When Mom first moved in with me nine years ago, she was already having mild incontinence issues, but her solution was to use a wash cloth as a pad. As you might imagine, this was not an ideal choice. It’s part of what fooled me into thinking that she was taking a bath, as I was finding these tortured cloths in the laundry, and assumed they were being used for their intended purpose.
When I finally realized what was going on, I bought some incontinence pads from the store. Mom agreed to use them, but didn’t know anything about pulling the paper off the adhesive strip to secure them, and it just didn’t work out well. When I brought home the first package of Depends briefs, I was a little worried that she would reject them as something for “old people”, (the reason she gave me and my brother for over a decade as to why she didn’t want to look into getting hearing aids), but she thought they were a great idea. She didn’t seem to realize that such a thing existed, so I guess even with all the television she watched, the advertisers did not get their money’s worth with her.
Once even the most absorbent of the briefs available at the drugstore became sadly inadequate to the task, I took to the internet and Amazon. I now order the Tranquility Premium Protection, Maximum Protection, Premium Overnight disposable absorbent underwear for Mom to wear day and night. It is really a great product, and I would be doing a lot more laundry if they weren’t available.
But, we still call them Depends.
Actually, I don’t have a single laundry day. Any day, and sometimes, it seems like, every day, is laundry day at our house.
As Mom’s difficulties with incontinence increased (well, actually, it’s my difficulties with Mom’s incontinence – she really doesn’t seem to care one way or the other), I had to find solutions to odor control. I tried borax, vinegar, pet odor control stuff. Bleach probably would have worked, but it would also have steadily destroyed all Mom’s clothes.
What actually works is the original Lysol liquid concentrate. It does have a very disinfectant smell, which my husband doesn’t care for, but it is oh, so preferable to the alternatives. I always had to search for it on the top shelf in the laundry section, and our local grocery eventually stopped stocking it altogether. Now, I order it by the 6-bottle case from Amazon. In 2015, I ordered a case in January and again in May. In 2016, I bought cases in January, May, September, and December. Looks like I’m up to a couple of bottles per month.
Lots of laundry at our house.
Just a little practical advice for those caring for someone with incontinence. The Diaper Champ is the best product I’ve found for ease of use for Mom, plus odor control. It has the flip-top that is used for tiny baby diapers, but does not accommodate larger ones, so Mom opens it at the blue button each time to put her used briefs in. Once it’s closed, there is no odor, and it costs less than $50 (I don’t remember exactly how much) at Amazon.com, shipping included. You can also pick them up at Target, and probably Walmart.
Reviews say that the Diaper Genie is the absolute best at controlling odors, but it seemed like it would just be too complicated for Mom to use, and I wanted to be as removed from the process as possible.
Please don’t spend your money on the Janibel (about $100 wasted on that one) as it did not control odors at all, and I ended up throwing it out and buying a smaller Diaper Champ than I had had before, because I had been so excited about the Janibel, and then couldn’t find the larger Diaper Champ anymore. Live and learn. Or, better yet, learn from my mistakes.