HOW TO GET STARTED
Our fundamental belief and everything we do is based on the following approach:
Our customers can have a better quality of life and we truly can help them achieve it.
Whether you are an experienced incontinence consumer, family member, caregiver or if you are new to incontinence, there is a simple truth now: Incontinence products today are sophisticated, technologically advanced, and highly effective compared to what you might have used in the past or what you find in your local store.
For those dealing with physically and emotionally trying issues, our mission is to restore and provide:
The good news:
- With almost 35 years of experience, we UNDERSTAND what you are going through
- We KNOW there are better and discreet ways to manage the symptoms.
- Offerings today are superb and you can find a "near-customized" solution in terms of sizing, absorbency, fit, comfort, concealment, odor control, accessories, and cost.
- You don't have to (and shouldn't) agonize with leakage, discomfort, embarrassment or fear.
The "less good" news:
- It can be complicated or puzzling to figure out the right answer since now there are so many alternatives to best solve your particular issue.
STEP 1: Don't worry!
- For almost 35 years Woodbury Health Products has focused on being the foremost experts in SOLVING the needs of those who cope with incontinence. We focus on you returning to a better quality of life.
STEP 2: Contact an expert Woodbury Personal Advisor at (800) 777-1111
- We will simplify the process, help you narrow the alternatives, find that perfectly-matched product to optimize your lifestyle and needs, and make your life easier.
Woodbury's vision is to maintain the quality of life and provide dignity and relief for those who suffer from common, yet distressful health issues.
MOST COMMON MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT INCONTINENCE PRODUCTS
- Incontinence products leak and I just have to work around that fact.
- I have to experiment with my local store's selection to find a better answer.
- I save money by comparison shopping and paying the lowest price for my products.
The answer to all three of these statements is NO.
Incontinence symptoms vary dramatically by individual. The product category has expanded spectacularly and has gone through a "technological revolution".
The ability to prevent leakage, improve skin health and comfort, and conceal any evidence of using incontinence products has practically been solved (in most cases).
Hundreds of alternatives now exist and differ by:
- Materials and absorbency,
- Fit-features and comfort,
- Detailed sizing,
- Male vs. female,
- Adult vs. Pediatric,
- Night vs. Day use,
- Odor control methods
The vast majority of these product alternatives are not found in your local store but all exist within Woodbury.
With almost 35 years of experience, we UNDERSTAND your issue and the SOLUTIONS available to help.
Because there are so many alternatives, our expert advisors at Woodbury will help you resolve and navigate to the product(s) best suited for your situation. How do you know?
With almost 35 years of experience, thousands of customer orders and an ability to provide you with a wide variety of alternatives to try in the privacy of your own home, we are completely confident we will determine the solution that works best for you.
Our goal is to make your life and your loved ones' lives easier. We do this with real solutions that work and delivering them with complete ease and outright convenience.
Woodbury provides an incredible array of the most popular incontinence products, including hundreds of different types of the highest quality diapers, pull-ups, pads and linens, gloves, creams, wipes and other personal hygiene related healthcare products--in all sizes and for all levels of incontinence.
HOW CAN WOODBURY HELP ME WITH MY INCONTINENCE PRODUCTS?
"PRIVATE, PERSONALIZED, AND BETTER"
- Expert, in-house product advisors who UNDERSTAND your condition and will ensure you're in the optimal product.
- Extensive selection of the most advanced consumer and professional-grade products.
- Try before you buy.
- Minimized leakage, maximized comfort, better skin health, and concealed evidence of wearing any product.
- Discreet, no hassle, free delivery right to your door. No worrying about bad weather or problems getting to a store.
- Affordable prices, larger quantities available, volume discounts.
|WOODBURY HEALTH PRODUCTS
||Typical Retail Store/Local Pharmacy
|☑ Comprehensive product choice (500+ different items)
||☒ Usually limited to 1-2 brands and/or a private-label offering as these products consume a large amount of shelf-space
|☑ Almost 35 years of consultative expertise with veteran telephone advisors that UNDERSTAND what you are experiencing
||☒ Limited in-store product knowledge (often an inexperienced person working the store aisles)
|☑ Free sampling to ensure optimal fit, feel and function
||☒ No sampling. In-store "guesswork" on sizing and function. Have to purchase bags to confirm.
|☑ Free, discreet FedEx delivery to your door
||☒ Some feel embarrassment purchasing in a store
|☑ High-quantity caseload(s) available. Your products are close by and you can avoid emergency trips to the store
||☒ Small quantity, bag purchase only (requires frequent trips to the store or a bulky large purchase)
|☑ Higher-quality, proper fitting products means fewer used/day, which saves you money.
||☒ Value-priced products frequently leak and require you to change more often and use more per day, which costs you more money.
THE HIDDEN COSTS: HOW TO SAVE MONEY BY USING THE RIGHT PRODUCT
Cost-effective solutions are not just about the price of a particular product. It means choosing the right size, absorbency and design of product for each individual, and making sure it is put on correctly for comfort and security.
