Tag Archives: incontinence

Five Simple Tips to Manage Bladder Leakage in Menopause

Posted by on February 16, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Incontinence Menopause

Original post written by Dr. Anna Garrett for LiveConfidently.com

When you go through menopause, estrogen levels drop. For some women, this can result in weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that support bladder control, causing LBL (light bladder leakage). You’ve probably heard about LBL. It’s that little leak that comes with a big sneeze or a hearty laugh. A range of things, from exercise to caffeinated drinks, can trigger it. It’s also part of that urgent “gotta go right now” feeling you might get on the way to the restroom.

But there’s good news! It’s a myth that LBL is something all women will experience because of menopause, and there are things you can do to manage any unwelcome leaks. Here are five simple tips to help keep you dry and comfortable.

1. Wear the Right Protective Products

Wear an absorbent pad or pantiliner designed just for bladder leaks if you’re going to be out and about. These pads and liners look and feel very similar to menstrual pads and liners, but are designed for very different needs. Because they are specifically designed to absorb bladder leaks, they can often hold two to three times as much urine as a menstrual pad or liner. They also do a better job of controlling odors caused by urine. Our blog post on Incontinence Products vs. Feminine Products further explores the differences between these products.

2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause constipation, and constipation can contribute to bladder leakage for some women. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day (although not too much), eat plenty of fiber, and exercise regularly to keep things moving.

3. Manage Your Schedule

When scheduling your workday, consider scheduling visits to the bathroom on regular, timed intervals throughout the day. This will give you time to change your protective products and help with training your bladder. It may be helpful to keep an incontinence journal for 5-7 days to pinpoint when you’re most likely to visit the bathroom, and then build your schedule from there.

4. Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks

Avoid caffeine and other drinks or foods that can irritate the lining of the bladder. If you don’t like drinking plain water, find one or two alternative drinks that are caffeine and acid free to substitute. And please note, sodas (even if caffeine-free) are very acidic and should be avoided. Our blog post on Foods and Drinks that can Trigger Incontinence has more information on items that can irritate the bladder.

5. Keep Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Strong

Try pelvic floor muscle exercises, also known as Kegel exercises. These exercises are most effective for LBL, not heavier incontinence. To do this exercise, lie on the ground with your legs apart and feet flat on the floor. Gently contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Hold this contraction for a few seconds and then release. Continue these exercises, completing three sets of 15 each day. With regular exercise, you should see an improvement within a few months.

If heavier incontinence is a problem, consider having a thorough evaluation of your pelvic floor.  It’s possible, especially in menopause, that there is pelvic floor prolapse. In this situation, the nerves that control the bladder may not be connecting well with the pelvic muscles. This requires physical therapy and core strengthening. Kegel exercises could make incontinence worse if you have an undiagnosed pelvic floor muscle spasm, so be sure to check with your physician before getting started.

Remember, one in three women who are experiencing menopause are also experiencing LBL. You’re NOT alone! To connect with other women experiencing light bladder leakage in menopause, visit our incontinence forum. We’d love to hear your experiences, questions, and suggestions.

Closer Look: Pad and Pant Systems

Posted by on February 9, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Pad and Pant Systems for Incontinence

While advancements are being made every day in the incontinence product industry, many people still want to rely on good, old underwear. This is possible through pad and pant systems. These systems take regular underwear, create a pocket for a pad, and together they keep the wearer dry.

Many people enjoy the air flow that is allowed by wearing cotton. It should be noted that many incontinence products, like pull-ups or adult diapers, are no longer plastic backed, meaning that air flow is less of an issue for those using these products. But still, the super-soft 100% cotton that these underwear pairs are made from is hard to beat.

At TotalHomeCareSupplies.com, we sell three different types of pant liners that can be used in the underwear, two from the same brand. One is Prevail’s Pant Liners, which are created with elastic to help the pad move with you. The other offering from Prevail is their overnight pads. Both of these Prevail products are latex free.

The third product is Dignity’s double pads, which have no moisture-proof backing or adhesive strip to interfere with either the pad and pant system or a diaper or a pull-up to add absorbance.

Do you have any questions about the pad and pant systems? Leave it below and we’ll try to get to is as soon as possible!

