Aging is a delicate process and comes with a fair share of challenges.
This is characterized by the inability to control bowel movements or the bladder and can compromise a person’s dignity.
In June 2014, a government report revealed that over 50 percent of older Americans struggle with incontinence.
Incontinence isn’t easy to accept or handle for anyone, not just the elderly, but many tend to be in denial and ignore the problem, but it still comes back to haunt them as it draws attention to itself.
What Causes Incontinence
According to Dr. Farzeen Firoozi, a urologist, bladder and bowel incontinence is highly prevalent.
It impacts a person’s daily life and is felt on their health, emotional, economic, social and other aspects of the elderly population.
Some of the factors that cause incontinence for women include pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause.
For the elderly, the weakening of the pelvic muscles and bladder is usually the cause of bladder leakage, which happens naturally as they age, making it harder for them to restrain themselves from urinating.
It occurs when the person’s muscles are too active or too weak.
It’s a confusing and embarrassing situation to be in, but with a lot of love, patience, commitment, and understanding, you can help your loved one to address this issue while still maintaining their dignity.
You can assist them in keeping their dignity while maintaining their quality of life by getting some good diapers for old age.
With the right research and knowing what to look for when choosing from the variety of designs, price tags, and colors available, you can find the right diaper brand for your aging loved one.
How To Select Diapers For Old Age
There are several considerations to keep in mind when picking out diapers for elderly people. Here are some of the things to look out for:
- Absorbency and leakage protection: A good adult diaper should be able to absorb and retain liquids.
- Longevity: This determines how long the diaper can be worn comfortably after soiling without burning the wearer’s skin, especially if he or she doesn’t have a helper 24/7 beside them.
- Skincare: Prioritizing skincare is an important part of incontinence that you shouldn’t overlook. Besides soiled liners and briefs, the person’s private areas must be cleaned and dried gently as continuous exposure to fecal matter and urine can damage the sensitive skin around it. Disregarding this could lead to sores, rashes, or infections, so find diapers that wick and trap moisture effectively from the skin, and have a breathable and soft lining.
- The right fit or size: Old age diapers should fit snugly or properly to prevent any discomfort or leakage.
- Keep away odors: A good adult diaper should ideally have an absorbent component that neutralizes odor, though this varies with each product or brand.
- Personal requirements: This depends on the level of incontinence, whether mild or severe. For mild incontinence, a light pad would suffice, but for severe incontinence, a single-use diaper will help as you can change it with each use.
- Ease of use: Diapers for old age should be easy to use, so opt for pull-ups that can easily be worn and taken off compared to using adult briefs.
- Type of backing: The right backing, plastic or colored, is also a factor to consider. Colored backing is visible through light-colored clothing, while plastic backing can trap odor and moisture, though it tends to be noisy when moving in it.
- Pricing: The value of the diapers for old age varies with quantity, size, and retailers. Most are affordable, but ultimately, bulk purchases reduce the cost overall.
- Style: Diapers for old age can be heavy but still effective. The less absorbent type can be worn with tighter clothing, while the heavier type is okay to wear under loose clothing.
Before you get diapers for your aging loved one, check their body measurements first to ensure you get the right size.
Similarly, you might want to go with breathable briefs instead of all-plastic diapers depending on the severity of incontinence, as they’re less noisy or bulky.
It’ll take some time and trial and error to learn the kind of clothes the aged person can wear without the diaper being noticed underneath, so don’t rush it and don’t get worked up about it.
If you want a more private and discreet way of buying diapers, you can go online and still get some great options for your loved one.
As much as diapers are connected mostly with babies, you can still convince your loved one about the comfort it offers, reduced anxiety worrying about stained clothes or constant searches for the nearest bathroom, as well as the convenience it brings.
Types Of Senior Diapers
A senior diaper or diaper for old age is one that’s designed for individuals whose bodies are bigger than babies, infants, or children. There are several types of diapers for old age such as:
- Briefs: These are diapers designed with tabs on the sides and can also have refastenable tabs that you can remove or refasten over again. Non-refastenable tabs are cheaper, but you can’t repeatedly fasten them. Plastic backed designs aren’t popular because of the noise they make while moving. Overnight or day-use designs absorbency levels and bulkiness vary/ Bariatric briefs have larger waistbands for plus-size seniors.
- Reusable diapers for old age: You can wash these diapers and hang them out to dry like you do with regular clothes. They’re good for light or mild incontinence and are fitted with a pad, which helps with absorption especially when worn overnight. They have different levels of absorbance and help you save on costs, even though they’re pricier than other diaper types.
