Millions of men and women use incontinence supplies for seniors throughout the United States daily. A patient’s incontinence diagnosis can seem daunting and overwhelming, however. The incontinence supplies must be congruent with each patient’s daily activities and needs for optimal health.
What Is Incontinence?
Incontinence is one of the most commonly experienced and diagnosed medical conditions today. In the United States, there are currently about 13 million Americans, men and women, diagnosed as incontinent.
But what incontinence causes the need for incontinence supplies for seniors? While incontinence is a common medical condition, it is also nuanced and can come in many different forms due to many other conditions. At its most basic, however, incontinence describes a situation in which a patient cannot correctly control their urinary or bowel movements due to underlying medical conditions.
The main types of incontinence can include:
- Fecal Incontinence: With the fecal incontinence diagnosis, also referred to as bowel incontinence, patients cannot control their bowel movements.
- Functional Incontinence: Occurs when a patient experiences uncontrolled urination or defecation due to a medical condition that prevents timely access to the bathroom or facilities.
- Mixed Incontinence: This type of incontinence happens when a patient simultaneously experiences both urge and stress incontinence.
- Stress Incontinence: Stress incontinence occurs when patients sneeze, laugh, cough, exercise, perform heavy lifting, or other actions that put stress on their bladder.
- Urge Incontinence: Urge incontinence is a condition commonly referred to as overactive bladder (OAB); this occurs when a patient experiences urine leakage due to a sudden urge to urinate.
Incontinence in men, women, and children varies as to the underlying cause. Some of the medical conditions that can lead to incontinence include, but are not limited to:
- Certain Medications
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle damage or weakness
- Nerve damage
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate conditions or cancer
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
What Are Incontinence Supplies For Seniors?
There are a variety of methods of treatment that physicians may recommend; these methods can include surgery, medication, bladder training, Kegel exercises, nerve stimulation, and incontinence supplies.
Various incontinence supplies are the best solution for an incontinent patient. Physicians will determine the mixture of supplies and what works best for the patient’s situation.
Commonly prescribed incontinence supplies for seniors can include:
- Pads/Liners: Pads and liners can be used inside a patient’s underwear for light to medium incontinence support and come in all different shapes and sizes to accommodate various body types.
- Booster Pads: It is common practice to place booster pads inside adult diapers or pull-ups to increase their absorbency.
- Cream: Barrier cream can be applied to a patient’s skin to prevent moisture from resting, leading to rash and skin breakdown.
- Diapers/Briefs: Briefs are used for moderate to heavy incontinence and have tape tabs on the side for secure fitting. This type of incontinence solution is a more traditional diaper style often preferred by caregivers for easy changing.
- Gloves: When changing incontinence supplies, patients or caregivers wear gloves for improved sanitation.
- Pull-Ups: Patients with medium to heavy incontinence need to wear adult pull-ups, similar to underwear but disposable.
- Underpads: Underpads, also known as chux, can protect beds and seating surfaces from any incontinence-related leaking.
- Wash: Incontinence spray wash can be used between changes and bathing to wipe clean.
- Waterproof Sheeting: This incontinence supply covers a patient’s mattress to protect it from leaks.
- Wipes: Incontinence wipes can be used for cleansing in between changes to keep the patient’s skin clean.
How Do I Know Which Incontinence Supplies Are Right For Me?
With so many incontinence supplies for seniors, it can feel overwhelming to determine which is best for you. Discussing your needs with your caregiver, physician, and medical supplier can help ensure you get the right supplies. Incontinence supply needs and combinations are determined by the users’ medical conditions, sizes needed, incontinence severity, and activity levels during the day. Some things to consider when choosing your incontinence supply needs are:
- Are you planning to use your supplies outside the home and thus need convenient changing solutions?
- Do you feel more comfortable wearing your cotton underwear or prefer more all-over coverage with a disposable pull-up or brief?
- How much absorbency do you need with your incontinence supplies (light, medium, heavy)?
- How often do you expect to change your supplies throughout the day?
- Will you change your supplies yourself, or will a caregiver assist you?
Answering these questions can help you and your providers determine the supplies that may work best for you and your incontinence needs.
Will My Insurance Cover Incontinence Supplies For Seniors?
When incontinence supplies for seniors are needed, the costs can be a common concern. Fortunately, many insurances, such as Medicaid and Medi-Cal, can help cover some or all of the costs of supplies. Coverage varies from state to state, and there will be different stipulations and requirements for state Medicaid programs. For more information on your potential incontinence supply coverage options, you can visit your state’s Medicaid website or speak to a knowledgeable associate at Active Life Medical.
How Active Life Medical Products Can Help You Incontinence Supplies
You need a trusted incontinence product supplier when you require incontinence supplies. Active Life Medical Products makes ordering the entire incontinence supply process easy. Our Product Specialists can help you get your prescribed incontinence supplies covered through most insurances. Everything will be delivered directly and discreetly to your front door.
Call Active Life Medical Products at (800) 319-2336 to place your order.