Choosing The Right Products

Incontinence Practical Information & Tips

  • Determine the degree of incontinence
  • Choose the proper size
  • Product placement or application
  • When to change the product

3 Steps to Choose the Right Product

1. Determine incontinence degree

Incontinence degree is calculated on the base of amount of urine lost within 4 hours. The simplest division of incontinence degrees is into light, moderate and heavy.

  • Light - up to 3 fl oz / 100 ml
  • Moderate - 3-7 fl oz / 100-2200 ml
  • Heavy - over 7 fl oz / 200 ml of urine involuntarily passed in 4 hr

To determine the degree of incontinence one should conduct a bladder diary for a few days and collect the 3 most important pieces of information:

  1. Daily liquid intake
  2. Number of visits to the toilet
  3. Amount of urine passed there

2. Determine physical activity of the patient

  • Patient is mobile, able to use the toilet and needs discreet products providing highest dignity
  • Patient is mobile, but needs some assistance or help when going to the toilet (walker, walking cane, wheelchair)
  • Patient is immobile (bedridden), spending most time in lying position

People who are completely bedridden often have heavy or severe incontinence. They are not able to go to the toilet themselves and doomed to pass urine into an absorbent product. The more time the patient spends lying down, the more protective a product should be. Mobile people, on the other hand, can use the toilet and have a product that allows them to stay dry throughout the day and is easy to wear.

3. Select the proper size

Proper size of the product is very important to have products well fitted and to prevent leakages (which occur when product is too big, too loose) or irritations (which occur when product is too tight).

The measurement of waist and hips should be taken with the use of a tape measure.

Applying the Product

Assess the skin prior to placing the product. For optimal performance activate the brief before use to improve absorption (unfold, stretch and fold in length). Briefs should be boat-shaped after activation.

  1. Stand at the edge of the bed and bend one leg at the knee. Bend the leg that is further from you.
  2. Hold the patient by the knee, gently turn the patient towards you.
  3. After cleansing the skin and using protective cream, place the activated briefs under the patient.
  4. Gently roll the patient on their back, straighten their legs and pull out the folded wing of the brief. Pull out the front of the boat shaped product and adjust it to the crotch. Make sure that the gathers are not folded to the inside and the wetness indicator is aligned with the spine.
  5. Use the elastic tabs to fasten the briefs; start with the bottom fastening tabs sticking them on slightly upwards (this will prevent leakage). After fastening the bottom tabs fasten the top ones adjusting the briefs to the waist.
  6. After fastening the briefs make sure that it is secure and fits well. TIP: Run your finger between the brief and the skin to make sure it's not too tight.

Time To Change the Product

Seni abosrbent products perform very well and there is no need to change them every 2 hours. Typically they can stay in place longer. This always depends on the individual needs of the patient (products can be used for 4-6 hours; up to 8 hours for products with high absorbency or "night products").

Note: You can provide better care if you ensure comfort, help maintain dignity and not disturb the patient's sleep when unnecessary.

To find out what is the proper time to change the soiled product and avoid leakages observe the wetness indicator performance - yellow stripes and/or inscription along the briefs or pads. When the stripes get green/blue and the inscription fades, the product is soiled. When 50-80% of wetness indicator has changed the color, it is time to change the product.

For more educational information and photos, download the pdf here.