Caregiving Tips for handling Incontinence After Brain Injury

Posted on March 26, 2022

Even though it is possible to overcome a lack of bladder control after an injury to the head, it will not be quick or easy.

Here is some helpful advice for dealing with the effects of incontinence after brain injury:

  • Use incontinence pants and pads to keep urine away from the skin.
  • Have an extra clothing pair in your vehicle.
  • Wear pants that can be removed quickly without zippers or buttons.
  • Keep hand sanitizer and wipes wherever you go with you.
  • Set alarms on your phone to prompt visits to the restroom.
  • Regularly check your skin using a mirror to ensure no skin breakdown, which could lead to pressure ulcers.

These tips can help you manage the worst phases of incontinence while you work on retraining your bladder.

The more you practice controlling your bladder and bowel movements, the better you will get at it. As your brain continues to heal, you should start to see your incontinence fade.

Your first line of defense is an incontinence brief made for overnight wear. For comfort, you may want the material of the outer layer to be pliable; this way, it won't make noise if you move around in your sleep.

Another decision concern is overall styling—sticky tab closures or a more underwear-like pull-up. Tabs allow you to adjust the fit securely and, after use, easily remove the adult diaper. Pull-up incontinence briefs may feel more natural to you; styles with tear-away sides enable you to remove them without having to pull them down.

Overnight styles are obtainable from renowned brands like Tena and Depend. Still, other choices include Abena, Tranquility, Molicare, Unique Wellness, and private label choices from leading medical supply manufacturers.

As safe as overnight incontinence briefs are, consider taking steps to guard your bedding and, most importantly, your mattress. It's difficult to foretell when leakage might be great enough for even the most porous leakproof diapers for adults to contain. Buying these added low-cost items can minimize the amount of laundry you'll have to do and any permanent damage to your expensive mattress, which is almost impossible to clean thoroughly.

Start with a mattress safeguard that protects against all types of accidents (with the bonus of providing a barrier to bed bugs). This vinyl zippered cover envelops your mattress and easily wipes clean if needed. Then add another coat of protection with a waterproof mattress pad. Depending on the ease you're looking for, you can choose from reusable or throwaway pads. Reusable sheets or pads often have a flannel or other soft fabric top layer for comfort against your skin with waterproof materials; they'll hold up well through several washings. Disposables, often called Chux pads, have an impermeable backing and a soft padded front.

The option of sleeping directly on a waterproof bed protector or, if you don't like that feeling, place it between your sheet and your zippered mattress cover—the difference being you will have to launder the sheets in case of leakage. Before you start shopping, determine the area you want the pad to cover. You can get flat sizes that will fit sections of any size bed or fitted sheeting or pads with flaps to help hold them in place.

This multi-layer strategy protects your bedding, your sleep quality, and the amount of attention you or your caregiver need in the morning.