Adult Briefs - Disposable, Tape Tab, Reusable Tab and Washable
Briefs are designed to provide full incontinence protection while offering an easy on, easy off solution. Designed with tape tabs or hook and loop taps, briefs can be donned or doffed while standing up, laying down or sitting on a wheelchair. Choosing an incontinence brief is usually centered on several key factors--the level of absorption, tab closure, wicking capability, breathability, type of backsheet material, and size. Sometimes there can be trade-offs in choosing the right brief. For instance, the higher the level of absorbency, the less discreet the brief becomes and the less flexibility and comfort. However, modern absorbent material has become lighter and less bulky to make highly absorbent briefs the best choice for many incontinence patients. Many modern heavy absorbency briefs are very discreet and comfortable and when dry are nearly indistinguishable with light briefs. However, when wet, high capacity can translate into bulkiness based upon the amount of fluid or fecal matter that is collected. This added weight and size can make things uncomfortable. Therefore, wearing highly absorbent briefs in public may still require occasional changing in order to keep things lighter. At the bottom of this web page are some detailed guidelines to help you determine what incontinence products will work best for you.
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How to Choose the Best Briefs
Absorption capacity is an important factor for most people. There are those who simply want volume to absorb heavy leakage, while others who want them trim, yet still quite absorbent. When you choose the absorbency level it is recommended to get just what you need. If you purchase a heavy absorbency brief when you really need a moderate, you will end up with something that is more cumbersome than it needs to be. However, if you are using the product at night or need to use a single brief for an extended time, you may want maximum absorbency to prevent possible leaks. Some incontinence briefs are designed for nighttime use such as Tranquility ATN and the Dignity PM. Some heavy absorbency briefs are designed for use day or night such as the NASA designed Wellness Briefs with 88 ounce capacity.
Tab closure is another important factor. Users on adult incontinence products do not want their protection to come undone. Regardless of urinary or fecal incontinence, having your incontinence product unsecured is embarrassing and a nuisance. By adding multiple tape tabs, many manufacturers have attempted to alleviate this dilemma. Often these tape tab closures are only effective for one iteration and are not re-fastenable. New advances in technology now offer other options besides just tape taps. Manufacturers now offer tabs with hook and loop type closure and others that only stick to the sides of the diaper but not to skin. Many of these tabs allow multiple refastening which is very important in nursing home environments and to others who need to check frequently for soiling.
Wicking is the action of drawing moisture away from the skin and into the absorbent core. When you are experiencing heavy flow, using the product at night, or have sensitive skin, advanced wicking is important. Some of these adult incontinence briefs feature advanced wicking, such as Prevail Air™ Overnight Briefs Overnight Absorbency Tab Closure.
Breathability offers less heat and moisture build-up. Breathable briefs allow air to circulate to keep your skin drier and more comfortable. Many manufacturers now incorporate breathable zones, breathable side panels and other options to allow the transfer of air to promote better skin health.
Backsheet Material varies depending on how you intend to use the product. Nighttime products typically have a plastic back, but are also designed to be breathable. If you are not mobile, a breathable brief is even more important to have to prevent skin breakdown. Sometimes these include a wetness indicator for additional protection. They are designed to be used during the day feature a cloth-like backing so that they are more comfortable, less noisy, and more discreet to wear.
Size is very important in the selection process. If your brief is leaking, it is possible that it is too large or just not the right fit for your body. If you cannot fit your palm between the two tabs of the brief in the front that means it is too large. Also, if the adult brief is too small it will not protect as well as it should. Manufacturers have developed numerous size options to provide a better fit, including bariatric, youth, adult and specialty sizes. Size charts based on patient weight, height, waist size or hip size have been developed by many manufacturers. Check on at the bottom of many of the individual product pages for sizing instructions and sizing charts to help you select the right product.