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How Long Can An Absorbent Product Be Worn Safely? Our Expert Weighs In

QUESTION:

I’M A CAREGIVER TO MY 87-YEAR-OLD FATHER. HOW LONG CAN A DISPOSABLE ABSORBENT PRODUCT BE WORN BEFORE IT IS NO LONGER SAFE OR COMFORTABLE, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT?

ANSWER:

This is a common concern for caregivers. It’s hard to know how wet is too wet, and how often you need to change a product before it becomes uncomfortable, or worse, causes skin irritation or UTIs.

An absorbent product is no longer safe or comfortable when the product is wet and causes the skin to be wet. This doesn’t mean that any leakage whatsoever makes a product unsafe or uncomfortable – some products can get excessively wet from less than a quarter cup of liquid, while others can continue to stay dry with more than three cups! As a point of reference, the bladder generally holds between about one and one-and-a-quarter cups of urine.

The bigger question, then, is what quality of absorbent product do you use? I believe – and clinical studies have shown – that a high-quality absorbent will keep the skin drier and cleaner, allowing your father to get a good night’s sleep without interruptions. That can translate into a much healthier state of mind during the day and increased confidence that he won’t have any accidents or discomfort at night. One more reason to go for high quality is that dry skin reduces his risk of developing UTIs and skin rashes. (Learn how to protect skin here.)

NAFC has many great partners that provide high-quality adult absorbent products. These partners operate online and have representatives that can talk with you about your specific needs and provide you with customized recommendations that may help cut down on the time it takes to find a product that will work best. Check out the list of partners here.

The NAFC Ask The Doc series provides answers to some of our reader’s most common questions from a group of experts in the fields of urology, pelvic floor health, bowel health, and absorbent products. Do you have a question you’d like answered? Click here to Ask The Doc!

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