Incontinence Briefs

If you shop for those essential disposable undergarments at the drugstore, either for yourself or for someone else, what do you call them? I like the word “briefs,” which implies something short and businesslike. Others prefer the more defiantly outspoken term “adult diapers.” One woman I know calls them “pullups,” while another refers to “paper panties,” conjuring up for me an almost festive image, as of lace and ruffles. Indeed, some stores carry women’s versions of Depends underwear in pink, peach, and lavender, as well as men’s versions in gray.

“Incontinence products help our seniors remain mobile, social and productive,” writes recreational therapist Marlene Ceragno, CDP, in a recent post on the Elder Care Professionals group at LinkedIn.  The high cost of adult absorbent products can be a barrier to their use, she points out. “Without these products many seniors would be trapped in their homes,” she writes, “unable to attend senior programs and/or nutritional sites for congregant meals. They would be unable to attend family/social functions, go to libraries, or museums. People are living longer and leading more active lives. They should not be afraid to leave their homes because of incontinence problems.”

Ceragno has been contacting legislators to advocate for making adult absorbent products more affordable. She is also working to establish a donation program in her community that is similar to the food bank programs common in grocery stores. More power to her, I say. And to us.