Closer Look: Underpads

Posted by on December 31, 2015 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Closer Look Series Underpads Blog Post

As part of our continuing Closer Look series, we thought we’d wrap up 2015 by checking out underpads. These items come in a variety of sizes and come in both disposable and reusable types. We sell both types on TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.

Underpads are sold in different sizes, and it may take some experimenting to decide which you like best. One also needs to consider where the underpad will be used. Common places are in a bed, on a chair or a wheelchair. Our largest underpad is Prevail’s 30×36 (inches). Our most narrow underpad (which is great for dining room chairs or narrow wheelchairs) is Prevail’s 23×36. Our most popular underpad is Prevail’s 30×30. Not sure which size will suit your needs best? We offer a two-pack sample of Prevail’s 30×30 underpad. From there you can decided if you need something smaller or larger or if the 30×30 is perfect.

We also sell a reusable underpad, LewJan’s 34×36. If incontinence is a long-term problem or you’re concerned about creating waste, this product may be what you’re looking for. The product is made from 80% polyester and 20% cotton, and does contain latex. Because of the waterproof binding this item is created with, moisture is unable to leak over the edges. With daily use, this underpad can last several months, if the washing instructions are followed carefully.

Underpads are a great backup item for anyone with incontinence issues, but can also be used to give skin a break. In a private moment, underpads can be placed on a chair and the wearer of the incontinence products can sit on them, diaper or pull-up free, to watch a show or nap. This can allow skin some much needed fresh air time that can help keep the user healthy.

Adult Briefs with a Better Fit

Posted by on October 29, 2015 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Adult Briefs with a Better Fit Blog Post

One of the reasons that adult briefs leak is that they don’t fit well. But what can a person do if they’re between sizes, or if they’re just more active than their brief will allow?

We recommend trying Prevail’s Stretch Fit. The main difference in these briefs from others in the Prevail product line are the tabs. The tabs stretch, creating the perfect brief for individuals who find themselves between sizes. Stretchy side panels are easy to grab, pull and attach for an adjustable fit that is secure and comfortable. Additionally, these tabs are the Easy-Lock Fastener® (ELF®) type – they grip and hold without being sticky. The entire outer cover is a refasten zone, allowing for multiple tab refastening for improved fit, accurate sizing and cost savings through reduced waste.

These briefs also have many of the features that make Prevail briefs both convenient to use and trustworthy. They have a simple design on the front of the brief that discreetly lets the user or the caregiver know what size is of the brief. The Skin Smart® Fabric on the inside of the brief is hypoallergenic and contains aloe, chamomile and vitamin E for skin wellness. Lastly, the cloth-like outer fabric on the outside of the brief means better air flow for the wearer, and makes the brief less likely to rustle when the wearer is moving.

Please keep in mind that Prevail is in the middle of a packaging change, and so your briefs may or may not arrive looking just like the package shown here. But please be assured that the product on the inside is the same quality as always!

Closer Look Series: Protective Underwear

Posted by on March 23, 2015 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Cloth-like backing, zones

At TotalHomeCareSupplies.com we carry over 20 different types of protective underwear items (or pull-ups) in sizes ranging from Small (20 inches) to XXL (up to 80 inches). But what are the special features that make these items different from adult diapers – and different from one another?

Many of our protective underwear items have “cloth-like” material. This material does not make them more likely to leak than plastic material. The absorbency for these items comes from the material that is inside the underwear, generally small, ultra-absorbent beads. What the cloth-like material does do is protect your skin because it allows more air circulation in the underwear. The absence of all that plastic also helps the underwear stay quieter when you move and look and feel more like regular underwear. Many of our Prevail products are made with the cloth-like material.

We sell several adult pull-ups that are gender specific – this means that the “Stay-Dry” zones are positioned in a place that makes sense for that person’s anatomy. If you have been experiencing leaks while using a pull-up, but, after removal, find that parts of the pull-up are dry, a gender specific pair of protective underpants may be the answer. Both Prevail and Depend offer these types of pull-ups.

While some pull-ups feature “stay dry strips,” others feature a “full mat,” meaning that all parts of the protective underwear are absorbent. Tranquility offers a daytime pull-up and a night-time pull-up with this feature, and each of these products provides a full waist, which some individuals find more comfortable.

What are the questions you have about different types of protective underwear or adult diapers? Ask below and we’ll answer in later posts in our Closer Look Series.

