Let’s talk about incontinence! Urinating and having bowel movements are just part of daily life. Because of stigma, many people struggle to talk about ways to deal with toileting in the context of disability, but we’ve got some tips and tricks here, starting with this “incontinence kit.”
“These are all the things that we use when we have accidents to keep clean or dry, or things that we use to just try to keep clean,” one caregiver tells me. Latex gloves, wipes, disposable underwear or diapers.
And of course the big thing to note here is the white, fabric pad underneath the other supplies. You can find these by searching any of these terms: reusable pad, reusable underpad, reusable chux, cloth chux, chux pad, washable chux, washable underpad.
What’s great about these is that they often work better than disposable pads or chux, and can be washed over and over and over again. They also come in a wide variety of sizes.
Extra tip! One person told me about buying fabric chux with handles. Handles! Because they also can be used to move and adjust someone in the bed more easily since you have something to hold on to. “There’s all kinds of things you wished you’d known before when you were struggling,” she added.
But here’s the deal: resuable chux are also key to a good overnight even if you use diapers or a catheter. As one caregiver told me, “I was spending $100 a month for these really thick, heavy diapers, they’re supposed to be the best, blah, blah, blah and they still would leak sometimes. There was nothing that I could find that would keep it in. It just doesn’t matter. It just seems like there was just nothing. I went to the washable bed pads…and they’re great. They wash up well. I have a couple of them so I’ll wash one and put a new one down. Now I haven’t needed it so much because he’s catheterized but I leave it there now because the one time I took it away the catheter leaked because I didn’t know catheters could leak. Nobody told me a catheter could leak. I thought once you got that tube in there, nothing’s gonna come out except being in the bag. Sure enough, one morning he woke up and the catheter had leaked everywhere. He was soaking wet. The bed was soaking wet. Everything was a mess. Now I just leave it there just in case…because I just assumed he’s catheterized, he’s not going to have a wet night, and then of course, then he does. See, nobody told me they leak. Nobody told me that the bladder can have spasms and push the urine out beyond the catheter. Nobody told me that. I had no idea.”