The most important part of good incontinence care is to safeguard both your physical and emotional comfort. The key to this is using the products that provide maximum care and prevent the negative side effects that incontinence can cause. Things like leaks, slips and falls, waking to a damp mattress or skin irritation have physical, emotional and economic consequences.
- Because we have evaluated virtually every incontinence product in the market almost 35 years, we have found over and over that our clients that use quality products that fit properly:
- ✓ Use fewer products per day
- fewer changes per day saves money and reduces stress
- ✓ Have better skin health
- less leakage means less skin irritation and discomfort, less slip-and-fall risk, less spending on additional products to solve skin problems
- ✓ Are more comfortable
- quality product materials are softer and work better, less skin irritation and less leakage
- Sleep better
- less worried about leaking, no need to "double up at night", no wet sheets or wet skin
- ✓ Save money
- use fewer products per day, less spending on skin problems, less laundry
- It is vital to recognize that what is spent on incontinence products has two (2) considerations:
- The COST of each incontinence product you use
- The NUMBER of incontinence products you use each day
|By way of example...
|A Typical Retail Store Product
||per protective underwear garment
|Highest Quality Professional Product
||per protective underwear garment
On the surface, the retail store product looks like you can save money; HOWEVER, it's costing you MORE money!
||Number of Garments Used...
|Typical Retail Store Product*
|Highest Quality Professional Product
||Amount Spent of those Garments...
|Typical Retail Store Product*
|Highest Quality Professional Product
|Savings from Quality Professional Products
Low price products seem cheaper but actually COST YOU MORE because you have to use more of them every day (not to mention the additional leaking, multiple extra changes, disposal, ...). Monthly savings from using a better quality product is $48 per month or $583 per year!
Even though the cost per garment is more for the higher quality product, you use fewer per day and thus save almost 30%!
WHAT IS INCONTINENCE?
Incontinence (in-CONT-ti-nunce), or loss of bladder or bowel control, is a symptom, NOT a disease in itself.
The kidneys remove waste products from the blood and continuously produce urine, which then travels to the bladder through the ureters. The bladder is a complex organ consisting of muscle tissues that enable it to hold urine in place as necessary and to push urine through the urethra and out of the body during urination.
Simply stated, Incontinence is a problem of the urinary system.
Normally, as the bladder fills with urine, nerves inside the bladder send messages to the brain alerting you to the need to urinate. Once the bladder nerves send a message of "full" to the brain, the brain in turn sends a message to the sphincter muscle that it is time to release the urine from the bladder into the urethra and out of the body.
Incontinence, the loss of bladder control, is the result of a dysfunction somewhere in the urinary process. The dysfunction may be related to the nervous system message relay between the brain, muscles and nerves involved in urination, or it may be the result of other factors. Some may include birth defects, pelvic surgery, injuries to the pelvic region or to the spinal cord, neurological diseases, multiple sclerosis, poliomyelitis, infection, and degenerative changes associated with aging. It can also occur as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.
It is important to consult your physician for proper diagnosis of the cause of any dysfunctions of the urinary process. Remember: cutting down on the amount of fluids you drink or drastically changing your diet can be dangerous. The proper medication prescribed by your doctor combined with the quality products we offer are the best fight against incontinence--so you can get back to living the life you deserve.
HOW WIDESPREAD IS INCONTINENCE?
You are not alone and it is far more common than most people realize as it affects people of all ages ranging from children and young adults to senior citizens. 1
- Over 25 million Americans experience some form of inability to completely control their bladders or bowel movements.
- 1 in 5 adults over age 40 are affected by overactive bladder or recurrent symptoms of urgency and frequency, a portion of who don't reach the toilet before losing urine.
- 67% of adults between 30-70 years in age have never discussed bladder health with their doctor and only 12.5% who have experienced bladder control issues have been diagnosed.
- 1 in 4 women over the age of 18 experience episodes of leaking urine involuntarily.
- 1 in 5 women with urinary incontinence also have bowel control problems because of underlying pelvic floor dysfunction.
- More than 33% of the resident population in an assisted living facility is likely to have urinary incontinence.
- More than 50% of all nursing home residents are incontinent of urine and many of them experience loss of bowel control as well.
- 2/3rds of those with urinary incontinence symptoms ignore treatment or product usage to manage the condition!
SOME OF THE CAUSES OF INCONTINENCE 2
- Weakened muscle control due to age or natural occurrences like childbirth.
- Side effects from surgery.
- Nervous system disorders like spina bifida or strokes.
- Infections or inflammation of the bladder, prostate gland, or surrounding muscles.
- Neuromuscular diseases such as multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.
- Damage caused by spinal cord injuries.
Diet and Fluid:
Diet and fluid intake can have a significant effect on bladder and bowel control. There is no "diet" to cure incontinence. However, there are certain dietary matters you should know about. Many people who have bladder control problems reduce the amount of liquids they drink in the hope that they will need to urinate less often. The smaller amount of urine may be more highly concentrated thus, irritating to the bladder surface. Highly concentrated (dark yellow, strong smelling) urine may cause you to go to the bathroom more frequently. It also encourages growth of bacteria. And when bacteria begin to grow, infection sets in, and incontinence may be the result. In general, it is recommended that you drink a total of six to eight glasses (8 ox. each) of fluid throughout the day. However, some studies have found that patients with over active bladders who reduce their daily fluid and water-containing food intake by 25% have improved episodes of urgency, frequency, and nocturia. Do not restrict fluids to control incontinence without following the advice of your physician and establishing a baseline intake.