Pelvic Health for Women

Posted by on February 18, 2015 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

POP light bladder leakage

There is still a lot of stigma attached with discussing a pelvic health issue as opposed to discussing, say, a back problem. But both should be given attention if they are becoming bothersome, and both should be subjects you regularly discuss with your doctor.

Before you go see your doctor, so you know what symptoms are serious, it’s good to look further into the various issues that can crop up “below the belt.” Or, perhaps you’re back from the doctor and would like a recap of everything that you discussed there. There can be a lot of information to remember!

Urinary incontinence can be an indicator of other pelvic health issues. Keep in mind that incontinence is not a diagnosis in and of itself: it is a symptom of a larger issue that should be addressed. Stress can sometimes cause incontinence, and the way to treat it is to treat the stress, not just the incontinence (and stress in this case doesn’t only mean mental stress – it can be physical stress as well). If you find yourself having leaks, even if they are small, on a somewhat regular basis, you should see your doctor. There may be exercises or lifestyle changes you can make to stop these leaks. In the meantime, you may find pads, liners or protective underwear helpful.

Another type of incontinence that may not actually result in leaks is called “urge incontinence,” and it can be described as the need to urinate, even if you have just done so. This can also have various diagnoses, and while it may not require the same incontinence supplies, it can be extremely inconvenient.

There is another type of pelvic health issue that women should be aware of: pelvic organ prolapse (POP). What happens during a prolapse is that the muscles and tissues holding various pelvic organs in place can become weak or stretched. This may result in an organ moving from its original position, or prolapse. This can cause not only incontinence, but pain or bulges in the pelvic area. A doctor should be able to diagnosis this condition and discuss treatment options with you.

Our Most Absorbent Adult Diapers

Posted by on December 15, 2014 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Absorbency diapers

The two main qualities that one should look for first in an adult diaper are comfort and absorbency. And both have a lot to do with fit. A diaper that is the wrong size will not feel right on the body. It’s important to base the size on waist size, but also where the diaper is hugging the body. Some people like having a more high-rise brief, others low-rise. As for absorbency, a diaper that is the wrong fit will not absorb properly. Do not assume that a larger diaper will absorb more liquid. All high-absorbency diapers will do their job, no matter their size, if they fit correctly. A correct fit will keep leaks to a minimum.

Many of our available products offer a variance of incontinence protection. But today we’re taking a look at the adult diapers that offer the most absorbency:

First Quality Nu-Fit Adult Briefs – The cloth-like back sheeting makes these diapers comfortable, low noise and allows more air to the area.

Per-Fit Adult Briefs – Featuring OdorGuard technology – all liquid is absorbed and trapped before becoming a problem.

First Quality Prevail Adult Bariatric Brief A – QUICK WICK™ with MaxSoft pulls the moisture quickly into the core of the diaper (also available in larger size B).

Depend Protection with Tabs Briefs – The Ultra Absorb-Loc® protection means leaks are no longer a worry.

Tranquility ATN (All-Thru-the-Nite) Brief – The absorbency means your skin is not compromised when wearing overnight.

Ways People Become Incontinent

Posted by on December 11, 2014 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Reasons for light bladder leakage.

Many people assume that incontinence is a natural part of aging (just as many people think that dementia is a natural part of aging). But both are not an automatic response of the body and mind to getting older, though the two afflictions are related to one another.

Temporary incontinence can occur from a matter of issues. Some people who have been able to drink coffee, tea and alcohol without a problem their whole lives can become more sensitive to it as they age, and the effect of that sensitivity can be incontinence. Some medical conditions can create incontinence issues, such as urinary-tract infections (which can not only create incontinence in the elderly, but a host of confusing behavioral problems). To keep urinary-tract infections at bay, those that are susceptible should be sure to stay well-hydrated (though this sounds counter-intuitive to keeping continent, drinking too little water can irritate the bladder and cause incontinence). Constipation can be another reason for temporary incontinence.

Dementia can cause incontinence for a variety of reasons. Those with dementia who still get the “urge” to go can start on their way to the bathroom and get distracted or lost. Some people with later stage Alzheimer’s have damage to the parts of their brain that tells them that they need to go. Additionally, all the steps that it takes to use the restroom: finding it, removing clothing, staying long enough to urinate, can be overwhelming to someone with dementia.

