A common complaint for those new to caregiving for an incontinent loved one is the amount of excessive laundering due to overnight leaks. A daily routine of stripping the bedclothes, washing, drying, and re-making the bed is time-consuming and can be a real physical drain for older caregivers. Here are our top tips for reducing or eliminating overnight leaks and the excessive laundering it causes:
1. Use a Premium Overnight Product
- There are products specifically designed for overnight use that employ some combination of better absorption material, more absorption material, advanced features like leg cuffs, and a super-absorbent core that holds up to 40+ OUNCES of liquid.
- View our best-selling and highest rated overnight products.
2. Use a Booster Pad
- Booster pads are super-absorbent material that has no-backsheet but works in conjunction with an existing diaper or brief.
- Booster pads are essentially additional absorption material that can add absorption capacity of 10 to 15+ ounces — BUT IT MUST BE USED INSIDE OF AN EXISTING DIAPER OR BRIEF.
- Advanced troubleshooting tip: For problematic MALE LEAKERS, a booster pad can be applied directly on, or wrapped around the penis to deflect the flow that may be causing a leak.
- View our best-selling and highest rated booster pads.
3. Sample different fits and brand products
- We find that "FIT" is probably the biggest driver of leaks. A super absorbent product will work fine most of the time, but if the fit is poor and there are gaps at the leg or backside, a leak can occur.
- No two products are made the same, or fit the same.
- Sample two or three different products and see what fits the best and what works the best for you or your incontinent loved one.
- View our most popular samples.
4. Use an underpad as a line of last defense
- If after upgrading to a premium overnight product, and after trying several different brands to find the right fit, you are still experiencing leaks — then an underpad is a good line of last defense that will reduce the chances of a void hitting the bedsheets.
- Disposable underpads are the preferred type for Assisted Living Facilities as they can be throw out daily.
- For those willing to do a little laundry in order to save money (and the environment), then a reusable underpad is a popular choice — especially for family caregivers.
- View our best-selling disposable and reusable underpads.
5. Cut back on liquid intake after 5 pm
- Common sense approaches need to be considered as well. If you are drinking 20+ ounces of liquids after dinner — that material will be processed through your digestive tract and will need to come out. Learn to cut back and when to cut back on liquids to make the overnight a bit easier for all involved.
6. BONUS TIP — NEVER EVER "DOUBLE UP" A DIAPER OF BRIEF FOR OVERNIGHT USE
- In our work serving both Assisted Living Facilities and non-profit agencies that support Developmentally Disabled adults, we still hear of the practice of "doubling-up" (using two incontinence briefs at the same time, one inside of the other). This practice seems born of institutional settings, where low-absorbency, value briefs were all that was available for nighttime use — and enterprising care managers would "double-up". This is equivalent to using 2 three-foot dams to block 5 ft of water. This practice rarely works, the products are not intended to be used that way, and in addition to wasting excess product — the incontinent person endures nighttime leaks and discomfort. Using an appropriate super-absorbent overnight product that FITS is the ideal overnight solution.