Some foods cause urine to smell bad or peculiar. The most notable of these foods is asparagus. Some other foods may affect the way your urine smells. Another cause of foul-smelling urine, and the most dangerous cause, is urinary tract infection. If you notice that your urine has a strong odor and you have not eaten any foods that would cause this, you should see a physician and have a specimen of your urine tested for infection.
Some medicines may cause your urine to be discolored or have an unusual odor. Some are medicines that you take for bladder inflammation or for urine tests. Others you take for separate health conditions. If your urine has a peculiar color or odor, consult your physician or the pharmacist who filled your prescription.
Some foods and beverages are thought to contribute to bladder leakage. Their effect on the bladder is not always understood, but you may want to see if eliminating one or all of the items listed improves your urine control.
COMMON BLADDER IRRITANTS:
||Soft drinks with caffeine
||Coffee (even decaffeinated)
||Medicines with caffeine
||Citrus juice & fruits
||Highly spiced foods
Grape juice, cranberry juice, cherry juice, and apple juice are thirst-quenchers that usually are not irritating to a normal bladder. Cranberry juice (or cranberry tablets) and cherry juice may help control urine odor. The best beverage is water. A very thin slice of lemon (not enough citrus juice to irritate the bladder) may improve the taste of water enough that you will find it enjoyable.
Smoking is irritating to the bladder surface and is associated with bladder cancer. Coughing associated with smoking may lead to stress urinary incontinence (SUI) during coughing spasms.
BASIC TYPES OF INCONTINENCE 3
There are a number of different types of incontinence and they are important as they affect the type of treatment that can be offered to manage the condition. It is possible that you may experience symptoms of more than one type of incontinence mentioned below. A complete urodynamic exam by a doctor can determine the type of incontinence and the appropriate method of treatment.
There are two main types of incontinence:
This is leakage of urine as a result of sudden stress on the bladder. Often this is caused by coughing, laughing, exercising, or lifting a heavy object. The bladder pressure as it fills with urine becomes greater than the strength of the urethra to stay closed. It is most common in young women (25–49 years of age). No one knows exactly why these muscles may become weak; some women notice the problem after childbirth or during or after menopause.
Typical Reasons for Stress Incontinence
- Genes are now thought to be a very important cause of stress incontinence, which explains why this type of incontinence tends to run in families. Because of their genes, some women are born with a weak pelvic floor. It is probably a weakness of collagen, the tiny strengthening fibers of muscles.
- Obesity. Being overweight is a major cause of incontinence. It puts stress on the pelvic floor muscles, so if you are obese you double the chance of pelvic floor weakness.
- Childbirth is probably an important cause of stress incontinence. The actual birth is mostly responsible, not just the pregnancy. Women who have had Caesarean sections may not develop incontinence. The nerves can be stretched and bruised during a natural delivery, and they are then unable to make the pelvic floor work after the birth. As a result, the muscles become lazy and weak.
- Hysterectomy. A woman who has had a hysterectomy is more likely to develop incontinence in middle age than a woman who has not had the operation.
- Menopause may be another reason, perhaps because the lowering levels of estrogen make the pelvic floor muscles less efficient. However, recent research shows that although the likelihood of incontinence increases in middle-age, the hormone changes of the menopause may not be the main cause. It could be that middle-aged women are more likely to be overweight and to have had a gynecologic operation, such as a hysterectomy.
- High-impact sports, such as jogging on hard pavements, are probably not good for the pelvic floor. Sports such as swimming and cycling are fine. Interestingly, women parachutists in the US Air Force have developed incontinence because the impact of landing has damaged their pelvic floor.
- Lifting heavy objects strains the pelvic floor. If you have to lift anything heavy (such as a baby or small child!), get into the habit of doing it in the right way. Place your feet firmly apart in the walking position, and bend at the knees and hip but keep your back straight. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the heavy object close to you and then lift by straightening your legs.
- Smoking 20 cigarettes/day (now or in the past) doubles your likelihood of urinary incontinence: another reason for never smoking.
- Drugs can relax the pelvic floor around the ring of muscles at the neck of the bladder, making leakage more likely. The most common culprits are some blood pressure medications, particularly alpha-blockers such as prazosin and doxazosin, which are also prescribed to men who have a large prostate. If your incontinence problem seems to be related to starting treatment for blood pressure and you are a man, ask your doctor if you are taking an alpha-blocker. Other medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and muscle-relaxant drugs, can also promote urine leakage.
