Incontinence has been affecting Australians and making their lives difficult for years, especially for the elderly. This condition refers to the uncontrollable leaking of urine, which certain diseases and injuries can bring about to the muscles and nerves.
Statistics show that more than five million people in Australia have some form of incontinence. It was also revealed in 2010 that 128,473 of Aussies who are in residential aged care facilities suffer from the condition. This number makes nursing home incontinence products quite in demand.
But what products can help manage involuntary leaking of urine, whether for use in medical fields or personal management?
1. Adult Diapers
Adult diapers are some of the most common products that Australians with incontinence use. Just like baby diapers, adult diapers absorb urine and prevent them from leaking into your clothing. They come in different styles and can help with mild to heavy incontinence. They can also be disposable or reusable.
Diapers are more commonly used in the hospital setting or nursing homes. These products are ideal for the elderly and bedridden patients.
2. Incontinence Pads
If sanitary pads absorb blood during women’s menstruation, incontinence pads absorb leaking urine due to incontinence. These two products are similar in function.
However, since incontinence can result in heavy leaking, pads are not advisable. They are only effective for mild incontinence.
3. Incontinence Pants and Inserts
Just like diapers, incontinence pants are highly absorbent and waterproof. But while diapers are usually disposable, incontinence pants are washable and reusable. Thus, they are more cost-effective in the long run.
Moreover, reusable pants are more comfortable to wear since they don’t come with a plastic lining, and they fit better than diapers. Because of this, incontinence pads are preferred considering Australia’s generally hot weather.
Incontinence pants can be worn independently and can hold a considerable amount of urine, depending on the type. But they can also be used in conjunction with an insert for better absorption.
This type of incontinence product is recommended for adults who are on the go and want discreet protection from their condition.
4. Incontinence Products for Women
Pessaries, urethral inserts and vaginal inserts are incontinence products specifically designed for women. A pessary is a small, flexible and reusable device inserted into the vagina to support the bladder and urethra, thereby stopping urinary leakage.
On the other hand, a urethral insert is a soft, plastic balloon that is placed in the urethra to block urine from leaking. The major downfall of this product is that it needs to be removed to facilitate the passing of urine. Then, a new sterile insert should be used in place of the one removed.
Lastly, vaginal inserts are used to apply pressure on the urethra, which then prevents the leaking of urine. It looks like a tampon and is used like one, too.
5. Incontinence Products for Men
There are also specific incontinence products for men. These include the drip collector, condom catheter and the Cunningham clamp.
The drip collector, ideal for men with mild incontinence, is a thin but absorbent pad worn over the penis and held in place by snug underwear. Similarly, the condom catheter is worn over the penis like a condom but collects leakage through a tube attached to a collection bag. This bag is tied to the leg and can hold small to moderate amounts of urine.
Unlike the drip collector and the condom catheter, the Cunningham clamp prevents urine from leaking by applying pressure on the urethra.
Whether you use the above to manage your condition on your own or as nursing home incontinence products, their help is undeniable. They allow people with a leaky bladder to live their lives just like any other, without the fear, embarrassment and stigma that incontinence brings.
However, no matter what type of product you prefer for your condition, it is important to consult your doctor first. When no contraindications arise, you can feel free to choose the product that works best for your incontinence so you can enjoy life in the Land Down Under to the fullest.