One of the most important tasks to understand well in the adult incontinence field is the best way to change a diaper. Although there are some similarities to changing a baby’s diaper a lot changes when you are faced with an elderly or infirm adult that weighs about the same as the caregiver. Fortunately, with a little education dealing with all aspects of adult incontinence can become manageable tasks. There are several lessons to be learned from those that work in the adult incontinence field that will make diaper changing easy. Think “rock and roll” and get ready….

1) To keep the task simplified every time, stock a basket or bedside drawers with the necessary adult incontinence supplies: Adult Diapers Non-Sterile Gloves (vinyl are fine or you can spend more) Wipes Trash bags (you can use old plastic shopping bags) Underpads (also called chucks or bedpads) Powder and/or lotion

2) Get out all the adult incontinence supplies you will be using for the diaper change and put them where they will be handy.

3) Put on the gloves.

4) First, carefully undo the diaper tabs. Make sure that the diaper still stays in place and doesn’t open up.

5) You will be rolling the patient onto their side away from you so if you will need an underpad under them in their new position this is the time to get it ready. (Cleaning up someone with adult incontinence can be messy so you will probably want to use extra underpads the first few times until you really know what to expect). Roll up 1/3-1/2 of the underpad. Put the rolled up part right next to the patient. Then when you roll the patient onto the pad you will gently reach under him or her and pull out the rolled up underpad so the patient is situated in the middle of the underpad.

6) Ask the patient to roll over onto their side facing away from you or if they need assistance rolling into this position, very gently guide their movement. Always guide them gently from the hips, never by their shoulders, arms or legs. Next, gently guide their knees up toward their chest. This simple move makes clean up a lot easier.

7) Start rolling the soiled surface of the diaper inward as you pull the material back from the patient’s skin, keeping any adult incontinence mess tucked inside. Carefully, put the diaper into the ready plastic bag. You will dispose of it further for odor control later.

8) Thoroughly cleanse and dry the exposed skin, wiping from front to back and paying careful attention to nooks and crannies. Use powder or lotion as necessary. Repeat the rollover procedure to the patient’s opposite side to complete the cleansing and change out the bed pad for fresh ones as needed.

9) With the clean bed pad in place and the patient still on their side, you can now carefully unfold and position the clean diaper you will be rolling the patient back on to. When the patient is returned to their back onto the fresh diaper, continue to cleanse and care for any earlier missed areas before taping the diaper shut.

10) Remember to keep the adult diaper and bed pad as wrinkle free as possible, because wrinkles contribute to chafing and bedsores which are very serious issues for someone with adult incontinence.

11) Carefully gather up any soiled underpads and wipes and put them into plastic bags. Put the plastic bags in the trash. If you are having difficulties with odor you can control it with special containers.

12) Take any soiled laundry directly to the washer if you can. This will help with odor control as well. If you have to, laundry can be stored in a plastic bag and tied shut until it is convenient to wash them. Just be aware that the smell from the used adult incontinence supplies will be very strong when the bag is untied.