Urge Incontinence / Overactive Bladder
The sudden need to pass urine desperately, and maybe not being able to reach the toilet in time, is a slightly different sort of incontinence called urge incontinence and overactive bladder. The cause is the bladder muscle; it starts to contract when it should be stretching to hold more urine. This is called an overactive or irritable bladder (the medical term is detrusor over activity, because the bladder muscle is called the detrusor muscle). People with urge incontinence have to pass urine often (probably more than eight (8) times a day and also during the night), but may not pass much each time.
The following causes of urge incontinence have been identified:
- Cystitis - inflammation of the lining of the bladder. It usually occurs when the normally sterile urethra and bladder are infected by bacteria and become irritated and inflamed. Cystitis is fairly common and can affect both men and women of all ages - it is more common in women.
- CNS (central nervous system) problems - examples are multiple sclerosis, stroke and Parkinson's disease.
- Enlarged prostate (men) - the bladder may drop and the urethra could become irritated.
Some people have both types together and this is called Mixed Incontinence
Put simply, overflow incontinence is an inability to empty the bladder. The patient frequently dribbles urine, some patients constantly dribble urine (as opposed to frequently), and some experience interrupted urinary flow (start/stop urinating). This type of urinary incontinence is more common in men with prostate gland problems, a damaged bladder, or a blocked urethra. The enlarged prostate gland obstructs the bladder; the person often only manages to urinate in small trickles and has to go frequently. He may feel that his bladder is never really completely emptied, even after trying hard.
Types of Urinary Incontinence
|Questions to ask yourself
||Urge Incontinence and Overactive Bladder
|Do you go to the toilet to pass urine more than 8 times a day?
|Do you go to the toilet to pass urine more than once during the night?
|Do you ever have to hurry to reach the toilet in time (for urine)?
|Do you ever not reach the toilet in time (for urine)?
|Do you ever leak urine when you laugh, sneeze, cough, run or jump?
|If you leak urine, is it just a drop or is it sometimes quite a bit more?
|Are you able to hold your urine alright, but you need to pass it more than 8 times a day, in small or large amounts each time?
||See your doctor because you might have a urine infection (small amounts) or diabetes (large amounts and you are thirsty).
This occurs when the person knows there is a need to urinate, but cannot make it to the bathroom in time due to a mobility problem. If a person has a disability they may not be able to get their pants down in time; this would be an example of functional incontinence. The amount of urine lost may be large. Common causes of functional incontinence include:
- Poor eyesight
- Poor mobility
- Poor dexterity (cannot unbutton pants in time)
- Depression, anxiety or anger (unwilling to go to the toilet)
People with functional incontinence may have difficulties in thinking, moving or communicating - these difficulties may prevent them from reaching a toilet.
Functional incontinence is more prevalent among elderly people, and is common in nursing homes.
Of note, Functional incontinence may occur when there is nothing physically wrong with the person.
Gross Total Incontinence
This either means the person leaks urine continuously all day and night, or has periodic uncontrollable leaking of large amounts of urine. The bladder is unable to store urine. The patient may have a congenital problem (was born with a defect), there may be an injury to the spinal cord, and injury to the urinary system, or there may be a fistula between the bladder and, for example the vagina.
DEALING WITH INCONTINENCE
People often find the psychological symptoms of incontinence are worse than the physical ones. The fear of having an "accident," the helpless feeling of not being in control, or the embarrassment of spotting clothing or creating an unpleasant odor tend to keep people who suffer from incontinence from getting out and freely enjoying life.
For almost 35 years we've found a wide range of reactions to incontinence. Some of the most common are:
- AFRAID to leave home for fear of having an "accident",
- HELPLESSNESS of not being in control,
- EMBARRASSED by spotted clothing or unpleasant odor,
- ANGRY at being the one afflicted by the problem,
- DEPRESSED by the fact this (usually) is a long-lasting condition.
However, the RIGHT product makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE in improving daily quality of life. It can restore:
- ✓ Confidence
- ✓ Independence
- ✓ Assurance
- ✓ Dignity
- ✓ Self-esteem
There are various levels of incontinence and a wide array of products that can be utilized to help you.
Following is a BASIC guideline to help you begin to narrow your search by garment type for what best suits your needs:
Very Light Incontinence
✓ Shields or Pads: the best choice for light incontinence. They easily and discreetly attach to undergarments with an adhesive strip.
✓ Liners or Guards: provide the higher absorbency you need for light to moderate incontinence, and attach to existing undergarments with an adhesive strip.
✓ Disposable Underwear: Soft, cloth-like outer cover can be worn instead of underwear and provides discreet, comfortable and odor-free protection for moderate to heavy incontinence.
✓ Underpads: Excellent and reliable extra protection for beds, chairs, and wheelchairs. Available in a variety of sizes and absorbency levels.
✓ Briefs/Diapers: Ultra comfortable, discreet and disposable briefs offer superior protection and confidence. Easily fasten with tape tabs.
