How to keep costs down for disposable... - The Simon Foundat...

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How to keep costs down for disposable products

incon1982 profile image

In the US, there is basically no reimbursement for disposable absorbent incontinence products. Our senior citizens, who are on a fixed income, are really hainge a difficult time purchasing products, and are always looking for sources of free products - or at least at a greatly reduced cost. Other than a few diaper banks, there is very little that seems to be of help! I would love to hear of ideas that people have used to help keep the costs down, or of resources they have used that have helped. Or any ideas, suggestions, etc. Thanks!!

30 Replies

This is a very real problem. In the beginning, when my incontinence was light to moderate I save quite a bit on my pull on briefs. By buying them at large chain stores like CVS or Walgreens. I was using Depend Real Fit at the time and what I would do was wait till they went on sale. Then I would also join thier store membership program. Every two or three weeks,they would email out an extra discount with thier membership program like an extra 15, 20 or even 30% off in store purchases. I would activate that discount when they offered a sale on the Depends and stack the savings. Now here is where I got extra creative. I would buy everything they had on the shelf (which was normally about 6-8 boxes) and ask for a raincheck. By CVS rules, if you want to buy a product on sale and it's out of stock, the have to give you a raincheck for that project at the discounted price so you and come back later. I would say I wanted another ten boxes and would get the raincheck. This normally lasted me till the next time they offered another discount on thier membership card. Where Depend was about $1.20 a brief, I could get it down to about $.80-60 per brief.

Later when my incontinence got worse, I changed to tape on briefs and saved by going longer between changes and just about cut my cost in half. Once I became more accustomed to thicker protection, I introduced reusable cloth diapers into my supply and saved even more.

I was able to go from a daily cost of about $6.30 a day in the beginning to about $1.50 now. The biggest single money saver for me was going cloth diapers.


incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to Rope_Wrench

All excellent ideas! Thanks so much for sharing these with everyone who has to buy their products, and are not reimbursed.

I know some people may not like the idea of reusable/washable products, but if you can at least use them while at home or at night, you can cut your costs down in the long run (they do cost more to buy them the first time, but over time, they will cut down your costs).

I hope we will see other savings ideas from others!

I can't use cloth because bowel IC makes it too hard to clean up the cloth diaper. The best I can do are dis inserts to catch feces. Cloth diapers are cause rashes because they feel wet.

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to chestnut7718

You are so right - Skin care is so important! Anything that causes rashes or skin irritation is a warning to stop using something that is being used. Staying dry is super important. Finding the right set of products to fully protect your skin is critical. There are a lot of products that can help protect the skin (moisture barrier ointments) and the skin should be gently cleansed with a skin cleanser especially made to not strip your skin of its natural oils. Do not use regular soap! Skin should always be gently patted dry - never rubbed.

Manufacturers do use a variety of internal products to absorb urine or feces, and finding the right product that does the best job for a person can be a tough road. Most online retailers selling a variety of products will be happy to send out a sampling of products, so you can test to see which absorb the best.

I don't like the smell of the diaper creams and powders. I sometimes use baby oil. What are your thoughts on stopping diaper rash - barrier cream, films and sprays?

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to chestnut7718

First, please avoid soaps labeled “antibacterial” or


Also, do not use skin care products with perfumes or chemicals (e.g., alcohol) or talc or powders because they retain moisture against the skin.

Do use true moisture barrier products created for adults with incontinence. These usually contain dimethicone (that's a good thing!). You want to cleanse, protect AND health that skin before it gets worse or becomes infected. I am familiar with Restore Cleanser and Moisturizer from Hollister, but there are several similar products available, along with this one, from online retailers (several are on

If your skin doesn't improve, please chat with me privately here and I will be happy to help you find a continence care nurse in your area that will help you if you are not able to locate one through your physician or healthcare professional.

Could you tell me about your experience with barrier films for long term adult brief use. Can we chat privately? I find that the regular barrier cream which I use smells bad. I find that baby oil breaks down the inside of the brief - esp the leak guards.

Hello, I'm new here, and am very interested in that idea. I have only had bladder and bowel incontinence just recently due to an accident. So, basically I have no clue out there of what are better. I didn't even know they made cloth diapers for adults! Disposables are so expensive for good ones online, but I have no choice. It cost me $100.00 dollars last month for a 30 day supply. I now live on SS disability so that is a TON of money for me. Where do I find cloth ones at?

Nice to meat you!!

Welcome to the group. I hope that the effects of of the accident are short lived but I'm assuming if it has already been a month, the doctors are elbows deep in trying to help you out.

About reusable diapers, I would suggest staying away from ones called "all in one". Those have all the different layers built in to the brief but my experience is those don't fit well at all and don't allow to be adjusted much if at all. Most quality cloth diapers will be larger versions of the typical flat prefold diapers used by babies. These require a waterproof cover made of either plastic or PUL.

Something else I would consider if I were in your position. Cloth would certainly contain and bowel accidents but it may be a bigger pain in the butt(no pun intended) to have to clean fecal matter out of them.

Just food for thought.

Oddly nearly all the cloth adult briefs have a white interior that's pretty hard to clean with bowel movements. can't they make black adult briefs - plastic and reusable? They would look smaller on to.