- Pull-up diapers: These are just like wearing underwear, but they’re not designed with tabs and are especially helpful for seniors with dementia. Some come with refastenable tabs though.
- Belted undergarments: These are diapers that have a belt with an attached absorbent patch.
- Swim diapers: These are useful during swimming and help protect against fecal incontinence.
- Fecal incontinence diapers: These help deal with fecal and urinary incontinence.
Now that you know what to look for in a diaper for old age, and the types of diapers available to use, let’s check out the best diapers on the market for seniors and what they provide.
It comes with 34 ounces of absorption capacity, with standing leak guards and leg gathers that control any leakages for seniors with severe incontinence issues.
It’s also comfortable to wear and has tear-away side seams for easy wear and removal.
Additionally, the cloth backing rids the wearer of any worries over possible crinkling noises during the day or night, with any kind of movement.
The breathable and comfortable fabric in this diaper makes it ideal for daytime movement and sleeping, for up to 12 hours.
However, finding the right size may not be easy for some elderly people, so you may have to do some trial and error to find the best fit.
The diapers come in six different sizes, from small to X-large so you’re sure to get something that’ll fit your loved one.
Thanks to the inner core, Peach Mat patented design, the diaper effectively absorbs urine with the super absorbent polymers that keep skin dry, control odor, and prevent leaks or rashes.
It also neutralizes urine pH to keep away any potential fungal or bacterial growth that’s harmful to the skin.
The main drawbacks of these diapers are that they’re bulky, tend to sag or bulge when full, and the sizing can be inaccurate.
They’re designed using DermaDry technology, which offers an absorbent capacity of up to 30 percent, which helps maintain healthy, yet dry skin.
If your loved one struggles with mild or severe incontinence, these briefs will come in handy.
They come with secure leg cuffs that prevent liquids from seeping through and staining the clothes, plus a comfy but stretchy waistband that adjusts on the body so it doesn’t feel tight or leave marks.
It’s simple and easy to remove with a single move of your hand, thanks to the tear-away technology, so you won’t even have to touch any of the soiled regions.
It also has an odor shield that prevents odor development and spread, thus your loved one doesn’t have to suffer the embarrassment that comes with a soiled disposable brief.
You can get them in small, medium, or extra-large sizes, but the downside is that as you pull them up, they tend to tear quite easily.
It’s great for daily use whether the senior is struggling with mild or ultra-heavy incontinence.
They’re discreet, protect against leakage, and absorb really well, plus they’re easy to use and very comfortable to wear.
As a pull-up type of diaper, they can be worn and taken off just like regular underwear thanks to the tear-away side seams.
The waistband is elastic and its crotch offers comfort all day long. Plus, the double absorbent, core-ultra absorbent core moves the moisture and wetness away quickly from the skin for dryness.
Its core material minimizes odors thanks to its two premium super absorbent polymers, and its super-absorbent design pulls up all fluids, which also helps release any bad or unnecessary smells.
The cloth-like, non-woven back sheet is super soft and 100 percent breathable, plus it keeps away any crinkling noises while walking or tossing around in bed.
A wetness indicator is also included so you know when it’s time to change the diaper.
They’re disposable briefs that fit like underwear and have an absorbent material that keeps out odors and wetness so your loved one can stay fresh and dry all day.
Its feminine design doesn’t look like the usual adult diaper because of its Fit-Flex design.
This hugs the body and takes the posterior contour’s shape so women can use it to feel confident and comfortable.
This same intelligent design makes the underwear flexible enough so the elderly woman can carry out daily tasks without any hindrances.
It also stays in shape whether it’s full or soiled, so it won’t sag with the extra weight.
You can get it in a variety of beautiful colors, and it’s fragrance-free so it won’t affect her organs.
The main drawbacks of this diaper are its high-cut sides, which could lead to leakages, and they have to be worn with pants as they have a weak waistband so they can easily fall.
They offer leg barriers that keep liquids from leaking, and the absorbent core can handle any such leakages, including heavier leaks.
The gel material in its core sucks up any moisture that’s unwanted or uncomfortable, and locks away bad odors, keeping liquids trapped securely to prevent skin irritation and other issues.
The stretch panels of the diapers hug the wearer’s body for a snug fit, plus the tear-away sides make it easier to put on or take off, while still giving good overnight protection.