Other reasons for incontinence can be weakened pelvic floor muscles, often caused by pregnancy and childbirth. Some medications can cause incontinence, which can oftentimes be easy to fix by switching types or changing the dosage. Being overweight or having an injury, such as a spinal cord injury, can cause incontinence.

While some of these reasons for incontinence cannot be cured, the incontinence can be managed. Perhaps it’s as easy as using a pull-up at night or having an underpad ready on a favorite chair. The number one reason that the elderly move into nursing homes is because their carer cannot manage their incontinence. But with communication with the caree’s doctor, supplies, and patience, the incontinent individual may be able to stay in place.

A Comprehensive Look at Prevail Products

Posted by on November 12, 2014 under BladderMatters, Resources | Be the First to Comment

Some of Prevail's incontinence products

Prevail is a line of diaper and related products by First Quality. We here at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com are proud to offer a large amount of Prevail products. The variety of these products is impressive and include adult briefs, youth briefs, baby diapers, protective underwear, adult pull-ups, underpads, liners, pads and wipes. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and products that offer the best coverage and exclusive features.

Our most popular Prevail product is the Extra Adult Pull-Up. It is the perfect product for those that want the look and feel of underwear with great absorbency and protection. These pull-ups also feature Skin Smart™ Fabric, Odor Guard™ and a Stay-Dry strip. This product, and other Prevail items, can be ordered as a sample to find the perfect fit.

Another great and unique Prevail product are the Boxers for Men. These boxers are similar to regular pairs, but are absorbent and disposable. Perfect for those who miss the air-flow provided by boxers, these items feature a built-in pad designed for maximum absorbency.

Prevail’s Breezers are different because of their breathable, cloth-like outer fabric. More air-flow to the area is idea for keeping skin healthy and happy. And the Easy Lock Fastening Strips create a custom fit that conforms to your body.

One of the newer Prevail items are the Per-Fits for Men and Women. Each of these is specifically designed for each gender. The men’s have a printed waistband and male-specific dimensions that make for a more comfortable and discreet fit. The women’s has, of course, female-specific dimensions and a light lavender color.

Do you have a particular favorite Prevail product? Or is there a certain feature you’re looking for? Feel free to comment below.

How to Keep a Senior’s Home Sweet-Smelling

Posted by on November 5, 2014 under BladderMatters, Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Nice smell in a senior's house

Everyone wants to make sure that their home smells lovely, and is inviting to their guests. But as seniors age, their sense of smell can become diminished. Additionally, they may not be able to perform the upkeep and cleaning tasks that can be necessary to keep a home or apartment or room smelling nice. Sometimes they need some help. Check out the below tips to keep the scents pleasant.

Make sure their incontinence products are a perfect fit
Small urine leaks can dry quickly and leave nary a sign that they ever existed … except for odor. If your loved one has a favorite chair, and a slight leak, their clothes may be washed within a few days, but perhaps not the chair. Incontinence products must fit correctly if they’re going to prevent leaks. Do not buy a larger size of diaper or pull-up because you think they may be more absorbent – that isn’t how they work.  You can read more about how to prevent leaks in our blog post here.

Get the carpets cleaned at least once a year
Regular vacuuming can help, but a proper steam cleaning can deal with stains, odor and more. You can rent a steam cleaner from the store, or get a professional cleaning.

Dispose of incontinence products correctly
Don’t just throw away disposable briefs any old place. Try to keep their disposal inside one room. Ideally, a garbage can that can individually package each diaper is best, such as ones from Akord.

Don’t just cover up smells – eliminate them
While diffusers, wall-plugs and other good smelling items can make a room smell nice, they’re not getting rid of the bacteria that is causing the odor. Try spraying Fabreeze or another product that specifically states that it eliminates odor-causing bacteria.

Check for UTIs
Urinary tract infections can cause pungent odors in urine, sometimes more than the average disposable brief can deal with. If you feel that your senior’s scent has changed dramatically for the worse in a small amount of time, or if there are any other side effects, like an unwillingness to use the restroom or a change in behavior, have a doctor test them. Checking for UTIs only involves a urine test, so can be diagnosed quickly.

What other tips do our blog readers have? We’d love to hear them!