One of the most challenging things about being a caregiver to someone who has incontinence can be the mornings. Waking up each day to your loved one’s wet bed can be both physically and emotionally draining. No one likes to wash and change sheets each day, and knowing the discomfort (and likely embarrassment) that your loved one feels can be disheartening. In fact, incontinence is often a big reason that older adults are placed into long-term care facilities.
The key to managing this problem is prevention. Having the right tools at your disposal will do wonders to help keep the bed dry and your loved one comfortable. And remember, layers are your friend. They will help keep any leaks to a minimum and make clean up so much easier.
Here are some of our top tricks for keeping the bed dry and making your life a little easier.
- Zippered, Vinyl Waterproof Mattress Cover. This should go on the bed first and will help keep any moisture from getting on the mattress. After all, replacing a mattress is expensive, and getting lingering odors out of them is very hard. If you do nothing else, do this.
- Waterproof Mattress Pad. Use this as a second layer – it’s a softer, but still waterproof cover that will go over your vinyl cover.
- Waterproof Flat Sheet.
- Waterproof Underpad. You can use these both under, and on top of a flat sheet if you wish, and they can be disposable or washable. We recommend putting a large, sturdy, washable pad on the flat sheet, then topping that with a disposable pad that you can simply toss in the trash when needed.
- Use Layers Of Blankets Instead Of A Thick Comforter. These are easier to wash in the event of an accident.
- Disposable Absorbent Products. A good fitting disposable absorbent product is key. Find one for nighttime use (they’re more absorbent) and make sure the fit is good – you don’t want anything too tight or too lose, as it will lead to leaks. For a breakdown on what to look for, see our guide on absorbent products here.
- Skincare Protection. While this won’t protect your bedding, it will protect your loved one. Proper skincare protection can help keep skin from getting irritated or chapped due to accidents that happen during the night.
Try these tips for a drier night, and happier morning.
What tips do you have for a dry night? Share them with us in the comments below!