It offers ample padding and comes in a variety of sizes all with the comfortable contour fit. The main drawback is it tends to feel hot over an extended period of use.
They’re slim and quiet so seniors can wear them under swimwear, plus they come with inner leg cuffs and extra safeguards that keep fecal incontinence in, so there aren’t any embarrassments when swimming.
A full-panel waistband offers a comfortable fit and ease of wearing and removing, even for heavier people.
As a pull-up, latex-free diaper, with tear-away sides, it’s also easier to dispose of the diaper once it’s used up.
They fit the body snugly as they hug the body, but they’re only for one-time use, and they’re not waterproof either.
The large waistband can fit people of most sizes, and the thin, unique layering technology coupled with absorbent polymers offer comfort, convenient mobility, and dual protection against soiling and fluids for maximum absorption.
Fastener strips are included with the diaper to prevent any leakages, and keep the diaper stable in position and shape, especially when it’s soiled.
The downside is the flap underneath that helps fasten the diaper is short, and can easily get loose causing leakage.
The breathable side panels lock the odors in as they maintain air exchange, while the double hook and lab closure wings with cloth-like soft material hold the diaper against the body, keeping the skin healthy and dry.
It’s recommended for overnight users and heavy wetters thanks to its absorbency, plus, the skin will still remain dry whether or not the diaper is full.
The main drawback of these diapers is that it could fall off because of loose hooks especially if the diaper is overladen.
While it’s highly absorbent, it can also be bulky to wear, plus noisy because of its plastic backing instead of other cloth-like diapers on this list.
This makes it a little less desirable diaper option as the elderly are looking for dignity and subtlety, especially when they’re out of the house.
However, the best part is they’re good for overnight use, thanks to the high absorbency that comes in a three-dimensional core, which can pull up to three liters, and it’s unique protection against chafing, skin rashes, and leaking. Refastenable tabs are also included for convenience and ease of use.
If you want the best diapers for seniors to manage and handle any kind of incontinence, or for use in the long-term over a long period, this set will give you up to 10 hours of comfort, protection, and leakage control.
The only downside is the bulkiness and plastic backing, otherwise, they’re comfortable and very effective.
They’re easy to wear and take off as they are pull up diaper briefs, plus they’re made of high quality with high absorbency levels and beautiful colors.
At the core is an absorbent cotton material that holds up to 3 liters, plus refastenable tabs that allow the wearer to adjust it to the comfortable and fitting size for long periods of wear.
The elastic waistband is stretchy, which makes it easier to pull up or pull out the diaper, plus there are cuff designs on the leg area for leakage control.
They’re desirable for their stunning prints, high continence, and absorbency rate.
However, the refastenable tabs may not be the best for seniors and the briefs are thick so they can easily be seen under tight-fitting garments.
Should You Buy An Adult Diaper Over The Counter?
If you or a loved one around you is experiencing a loss of bowel or bladder control, the first thing to do is consult a medical doctor or professional and get a proper diagnosis on the type of incontinence.
This helps to determine the possible underlying causes, whether they’re serious or not, and recommended treatment options.
Seniors most likely still need to use incontinence products even if the appropriate treatments like medications, behavioral changes, surgery, and other options are available.
This ensures leakages are managed, and they can continue going about their daily lives normally.
Disposable and absorbent diapers for old age or seniors aren’t meant to treat incontinence, but they help keep the symptoms from interfering with the person’s normal daily activities.
They also help the caregiver to manage the elderly person’s incontinence.
While incontinence may seem a difficult situation to handle or even live with, it’s possible with the right care and the right tools at hand.
A good set of adult diapers for old age can help reduce embarrassment and restore your loved one’s dignity, while helping him or her move about without having to stay close by the bathroom.
Quality adult diapers for seniors are available in different types, preferences, and tastes, but ultimately, the best ones for your loved one depend on several factors as we’ve looked at in this post.
Before you settle on a particular brand or set of adult diapers for the elderly, go through the checklist of factors to consider, especially those with high absorbency for day and night use, ease of wearing and taking off, subtlety (without the crinkling noises), and ability to handle mild to high incontinence.
Our best 10 picks offer these and more so you’re bound to find one that’s suitable for the elderly man or woman around you who needs such care, and at a great price too.
Diana Paul is a certified nutritionist who writes for leading health blogs. She is a master herbalist, yoga teacher, forager, and wild-crafting writer She is focused on helping people transform life blocks to opportunities. Based in NYC, she often holds health seminars and lectures.