Photo provided by Tyra Oldham

By Tyra Oldham

There is a time to make a “depend” decision in our lives and the lives of others. Caregiving means making the hard choices while maintaining the dignity of those you love and respect.  One big decision is the “Depend” decision. The thought of incontinence is not sexy, but when it is time to switch from underwear to incontinence pads to support urinary changes in someone’s life, care and communication are necessary. Incontinence can be a long-term situation or short-term.

I advised a daughter whose mom had knee surgery upon her return to buy incontinence underwear (diapers) after the operation. The diapers are to keep her mother’s sanity and vanity. I suggested an incontinence diaper is an excellent choice to assist in bathroom transitioning, slow walking, and those painful days in aftercare. 

The next choice in the incontinence transition is picking the correct size. If too small can cause irritations, discomfort, and potential fungus. Too big can lead to leaks and runoff from the underwear. The goal is to pick the right-best size for your loved one or client. If the cared has heavy urination overnight, a Poise Pad can accompany the incontinence underwear. If there is the continual use of pads and incontinent underwear, it’s best to use a urine-blocking creme to reduce rashes.

Dr. Debra Anderson of Christ Hospital shared, “Keeping one dry is essential. Using a low heat hairdryer can assist in this process.” The goal is to reduce as much moisture as possible. 

Photo provided by Tyra Oldham

Caregivers, don’t hesitate when it is time to decide to depend on Depends. Note, Depend is a trade name and brand, and there are many more brands to select. It would be best if you decided based on budget, size, and access.

In dealing with incontinence underwear and pads, there are a few things to consider:

  • Dispose of incontinence materials safely to reduce hygiene smells, as well as the removal of waste products. Also, think of your Waste Management professionals they too are a part of your disposal process.
  • The best right size is best for comfort, hygiene, and long-term success.
  • Decide when hygiene safety is more important than vanity. Remember to make the transition easy for everyone, especially the cared-for person.
  • Keep your loved one or client clean and fresh. Using disposable washing wipes or toilet wipes is a good choice for cleansing and safety.
  • Locate and explore various exercises for men and women with bladder issues
  • Always check with your doctor on any bladder or incontinence issues. Incontinence diapers and pads are to catch waste, and your doctor can diagnose the issue. Always be safely thinking and health engaging.

For more information on care support and caregiving advice, write or email the “Care Corner.” Want to discuss care? Care Corner is that place to talk care, address questions for current and potential caregivers, and provide suggestions on agencies, services, and tips to assist in a care journey. (Read more of the article from the Herald Newspapersubscribe now

The Care Corner is for everyone, no matter their age or process in care. For more information on caregiving, send your questions to Care Corner at the Cincinnati Herald or via email at

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