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to chestnut7718

Something like this? They come in black.

Check they have quality products and their prices are fair.

I just spoke with an IC guy in South Africa who told me he only uses two medium ID-slips every days for bowel and bladder elimination. Is he lying?

incon1982 profile image

There are several companies that sell cloth for adults. I am placing links to them below. Do check pricing and about the absorbency levels of their products. You will want to try and match the best product to your needs

I hope that one of these companies will be able to help you!

Thank you much, I will check them out!

dpcare profile image
dpcare in reply to incon1982

I have not bought from this company yet but I am considering it they sound good and reasonable if anyone has any experience please let me know

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to dpcare

I am not familiar with this company, but that could be because they are located in Canada, and I am not. You might want to check with the (Canadian Continence Foundation) to see if they can provide any information on them and their products.

incon1982 profile image

I forgot to mention that there is another major company that has been around for a long time that has reusable/washable incontinence products, and that's Salk.

Information on that company can be found with this link:

incon1982 profile image

If you have light incontinence (or light stress incontinence), you might like to check out FannyPants for a washable product:

So often the trick with products is to find the ones that work with your incontinence type and life style!


I know exactly what you are talking about as I have been and well partially still am struggling financially without choosing correct products. I'm not in such a pinch like I was a year ago, that's why I chose products from as my main supplies as they are both good in terms of quality and in terms of price, although if money is your only concern and you don't care about quality you will find other brands more appealing. I personally rather pay a bit more for a great quality tho they are very cheap anyway compared to some of the biggest companies. I hope you are still with us here as it has already two months passed I see. Stay well!

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to Ben44

Thank you for your thoughts on this! There are many companies out there providing a wide variety of products not seen on the store shelves, that are a good quality and less expensive than some of the major brand names. I think it boils down to which products really work for you, and then finding the least costly source. And that sometimes takes a bit of doing, to check with a lot of the online retailers to see who will offer you the product that really works and then at a good price, and often with free shipping. It really does take time to do all the "comparison shopping" but will add up in the long run when you find a the best for you. I am glad that you have found a company and product that meets your needs!

you should all use Gary Active Briefs - black or blue. I have 30 pairs of plastic pants and they are the best. They seal around legs and waist to keep venting of bowel accident odor.

I'm new and don't understand the system I guess. It says there are 17 replies but I see only 4

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to KissesKats

Try scrolling to the top and clicking on the 19 replies (it should be in blue) that are now there (as you added two) and see if that will load them all for you. I hope you will be able to see all of them. Reply if you don't, and I will try and get some help.

I have had a little success at the larger thrift stores. I guess family members donate them when their loved ones pass away.

my costs for bowel and bladder IC - briefs, wipes, plastic pants, bags, pails, gloves, creams etc. comes out to about $250 per month. I'm trying to use wellness brief and use 4-5 rather than 4-6 as before. I also try to use abena fecal pads inside cloth diapers and swim nappies. Any other ideas?

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Administrator in reply to chestnut7718

My only other thought is to talk to a LARGE online retailer, tell them what you are currently purchasing, and see if they have any product equivalents that might cost less. I'd ask for a sample to make sure it is truly equal before purchasing a large quantity. This way you might find a few things that might cost less but work just as well. Anything to bring your total monthly cost down, I am sure, would be truly welcome!

There are 2 brands of excellent thick pull up diapers & both have the option of adding booster pads. Abena's labeling is hard to get your head around in both their pull ups & briefs. It is frequently more difficult to find the heavier absorbency but they can be found if you search with Google.

Let''s say you are a size Med (M). A M2 is not as absorbent as a M3. Then they have several different types of booster pads and a special one for fecal incontinence. If you spend time searching Google you can find good deals. If Allegro Medical has your size they have free shipping and/or 10% off all the time and you get your stuff FAST.

Another company that has high absorbency diapers (pulls ups and briefs just like Abena) is Northshore Medical. They too have booster pads. However, they do not ever have free shipping and rarely sales. I used them for a long time.

Because these two brands hold so much more and you can change the booster pads (not always but many times) that helps lower the cost. They are both far superior to Wellness in my book.

My mom is 98 and in a 5 person Board and Care (B&C). Her long time friend owns/runs it. All the folks are incontinent. I have used Calmoseptine for skin issues and as skin barrier with success but the owner of the B&C puts a thick coating of that in the bottom of each and every pull up diaper and she has not had a skin problem in over 20 years!!!!

It is annoying to work with because it is so thick but whenever I have used it it sure does a great job. if you buy it in the local pharmacy you will pay much more than if you buy it at Allegro Medical. I have found them, and sometimes Walmart, to be the cheapest for most of all my needs.

incon1982 profile image

I have used Calmoseptine over the years when skin issues have popped up - always clears things up very quickly.

Yes, both Abena and NorthShore Care Supply have these extra absorbent products and the booster pads. NorthShore does offer a discount on the product when you do an auto-ship program.

It always pays to "shop around" to find your best product and pricing. It also depends on whether you are mobile or homebound, too, as to whether you need shipping or not.

So many factors to consider! Thanks for all the good information and thoughts!

I use Calmoseptine with every change and I rarely have skin issues.

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