How to Change Diapers for Bedridden Adults


If you are caring for a loved one who is bedridden and incontinent at home, you may need to change adult diapers. Changing diapers correctly is important as it helps keep the skin clean and free from infection and perineal dermatitis (also known as diaper rash).

Long-term exposure to urine and feces can damage the skin, cause tissue destruction, and contribute to the formation of pressure sores (bedsores). A well-fitting adult diaper not only keeps the skin clean and protected from infection, it also helps minimize abrasion that contributes to these tough sores.

Changing an adult diaper for the first time can seem uncomfortable and intimidating, but there are steps that can make the process easier for you and your loved one.

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What do you need

If you are in charge of changing diapers for a loved one, it is recommended to keep all the necessary supplies at the bedside so that you do not go after things in the event of an accident. This includes:

  • Disposable medical gloves
  • Clean adult diaper
  • A plastic shopping bag (which you can pick up whenever you are in the store).
  • Pre-moistened wipes, such as baby wipes or baby wipes (or alternatively a skin cleanser with disposable wipes)
  • Protective barrier cream for the skin

Make sure these accessories are for diaper changing only. It is important, for example, not to share a protective cream. Plus, if you keep all your supplies in one place, you're less likely to accidentally run out of tissues or skin cream.

Consider hiring or purchasing a hospital bed if you don't already have one. This makes it easier to care for the bedridden person and also makes them feel more comfortable.

Step by step instruction

To maintain the integrity of your skin, you should change adult diapers as soon as they get dirty. Every effort should be made to check diapers regularly. This helps attract other family members to this when you go shopping or around the house, and teach them to change diapers, if they can.

A person can change adult diapers, but it will be much easier if there is someone to help you (especially if the loved one is large or you are small). That said, it usually only takes a little practice to do it yourself.

To change an adult diaper:

  1. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water.
  2. Wear medical gloves.
  3. Place your loved one more comfortably on his back if you haven't already.
  4. If the bed is adjustable, raise the entire bed to a comfortable height, slightly below your hips. Lower your head as low as your loved one can bear.
  5. Unfasten the buttonhole of the soiled diaper by tucking the side away from you under the thigh.
  6. Holding one hand on your hip and the other on your shoulder, turn your loved one onto their side.
  7. If you place the diaper deep enough under the thigh, you can pull the diaper out from under the thigh.
  8. Roll a soiled diaper inside when you take it off so it doesn't get dirty.
  9. Put the dirty diaper in a plastic bag (but don't close the bag yet).
  10. Using wet wipes , thoroughly clean the front and back of the diaper area. Avoid applying too much pressure and rubbing the skin. You may need to turn your loved one on his back or side to clear areas that he cannot reach.
  11. Put used tissues in a grocery bag.
  12. While your loved one is still on their side, check for pressure sores. It is important to do this daily and treat them correctly when the first symptoms appear .
  13. Apply a barrier cream to your crotch to hydrate and protect your skin .
  14. When your loved one's skin is dry, open a new diaper and tuck the outer part under the thigh. Flatten and place the rest of the diaper on the bed, smoothing the sheets underneath as well.
  15. Put your loved one back in the diaper.
  16. Stretch the diaper between your legs.
  17. Eliminate wrinkles and close eyelashes. For a perfect fit, glue the upper lashes down and the lower lashes up.
  18. Take off your disposable gloves and put them in a grocery bag. Tie the hole and discard it.
  19. Wash and dry your hands well.
  20. Return the bed to the desired height and position.

Make sure your loved one is in bed correctly before you go. This includes moving regularly so as not to put pressure on the thigh or another part of the body for too long.

By keeping your skin clean, changing positions about every two hours, and keeping bedding fresh and soft, you can prevent pressure sores and make life easier for you and your loved one .

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