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON INCONTINENCE
(Citations Courtesy of Attends)
The Simon Foundation for Incontinence is known worldwide for its innovative educational projects and tireless efforts on behalf of people with loss of bladder and bowel control. Learn more at www.simonfoundation.org
The National Association for Continence works to de-stigmatize incontinence, promote preventive measures, motivate individuals to seek treatment, and provide collaborative advocacy and service for those who are affected by this problem. Learn more at www.nafc.org
The Canadian Continence Foundation strives to enhance the quality of life of people who suffer from incontinence by helping them to understand their symptoms and empowering them to seek help. Learn more at www.canadiancontinence.ca
3 http://www.embarrassingproblems.com/biography/13. Citation from Diane Newman, Co-Director of the Penn Center for Continence and Pelvic Health, Division of Urology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, in Philadelphia.
HOW NEEDS CHANGE BY AGE
"Incontinence is a common part of aging but it is never normal," says Dr. Lisa Rosenberg, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh's geriatric department. "Because it is so common, people think that they should accept it. In almost all cases, it is something a well-trained physician or nurse practitioner can help with. We can actually cure most of those people." 1
Urinary incontinence is more common among women than men. 10% to 30% of American women/girls aged 15-64 years are thought to suffer from it, compared to between 1.5% and 5% of men. The Department of Health, UK, estimates that 20% of all women over the age of 40 are affected by urinary incontinence.
Currently, over 25 million people in North America experience incontinence. While it is not a symptom of older age, rates of incontinence do increase above age 65. One consideration often overlooked with incontinence is the very real risk and incidence of slipping and falling – an outcome that is substantially more complicated and serious with an older population.
ARE YOU THE CAREGIVER?
It takes someone special to be a caregiver – someone caring, responsible, and selfless. Someone willing to take on the daily demands that caregiving can bring. We understand that this situation is challenging both physically and emotionally both for your loved one and for you. While there may be no limit to the care you want to give your loved one, it is important to look after yourself as well. If you don't take time out for yourself and look after your own needs, you will find that the job of caregiving becomes harder and more tiring and eventually the very person you are caring for will suffer too. Looking after you is all part of being a good caregiver. We salute you for your efforts and your dedication.
If you are caring for a loved one who suffers from incontinence, Woodbury can help make caregiving a little easier. Since 1980 we have supported and helped thousands of family members and caregivers reduce their stress, lessen the challenges and simplify the process of caring for loved ones who struggle with incontinence. Our expert advisors are always available to solve your problems, give advice, and share their learning from almost 35 years of specialized focus in this arena. You should feel confident to call us at (800) 777-1111.
SIGNS OF INCONTINENCE
(Courtesy of Tena)
There are several signs of incontinence. Among the most common signs are:
- Odor of urine or feces in the room
- Soiling of undergarments or bed linens
- Irritation of perineal area
- Leakage our outflows while engaged in physical activity, sneezing, laughing, coughing
- Physical slip and fall (often caused by leaks)
- Decline in social activity
- Unwillingness to leave the home
- Desire for attention
SLIPPING & FALLING: AN IMPORTANT RISK NOT OFTEN CONSIDERED 1
The incidence of slips-and-falls caused by incontinence leakage is real, especially with a more aged population. The ramifications and complications from falls are dramatically increased with this group.
- Urinary incontinence is an important risk factor for recurrent falls and hip fracture.
- Bowel and urinary incontinence is associated with increased risk of patient falls, where up to 50% of falls are elimination-related
Urinary incontinence can contribute to fall risk in several ways:
- Incontinence episodes may lead to slips on wet floor surfaces.
- Urge incontinence (involuntary leakage accompanied by or immediately preceded by urgency) may increase risk when a patient hurries to the toilet to avoid wetting themselves.
- Urinary incontinence can lead to episodes of dizziness (micturition syncope, for example).
- Episodes of urinary incontinence may be transitory (transient incontinence is present in up to 50 percent of patients) and often related to acute illness, such as urinary tract infections that can cause incontinence, delirium, drowsiness and hypotension.
- Medications used to treat incontinence, such as anticholinergics or alpha blockers, can cause a drop in blood pressure due to a change in body position (postural hypotension).
Factors contributing to increased risk of falling include:
- Reduced mobility and balance -- impaired ambulation and balance make it difficult to reach the toilet and thereby increase the risk.
- Reduced dexterity (in manipulating undergarments, etc.)
- Need for toileting assistance and impaired cognition (in other words, performing a secondary task, such as walking and concentrating on getting to the toilet, may be difficult).
- Need to use a walker -- urinary incontinence is a significant risk factor for those who can't stand without support.
- Increased episodes of night time incontinence.
- Urinary frequency and toileting - the combination of urinary frequency and the need for frequent assistance with toileting is much more of a fall risk factor than incontinence by itself.
- Nocturia (waking at night to void the bladder) can result in poor sleep, which is associated with increased fall risk.
HOW TO TALK TO YOUR LOVED ONE ABOUT INCONTINENCE
(Courtesy of Tena)
No one wants to be incontinent and this may be one of the most difficult discussions you have with a loved one. You may be the one who must start the conversation. It is important to be patient, sympathetic and informed.
At first your loved one may deny being incontinent and try to hide the fact. Stress the importance of honesty and willingness to seek help. You need to be supportive of the loved one's feelings and express your willingness to help.
