One of the challenging things about caring for someone with incontinence is the amount of washing.
When I was a carer for my ill son, I was astounded at how much washing I had to do to manage my son’s incontinence. I’d have extra clothing, bedding, washing our fabric lounge suit, washing his bedding and washing our bedding.
Washing doona covers that cover the doona, that protect the doona that still wets the doona despite two layers of “protection”. Washing the washable bed mat that protected the bedsheet that protected the mattress protector that wet the mattress. Phew…. was I sick of washing!
Wash, wash and more washing!
Then came along my son’s Continence Nurse Consultant, Gayle who told me about waterproof bedding products as well as finding a pad that really fitted him, not him fitting the pads.
I knew all about pads from my own line of work, but I was not experienced with incontinence in children. My son was growing slowly, and he was growing out of the toddler products that were available on the supermarket shelf.
So, what are these waterproof bedding products?
Well, they are actual pillows, doonas, sheets and even mattresses that are all waterproof and stain resistant. I had never heard of them before, but wow what a game changer when I found them! No more heavy wet bed mats. These were a thing of the past and never used in my home again. Not that these are a bad products, but when you have neck and shoulder pain like me, trying to hang wet heavy bed mats on the clothesline was very hard. The bed mat was replaced with a waterproof bottom sheet that my son slept on. The sheets looks like a normal sheet, but waterproof…..and wow did they dry quickly. Living in Melbourne with wet winters I had to use my clothes drier a lot to keep up with the amount of washing.
We then received the waterproof doona and pillows. No more pillow or doona protectors. He had on his bed just the pillowcase over the waterproof pillows and his normal doona cover over the waterproof doona. Boom…. this was a game changer for me in the washing department. I had gone from washing 8 bedding products down to an amazing 3 products!!!!!!! Yep my washing load shrunk by two thirds.
As for incontinence pads for children, there are many products on the market that are very absorbent, much more so than toddler products. You need to speak with your child’s Continence Nurse Consultant to trial the different incontinence pads. Measure your child’s waist to accurately fit the pad to your child. For my son using the non-commercial brands were the answer and, in the end, we didn’t have anywhere near the amount of wet clothing or beds due to pad leakage.
Once again winning, less washing!
So, my take home message is get your loved one referred to their local Continence Nurse Consultant for a thorough assessment of their incontinence and of all the incontinence products you are using. Buy the waterproof mattress to ensure your loved one’s room is not smelly, use the waterproof doona and pillows to reduce the washing and ask for waterproof incontinence products that are easy to care for in your loved one’s incontinence funding.
Article by Sue Blinman – Nurse Continence Specialist
Sue Blinman is a Nurse Continence Specialist at the Victorian Continence Resource Centre with 30 years of experience in the field of Continence management and promotion. She has a passion for Aged Care, Children with a disability and Continence aid product knowledge.
To find your nearest service, or for more information you can call the National Continence Helpline on 1800 330 066.
This article is proudly supported by Night N Day
Night N Day Comfort was founded in 1989 by Rosemarie Lakiss-Smith and has grown to become Australia’s leading manufacturer of washable and reusable incontinence products and solutions. Visit their website for their extensive collection