Product Advice For Care Givers: The Depend Adult Briefs or

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After spending approximately 20 years of my life tending to both elderly parents this writer would like to impart some “hands-on” experience tips or product advice for care givers.

Every piece of medical supply or medical equipment comes with a few inconsistencies of which the care giver or person in need should be aware.  These flaws do not appear on the pretty, attractive packaging and are not usually known until the user has need to put them to use. Therefore, this article will begin with the immensely advertised Depend Adult Briefs.

Depend Adult Briefs or adult diapers, as they are commonly known, have not proven very “dependable” to many users and care givers over the years. Both my parents had to wear them about ten years apart from each other and hopefully both their and mine experiences with the use of Depend will help readers in their search for reliable products.

Different Names But Actually The Same Product

Although there are basically five different advertised styles, they are the same product with little noticeable variations.  Knowing this fact may help care givers and users not go crazy looking for differences which are non-existent.  For instance, nearly all packages portray a different level of absorbency: “moderate” or “maximum”. However, upon actual use there is discovered that there is no such difference: one style will cover or not cover just as much or less as the other style.

Non-sticking Tabs On Tab-Style Briefs – Not Dependable

When a person cannot stand up to put on the “slip-on” briefs due to being immobilized, it is necessary many times to have the briefs put on users in bed by having a style of brief which has tabs on the side or that self-sticks on the material on the side. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Depend brand of adult briefs.

The Depend Adult Briefs EasyGripTM tabs supposedly facilitate changing briefs which are soiled; however, most of the time they do not stick. There were several instances in which this writer actually had to use Scotch tape in order to securely attach the tabs. This problem repeatedly occurred on all the Depend product line which used tabs.

Depend Size Unreliability

Unfortunately, the measurements on the package do not many times correspond to the actual size of the product. For instance, “Depend Adjustable Underwear” comes in Small and Medium for persons weighing 115-190 lb. and also comes in Large/Xtra Large for those weighing 170-300 lb.  However, these measurements and weights are not the ones which in fact are in the package.

Easily Torn Material

When dealing with a “dead weight” patient situation, the diaper will tear easily after so much pulling, pushing and re-adjusting the patient in his/her bed. Depend Adult Briefs consistently demonstrated a low tolerance for such maneuvers and would tear quite easily.

Insufficient Absorbency

Despite its name recognition and package product details, Depend Adult Briefs simply do not cut it with being a reliable incontinence product.  There is supposed to exist a “magical wet indicator line” that disappears when the brief requires removing. This writer never saw such a line on any of the Depend products used.  In reality, the only way for care givers to know of the need for a change in incontinence products is by checking frequently as many users are not able to express themselves verbally.

Another “special feature” of the Depend Adult Briefs are a “soft leakage barrier” which is supposed to help guard against excessive side leakage. Don’t believe this claim. When it rains it pours and the same can be said about urinary or bowel incontinence. When there is moderate or heavy incontinence nothing does the trick but frequent changes.

Writer’s Recommendations:

  • Alternate with other brands of briefs. Both CVS or Walgreen brands are less expensive and this writer           found  the Walgreen brand exactly fits the measurements detailed. The CVS brand caused skin eruptions on my mother’s body which required prescribed medication but body measurements were accurate.

  • Do your homework and ask for advice from physicians, nurses, nursing assistants and acquaintances.

Each person in need or care giver has different requirements which need to be matched according to the medical supply or equipment in question. The Depend Adult Briefs product may just be the one which will help resolve the person’s needs; howbeit, the only sure way to determine this is by patiently trying this product and other similar products out – one at a time.


Beverly Anne Sanchez, March 3, 2011


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