You may want to introduce the fact of how common incontinence is today and how many people have successfully maintained and enjoyed their lifestyle while coping with incontinence.
ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT COSTS?
(Courtesy of Tena)
Cost-effective care isn't just about the price of a particular product; it means choosing the right size and absorbency and design of product for the individual you are caring for, and making sure it is put on correctly for their comfort and security so you and your loved one are emotionally, physically and economically better off.
The most important part of good incontinence care is to ensure both the physical and emotional comfort of your loved one. The key to this is using the products that provide maximum care and prevent the negative side effects that incontinence can cause. Things like leaks, slips and falls, waking to a damp mattress or skin irritation have physical, emotional and economic consequences.
You can't put a price on the care you give your loved one, but you can make choices about incontinence care that impact both the quality and the economics of that care.
Because we have evaluated virtually every incontinence product in the market almost 35 years, we have found over and over that our clients that use quality products that fit properly:
- Use fewer products per day (fewer changes per day, which saves money and reduces stress)
- Have better skin health (less leakage = less skin irritation and discomfort, less slip and fall risk)
- Are more comfortable (better product materials and less leakage)
- Sleep better (less worried about leaking, no need to "double up at night", no wet sheets or skin)
- Save money (use fewer products per day and need to do less laundry)
Contact an expert Woodbury Personal Advisor at (800) 777-1111
ADDITIONAL CAREGIVER RESOURCES
Other resources that may be helpful (citations courtesy of Attends):
SHOPPING FOR YOURSELF
Selecting the proper incontinence products is essential to avoid the following:
- Skin breakdown can occur due to urine wetness against your skin. Not only is it uncomfortable, irritating and often painful, but left untreated it can become infected and cause other problems. The key is to find a product that fits you well, has sufficient absorbency, and quickly removes the void away from the skin.
- Leakage and embarrassment can be the result of improper fit. In addition to now very specific sizing, there are many new and innovative fit-features around the legs, hips and waist available. The right fit can ensure containment and increase personal self-confidence. Beyond creating a more comfortable experience, there are many new alternatives that make products discreet and unnoticeable to others around you.
- Odors can occur when urine is held against your skin or clothing. Many products now feature specially treated fibers to change the chemistry of urine to reduce growth of odor-causing bacteria.
- Rising cost can happen if you are using the wrong product. Often time people think they are saving money by purchasing a more inexpensive product that may lack absorbency and fit. As a result they compensate for the product inadequacies by "doubling-up or even tripling-up" (especially at night) and/or changing the product more often. The result is the usage of far more products each day than are ever necessary thereby costing you significantly more money compared to finding the right absorbency and fit.
- Negative physical and emotional impact. Using the products that provide maximum care and prevent the negative side effects that incontinence can cause can improve both physical and emotional well-being. Things like leaks, slipping & falling, lack of adequate sleep, waking to a damp mattress or skin irritation have physical, emotional and economic consequences.
Try before you buy. How better to determine what works for your needs other than to try samples of different alternatives? You will be amazed at the differences in product performance, fit, comfort and concealment as you experience the Woodbury methodology of optimizing your product selection.
To find that perfectly matched product, call Woodbury at (800) 777-1111 or click here
Beyond the core incontinence products (e.g. briefs, protective underwear, pads, liners,...) there are numerous effective products and methods one can use to help address and reduce skin breakdown.
- Wipes – for cleansing and promoting skin wellness
- Underpads – light to heavy absorbent pads for patient and bedding protection
- Body wash & shampoo – gentle no rinse cleanser for hair, body and perineal area
- Moisturizers & Cleansers – skin moisturizers and cleansers, either separately or in a one-step product
- Barrier Creams – light moisture barrier that spreads easily and allows visibility to skin
- Soothing Ointment – zinc oxide and petroleum-based ointment spreads easily and provides a durable barrier for the skin
- Antimicrobial Cleansers – No rinse skin cleanser and antimicrobial wash in one step
- Antifungal Creams – Light cream that spreads easily and allows visibility to skin beneath (e.g. 2% miconazole nitrate)
- Skin Prep – Helps adhesive dressing adhere without damaging fragile skin
- Hyrdocolloid Alginate – Bordered and non-bordered dressing for light to moderate exudating 1 wounds
- Bordered Foam – Provides cushioned protection for moderate to heavily exudating wounds
- Transparent Dressing – Thin film dressing with high vapor transfer for lightly exudating wounds
To find that perfect combination of core incontinence products and accessories, call Woodbury at (800) 777-1111 or click here
1 An exudating wound is one that is leaking blood cell platelets and other fluids as it heals. Depending on the severity of the wound, the exact composition of wound exudate varies.
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
It usually is a sign of a problem with your throat or esophagus - the muscular tube that moves food and liquids from the back of your mouth to your stomach. Those with dysphagia require more time and effort to move food or liquid from the mouth to the stomach.
Occasional difficulty swallowing usually isn't cause for concern, and may simply occur when you eat too fast or don't chew your food well enough. But persistent difficulty swallowing may indicate a medical condition requiring treatment. A dry mouth can make dysphagia worse. There may not be enough saliva to help move food out of the mouth and down through the esophagus. A dry mouth can be caused by medicines or another health problem.
