Patient Referral

How to Change Incontinence Briefs

how to change incontinence briefs

Incontinence is a common condition that many people experience as they grow older.  In order to avoid rashes and infection, the skin must be kept dry. Incontinence pads and briefs can help with this.

If you are caring for a loved one who is incontinent and limited in mobility, you may need to assist in changing their incontinence briefs or pads. While this may seem intimidating and uncomfortable at first, once you know how to change incontinence briefs, it gets a lot easier.

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maintain dignity

Maintaining Dignity

When caring for a loved one with incontinence, it’s important to be both empathetic and matter of fact. The condition can be both stressful and embarrassing. Your reassurance and acceptance can help to put your loved one at ease.

Adopt terminology that will help maintain your loved one’s dignity. Instead of terms like “adult diapers,” use terms like a brand name, pull-ons, or briefs. Don’t talk down to your loved one. You may be in their place one day, so approach the task with a practical attitude to help avoid unnecessary embarrassment.

Be sure to preserve your loved one’s privacy when you need to change incontinence briefs by closing doors or curtains and keeping others from the room during this time.

personal hygiene

Personal Hygiene

It is important to protect both yourself and your loved one when changing incontinence briefs.

Make sure you always wear disposable gloves when doing any task that may put you in contact with urine or feces. Keep a trash bag or diaper pail nearby to easily dispose of incontinence supplies.

Each time you change your loved one’s incontinence briefs, you should wash and carefully dry their skin to avoid rashes. You should also apply barrier creams and moisturizers to protect thin, fragile skin.

how to change incontinence briefs

How to Change Incontinence Briefs 

Incontinence briefs should be changed immediately when they become wet or soiled. When this occurs, let your loved one know that you are going to help change their briefs.

Close the doors or drapes and gather your supplies. You will need briefs, disposable gloves, wet and dry wipes, barrier cream, an incontinence pad, and a trash bag or diaper pail.

Now, it’s time to get started.

  • Begin by washing your hands and putting on your gloves.
  • While the patient is lying on their back, undo the tabs on the incontinence briefs.
  • Ease your loved one onto their side so they face away from you. Gently guide them by placing your hands on their hips.
  • Once they are positioned on their side, gently bend their legs at the knee.
  • Grasp the top of the brief and roll it inward while pulling it away from your loved one’s body. Tuck any mess inside the brief as you roll.
  • Once the brief is removed, roll it up and dispose of it in a trash bag or diaper pail.
  • Now take your wet wipes and wipe your loved one from front to back until clean. Be sure to clean in all the folds of their skin. Then gently dry their skin.
  • Next, turn the patient onto their other side and clean and dry this side.
  • Allow the skin to air dry while you change into fresh gloves.
  • While your loved one is still on their side, straighten their blankets and slide a new incontinence pad onto the bed.
  • Apply barrier cream to your loved one’s skin, taking note of any rash or broken skin which should be reported to your loved one’s nurse or physician immediately.
  • Next, place the new incontinence brief on the bed, tucking it under your loved one’s hips as you do so.
  • Now roll your loved one gently back onto their back and pull the brief through their legs.
  • Close the briefs using the tabs. Top tabs should face down. Bottom tabs should face up.
  • Roll your loved one slightly to adjust the incontinence pad beneath them.
  • Recover your loved one with linens.
  • Remove your gloves and dispose of them in a trash bag or diaper pail.
  • Finally, wash your hands.

Congratulations! You now know how to change incontinence briefs.

Caring for a loved one can be both rewarding and difficult. Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care provides added support to families to ensure their loved one receives the best possible care. To find hospice near you, please call us at 1-888-564-3405.

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Copyright © 2021 Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care. All rights reserved.

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