advice from a healthcare professional?
    Pads, pants and other continence care aids can be used as a way to manage incontinence issues. There are lots of reasons that incontinence may occur, and it’s important to broach the subject with a nurse, continence advisor, GP or occupational therapist, in order to discuss possible solutions that may help improve incontinence.
  • Have you thought about using other toileting aids?
    Sometimes, incontinence is a result of being unable to use the toilet effectively, for example, due to mobility problems. Toileting aids can help make using the loo easier, or provide an alternative to a plumbed-in toilet, such as a commode that can be kept in a more convenient area. There are also options such as a urinal that can be used if you are unable to get to the toilet when nature calls.
  • If you are caring for someone with incontinence issues, have you considered your own needs?
    It can be physically demanding to help a person change their incontinence pants/pads or waterproof bedding, and this may require you to learn the correct techniques for manoeuvring the person safely, without risking injury to yourself. You could discuss this with your local authority, who may be able to arrange an assessment for you. You may need to use moving and handling aids to help a person with their toileting and incontinence. You should also consider hygiene and cleanliness procedures, and you may wish to use vinyl gloves, aprons and hand sanitising products.
  • Do you need to protect furniture?
    Think about using multiple products together to ensure total comfort and dryness, for example, adding a chair or bed protector can give you confidence that your furniture will not be affected if any leaks do occur whilst wearing pants or pads.