Caregiver Tips: How to Change Adult Diapers

If your loved one is having problems with incontinence, you may feel like it is too much to handle.  How can you add changing adult diapers to your many other daily tasks?  Take a deep breath.  You can do it. It isn’t easy, but these tips make the task more manageable:

Tip #1 Gather Your Supplies

Having all of your needs in one place will help reduce stress and will allow the process to run smoothly.

  • Adult Diaper or Brief: Make sure you have the right size and type.
  • Disposable Gloves:  Gloves help prevent spreading germs.
  • Towel or Disposable Underpad: To put underneath to keep the linens clean.
  • Cleansing Products: Welmedix HomeCare Pro Cleansing Foam, damp wash cloth or soft paper towels.
  • Moisture Barrier Ointment: Welmedix HomeCare PRO Fragile Skin Protective Ointment. Older people, especially those with incontinence, have fragile skin and a barrier cream can help prevent a rash.
  • Rash Product: If you suspect your loved one has a rash, have Welmedix HomeCare PRO Extra Strength Rapid Rash Relief on hand.
  • Trash Can with Lid: Helps prevent odors. You may also want plastic grocery bags for used diapers.

Tip #2 Find a Comfortable Position for Changing Adult Diaper

Talk with your loved one about the best place to change the diaper for both them and you. If your he or she can easily walk, it might be better to change the diaper standing up in the bathroom and using toilet rails or their walker to help them balance. Other situations might require changing them in a sitting position. However, most of the time changing an adult diaper is performed when the person is laying down.

Tip #3 Let your Loved One Help As Much as Possible

If you and your loved one are new to this task, you both might feel a bit embarrassed at first, even if you both know this has to be done. One way to make the process go faster while preserving dignity is to let your loved one help as much as they can. For instance with:

  1. Laying down for changing.
  2. Assisting in taking off their clothes.
  3. Lifting up their bottom when you need to put a towel or underpad underneath, help with removing the old diaper and positioning a new one.
  4. Pulling the tabs off the old diaper and securing the tabs on the new one.

Tip #4 Change Adult Diaper the Same Way Every Time

One way to make changing an adult diaper easier is to develop a routine. This makes the task quicker, safer, and easier for both of you.  You and your loved one will have to discover a process which works for you. Here is one good routine to follow:

  1. Remove the  pants completely. Make sure all clothing, bedding or rugs are out of the way to prevent them from getting soiled.
  2. Put on disposable gloves.
  3. If you are changing the diaper in the bed, undo the tabs of the diaper and pull the diaper back. Don’t take it out from under the person yet, as  it could be useful for collecting waste during the diaper change.
  4. Take your forearm and put it behind their knees and gently lift up their legs. Once the knees are bent slowly and gently spread their legs.
  5. Apply Welmedix Homecare Pro Cleansing Foam directly to the skin and/or a wash cloth or soft paper towel. Wipe them from front to back and pay special attention to creases and folds. This is especially crucial for women to prevent introducing bacteria into the urinary tract. For men – be sure to replace the foreskin in uncircumcised males to avoid causing a stricture. Put the wipes into the soiled diaper that is beneath them as you wipe. Fold the soiled diaper up and make a final wipe as you pull out the soiled diaper and put the new one in place.
  6. Immediately put the soiled diaper and wipes into a trash bag and tie the end closed.
  7. Change your gloves if they are soiled.
  8. Apply Welmedix HCP Fragile Skin Protective Ointment to protect the skin from damage from urine and/or stool. If there is a rash present or your loved one has frequent or loose stools apply Welmedix Extra Strength Rapid Rash Relief instead.
  9. Properly position the diaper and secure the tabs.
  10. Put clothes back on and help your loved one sit or lay down comfortably
  11. Dispose of trash to contain odor

Make ‘small talk’ during the change. This can help both of you feel more relaxed.

Spray an odor neutralizer before and after a diaper change. Be sure not to spray too close to your loved ones nose so they do not inhale the product.

Ready? Maybe you are already juggling the difficulties of managing a household, taking care of your children, being a loving spouse and trying to be a good employee.  Adding the job of changing an adult loved one’s diapers may feel overwhelming.  Be reassured that as you practice and follow these tips of experienced caregivers, you will be able to do it and even teach other members of your family to assist in caregiving responsibilities.


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