More than 15 million Americans are affected by dysphagia. Difficulty swallowing can occur at any age, but it's more common in older adults. The prevalence may be as high as 22% in those over 50 years of age.
What causes dysphagia? 1
There are two types of problems that can make it hard for food and liquids to travel down your esophagus:
- The muscles and nerves that help move food through the throat and esophagus are not working correctly. This might be caused by:
Something is blocking the throat or esophagus. This may happen if you have:
- A prior stroke or a brain or spinal cord injury.
- Certain problems with the nervous system, such as post-polio syndrome, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or Parkinson's disease.
- An immune system problem that causes swelling (or inflammation) and weakness, such as polymyositis or dermatomyositis.
- Esophageal spasm. This means that the muscles of the esophagus suddenly squeeze. Sometimes this can prevent food from reaching the stomach.
- Scleroderma. In this condition, tissues of the esophagus become hard and narrow. Scleroderma can also make the lower esophageal muscle weak, which may cause food and stomach acid to come back up into your throat and mouth.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When stomach acid backs up regularly into your esophagus, it can cause ulcers in the esophagus, which can then cause scars to form. These scars can make your esophagus narrower.
- Esophagitis. This is inflammation of the esophagus. This can be caused by different problems, such as GERD or having an infection or getting a pill stuck in the esophagus. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction to food or things in the air.
- Diverticula. These are small sacs in the walls of the esophagus or the throat.
- Esophageal tumors. These growths in the esophagus may be cancerous or not cancerous.
- Masses outside the esophagus, such as lymph nodes, tumors, or bone spurs on the vertebrae that press on your esophagus.
How is Dysphagia treated?
The treatment is a function of what is causing the dysphagia.
Non-Invasive treatment for dysphagia includes:
- Changing the foods you eat. Your doctor may tell you to eat certain foods and liquids to make swallowing easier.
- Thickening the foods you eat. Food and Beverage thickeners [link to Thick-It!] added to your food will produce a desired consistency quickly, easily and in a controlled manner without changing the taste or appearance of hot and cold foods and beverages. These thickeners typically dissolve instantly, do not change appearance or taste of food or beverages, are easily digested, and do not bind fluids. For those seeking easier and more time efficient ways for meal preparation, there are also ready-to-eat purees and ready-to-drink liquids, both of which are pre-thickened [link to Thick-It!]
- A registered speech pathologist can perform a swallowing evaluation and provide appropriate treatment.
- Such an assessment may include:
- Examination of strength and movement of the lips, tongue, jaw, and palate.
- A challenge tray of various food textures and liquid consistencies.
- A Modified Barium Swallow Study (MBSS), which is a state-of-the-art radiographic (x-ray) procedure conducted by a speech pathologist and a radiologist.
- The treatment options may include some of the following:
- Adaptive equipment
- Deep pharyngeal neurological stimulation &nash; an intense stimulation program of the oral-pharyngeal muscles
- Thermostimulation &nash; a technique to trigger the automatic swallowing reflex
- Muscle strengthening of the oral/pharyngeal muscles
- Posture changes
- Prescribed food and liquid consistencies
Invasive treatment for dysphagia includes:
- Dilation. In this treatment, a device is placed down the esophagus to carefully expand any narrow areas of the esophagus.
- Endoscopy. In some cases, a long, thin scope can be used to remove an object that is stuck in the esophagus.
- Surgery. If you something is blocking the esophagus (such as a tumor or diverticula), surgery may be an alternative to remove it.
- Medicines. For dysphagia related to GERD, heartburn, or esophagitis, prescription medicines may help prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus.
Other Resources on Dysphagia:
Following are additional sources of information:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)/Constipation 1
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms.
The intestine is connected to the brain. Signals go back and forth between the bowel and brain. These signals affect bowel function and symptoms. The nerves can become more active during stress, causing the intestines to be more sensitive and squeeze (contract) more.
IBS can occur at any age, but it often begins in the teen years or early adulthood. It is twice as common in women as in men. About 1 in 6 people in the U.S. have symptoms of IBS. It is the most common intestinal problem that causes patients to be referred to a bowel specialist (gastroenterologist).
Symptoms range from mild to severe. Most people have mild symptoms. Symptoms are different from person to person.
The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, fullness, gas, and bloating that have been present for at least 3 days a month for the last 3 months. The pain and other symptoms will often:
- Be reduced or go away after a bowel movement
- Occur when there is a change in how often you have bowel movements
People with IBS may switch between constipation and diarrhea, or mostly have one or the other.
- People with diarrhea will have frequent, loose, watery stools. They will often have an urgent need to have a bowel movement, which may be hard to control.
- Those with constipation will have a hard time passing stool, as well as fewer bowel movements. They will often need to strain and will feel cramps with a bowel movement. Often, they do not release any stool, or only a small amount.
For some people, the symptoms may get worse for a few weeks or a month, and then decrease for a while. For other people, symptoms are present most of the time.
