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Hi Everyone,
My patient has dementia but she's still very much independent in going to the bathroom. I wipe her everyday to make sure she does not leave behind any poop stains. She doesn't soil her diapers and so I'm asking, in this situation how often should I change it to avoid bacterial infections like a UTI.

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I'm 84, 85 next month. I have incontinence, both urine and feces (ugh). I wear heavy incontinent pads every day. If I soil with feces, I change pads. If my underwear is soiled, I change that too. I am capable of knowing when I must urinate, or defecate. Many seniors with incontinence and memory loss don't know when this will happen. I do not use incontinent underwear, just the super pads. If I soil on one day, I do not always have to change a pad during that day unless it does in fact h have urine or feces on it. . I do not wear the incontinent underwear for this reason. They are expensive. i am small, but the pads are big. They are cheaper than the incontinent underwear. I buy boxes of 100 or so of pads. Went from small pads to super large thick pads. Cheaper than the incontinent underwear. I change pads every day or during the day if I soil during the day. If you are taking care of the woman, you can handle a system like I use. Personally, I would be sure to soil my legs if I took off the underwear. I do not do that wearing the super pad. I do not have to change underwear during the day, just the super pad.
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Reply to JosAgingCare
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TplusGG Jun 16, 2024
You can also use scissors to carefully cut away the sides of the soiled briefs allowing you to fold them over any mess and avoid spreading it on to your body and make disposing easier too. I do this for my 99-year-old mother. She is thankfully not totally incontinent and if I ask every couple of hours we can usually get her to the toilet. Regardless, we change her briefs a minimum of twice daily and also whenever there is any urine leakage or spots of feces in the briefs. It just ensures that bacteria is reduced and avoids infections, especially UTIs. UTIs are a serious concern!!
The briefs are expensive and I constantly search for “deals” to lessen the burden. But keeping her healthy and comfortable and her skin healthy is worth it. It’s terrible that it’s not a covered or subsidized expense given what she still pays for supplemental health insurance!!!
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If she's not peeing or crapping in the diaper, why is she wearing a diaper? She should be maybe using disposable pull-ups instead of diapers.

I would switch her over to pull-ups during the day and if she doesn't mess it, have her change into a clean one every day when she gets washed up and dressed for the day.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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AlvaDeer Jun 11, 2024
Ha, I just wrote the same thing! Great minds and all that, wondering why someone who isn't incontinent is in diapers?
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Change like underwear. Perhaps you could add a panty liner.

My mom wore pull-ups to keep from having to rush and risk a fall. She never knew when she might not make it so wore the pull-ups.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Use pull-ups . If they don’t get soiled I would put a new one am and pm when dressing and undressing for bed . They do tend to make one sweat . I would also wash the area with each change .
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Reply to waytomisery
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waytomisery Jun 12, 2024
I was assuming she was continent of urine most of the time as well , and that you were asking how often to change if it wasn’t wet either , perhaps I was wrong .
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First, please don’t call them diapers. It’s demeaning. Call them briefs. Why are they being used for someone who is not incontinent? If it’s precautionary, check to ensure she doesn’t need changing at least three times daily. If they’re actually not needed, stop using them and replace with an incontinence pad.
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Reply to RLWG54
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swmckeown76 Jun 17, 2024
Definitely. When my late husband needed Depends, I told him I'd bought him new gray underwear. I would never have called them diapers.
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I am also wondering if "soiled" only refers to poop. If they are wet they should be changed as sion as someone notices they are wet. If they are both dry and unsoiled, change them each day like regular underwear, but as others are asking, if they are both dry and unsoiled, why is she wearing diapers?
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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She should be checked at least every 2 hours.
If the brief (aka diaper) is dry and clean no need to change it. I would change it if it is damp from sweat. I would also change it if it appears that the filler inside is bunched or moved around a bit.

Given the scenario that you have given, you don't change your own underwear after you have gone to the bathroom so the same would apply to your patient.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Andwer to aging care email about incontinence.  6-16-24 … 

I am almost 84 and have worn a 3 layer pad combination for the last several years even tho im not “really” incontinent … yet. im just using them for possible protection. 

the following is a description of the layers for those who are saying WHAT ?!

first is the pad. Over that is a paper towel followed width-wise and placed length-wide on top. Pulled almost but not quite to the back end of the pad. Finally a thin liner laid on top about half the length of the paper towel and extending to my underpants to keep the paper towel from falling off and down my pant leg. 

Surprisingly not as uncomfortable as it sounds.  

Im only incontinent enough to maybe have to change only the paper towel or liner occasionally. 

It basically depends, i think, on my bowel rolling onto the appropriate other part.

I like doing it that way to save money since i usually need to change only the paper towel or liner not the whole thing.

Im also using hand sanitizer when i go into the bathroom and washing my hands with soap when i leave. I dont have to worry about where my hands have been when i go in and dont worry about spreading germs when i come out.

All this amounts to is how cognizant a person is and the level of incontinence.
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Reply to Betsysue2002
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AlvaDeer Jun 16, 2024
You are so correct that being cognizant here is a real game changer. We can, in life, come up with all sorts of tricks for our convenience if our brains are well enough to reason it out!
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Seriously you two 🙄, when a lot of people refer to soiled diapers they mean those that are brown, and urine is wet it isn't brown.

I would be changing morning, noon, dinner time and bed time, these are also natural times to visit the toilet so perhaps you can have her do that while you check her pad or pullups - there's no need to change if she's dry.
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Reply to cwillie
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AlvaDeer Jun 12, 2024
Really. So there is actually someone out there (who doesn't return to respond, by the way) who doesn't understand how often to change urine soaked diapers? Curiouser and curiouser I am thinking.
Now, giving yakima the benefit of the doubt I bow to your wisdom and good advice, cwillie, and I think that your ideas for changing are stellar!
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yakima: Although you can check your patient's brief routinely, you do not change it if it's not damp, e.g. similarly you do not don new underpants every time you use the toilet.
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