Most of the time, your doctor can diagnose IBS based on your symptoms, with few or no tests. Eating a lactose-free diet for 2 weeks may help the doctor check for a possible lactase deficiency.
There is no test to diagnose IBS. Tests may be done to rule out other problems:
- Lifestyle changes can help in some cases of IBS. For example, regular exercise and improved sleep habits may reduce anxiety and help relieve bowel symptoms.
- Dietary changes can be helpful. However, no specific diet can be recommended for IBS, because the condition differs from one person to another. The following changes may help:
- ☒ Avoid foods and drinks that stimulate the intestines (such as caffeine, tea, or colas)
- ☒ Avoid large meals
- ☑ Increase fiber in the diet [link to Fiber Juice in Products]
- Over-the-counter medications may help, but consult your physician before taking anything.
- Anticholinergic medications (dicyclomine, propantheline, belladonna, and hyoscyamine) taken about a half-hour before eating to control intestinal muscle spasms. Bisacodyl to treat constipation. Loperamide to treat diarrhea. Lubiprostone for constipation symptoms.
Other sources of information on IBS:
Following are additional sources of information:
LEARN ABOUT VASCULAR COMPRESSION STOCKINGS
Unlike traditional dress or athletic stockings and socks, compression stockings use stronger elastics to create significant pressure on the legs, ankles and feet. Compression stockings are tightest at the ankles and gradually become less constrictive towards the knees and thighs. By compressing the surface veins, arteries and muscles, the circulating blood is forced through narrower circulatory channels. As a result, the arterial pressure is increased, which causes more blood to return to the heart and less blood to pool in the feet.
Compression stockings are specialized hosiery designed to help prevent the occurrence of, and guard against further progression of venous disorders such as edema, phlebitis and thrombosis.
There are two (2) types of compression stockings:
Gradient Compression Stockings
Doctors will typically recommend these stockings for those who are prone to blood clots, lower limb edema, and blood pooling in the legs and feet from prolonged periods of sitting or inactivity. They are worn by those who are ambulatory in most cases, where they assist the calf muscles to perform their pumping action more efficiently to return blood to the heart. In some cases, they are worn by those at increased risk of circulatory problems, such as diabetics, whose legs are prone to excessive swelling.
Gradient compression stockings are woven in such a way that the compression level is highest around the ankle and lessens towards the top of the hose.
Low pressure compression stockings are available without prescription in most countries. It is crucial that compression stockings are properly sized. The compression should gradually reduce from the highest compression at the smallest part of the ankle, until a 70% reduction of pressure just below the knee.
Anti-Embolism Compression Stockings
These stockings are commonly referred to as T.E.D. hose, which is a registered brand name. Like gradient compression stockings, anti-embolism stockings deliver a distributed amount of compression at the ankle and up the leg. This compression, when combined with the muscle pump effect of the calf, aids in circulating blood and lymph fluid through the legs (in non-ambulatory patients).
Compression wear has also been adopted by the sports science industry. Various garments have been developed to improve the efficiency of muscles by stabilizing muscles and improving circulation/ lactic acid removal. Today, compression stockings are available in a wide range of opacities, colors, styles and sizes, making them virtually indistinguishable from regular hosiery or socks.
Typical Reasons for Use
Treatment is usually prescribed by a physician to relieve all manifestations of chronic venous disease and prevent venous troubles. Compression stockings are often recommended by physicians under the following conditions:
- Tired, aching legs - occurs when the blood flow slows down in the legs (can be an indicator of deep vein thrombosis).
- Edema (Mild ankle/foot swelling) - When blood and/or tissue fluid pool in the legs and feet due to poor circulation.
- Chronic peripheral venous insufficiency - Veins cannot pump deoxygenated blood to the heart.
- Varicose veins - Saccular and distended veins which can expand considerably and may cause painful venous inflammation. Once developed, it will not disappear on its own. The formation of varicose veins is an externally visible sign of venous weakness.
- Spider Veins (mild varicosities) - The smallest cutaneous blood vessels which shimmer bluish/reddish through the skin.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - Occurs when blood flow decreases (especially in the lower extremities), causing blood to pool in the legs and leading to blood clot (thrombus) formation.
- Lymphedema - When a body part swells due to an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid, occurring when there is interference with the normal drainage of lymph fluid back into the blood, commonly swelling the arm, leg, neck or abdomen.
- Phlebitis - Inflammation and clotting in a vein, most often a leg vein, due to infection, inflammation, or trauma. People with varicose veins are more often affected. Inflammation occurs suddenly, causing the thrombus to adhere firmly to the vein wall, which can clog a superficial vein.
- Long Haul Flying/Economy Class Syndrome (ECS) - Occurs on long flight, due to traveler's inactivity, gravity, and cramped seating, which slows down the blood flow through veins.
- Lipodermatosclerosis - Inflammation of subcutaneous fat, form of panniculitis.
- Pregnancy - Hormones released during pregnancy and the expanding uterus (pressure on the Inferior Vena Cava - the major vein returning blood up to the heart) can affect leg veins.