Managing incontinence is more than simply shopping for the ideal pants or pad to wear throughout the day. If you or someone you live with is immobile and has incontinence, it is important to also think about the useful products you need in the home.
Bedpans and urinals are invaluable accessories for those who cannot get out of a bed to use a standard toilet. However, many people are not aware of the large variety of these products that are available in the market. When shopping for bedpans and urinals for you or a loved one, considering the different shapes and varieties of products you can buy can make all of the difference.
What are the different types of Bed Pans and Urinals?
There is a range of products you can find in the market which includes regular, bariatric and fracture bedpans. The range includes urinals for men and women as well as a urinal kit for those who dribble frequently and portable urinals for those who travel.
A bed pan can be an important piece of equipment for the chronically ill or bed-bound. Bed pans protect your bedding from incontinence and any spillages that may happen. If you are less mobile and can’t get to the toilet, they will give you peace of mind that you can go to the toilet without leaving your bed. The bed pans can be used in a range of positions while the users are laid in bed or sat on the sofa. The design of the bed pan means that it is easy to use and will safely and cleanly collect liquids and faeces. The plastic bed pans have lids that will protect against odours and can be washed up to 135 degrees Celsius. The grey paper pulp bed pans are disposable after use. Bed pans are suitable for both bladder and bowel incontinence. Mainly used for bowel and faecal incontinence and can be used in conjunction with the plastic and grey pulp urinals.
The main designs of Bed Pans you will find include the following:
Slipper bed pans are ideal for users that are lying down often as they can be easily positioned into place. Slipper pans are often fitted with handles, making them easy and comfortable to use. You can also find variations of slipper pans fitted with a lid in order to prevent spillages. Shapes of slipper pans available include rounded, rectangular and more.
Slipper pans are designed for people recuperating from a bone fracture or surgery to the lower body and are unable to sit up.
Disposable Pulp Bed Pans
You can also find disposable bedpans that are made of recycled (pulp) paper. These pans are more suited to hospital and care home use rather than personal use at home. Disposable bed pans need to be used with a special bed pan support holder.
Pulp paper bedpans require specialist handling and equipment for disposal, known as a macerator. This is why they are mainly used in hospitals and care homes. Disposable products are suitable for short term use but for longer term use, a plastic re-usable product will be a much better option.
Commode pans are cost-effective, easy to use items which provide a hygienic, single-use solution to incontinence. They are environmentally friendly and can be disposed of in a macerator. Certain styles such as the cutaway commode can be used under some commode chairs, but this should be checked with the bedpan and commode chair manufacturer. The single use reduces the risk of infection and means that each item is clean and hygienic.
It is useful to note that many bedpans are now available to purchase with a lid and these reduce the risk of spills and odours and are more pleasant for the user or carer to carry. However, if you are looking to buy this product, you must ensure that the lid fits securely but is also easy to remove. Most plastic bedpans come with a carry handle or in the case of slipper pans, have a long handle to assist placing the bedpan under immobile patients.
The bed urinal is a device that lets you pass urine in bed, and this is stored in a bottle so it can be disposed of safely. Urinals are available for both men and women with specific shapes designed to fit a female or male body. Urinals make it much easier for you to pass urine in bed and can provide you with confidence that you will not have to make a lot of bathroom visits during the night.
Urinals are shaped like a bottle and the average urinal can hold up to 1 litre of urine, around one and a half pints. It is always best to check with the manufactures instruction before use to see exactly what the urinal can hold.
Made from either hardened plastic or the traditional grey paper pulp material, urinals are a clean and easy way to go to the toilet. The hardened plastic will not break if you accidentally lay on it, and the traditional grey pulp urinal designs can be disposed of after use.
Both mobile and immobile people with incontinence often find it useful to keep a urinal close during the night.
Male urinal bottles
The urinal bottle is often perceived as the best option in comparison to a bed pan for men when urinating, irrespective of whether the user is upright or lying down. Most male handheld urinal bottles are very similar in size and shape with a narrowed opening at the ‘neck’ of the bottle.
Male urinal bottle with handle
Male urinal bottle without the handle
Female urinal bottles
Female users can sometimes find it more difficult than men to use these devices, but design improvements have reduced spills and leaks significantly. Flow can be controlled better on bottles that have a wider opening at the neck, allowing for the bottle to be angled appropriately once placed firmly against the skin. Slipper or petal pans are most commonly used by females in a sitting position as an alternative to a standard urinal bottle
Cygnet Female Urinal
Which choice of material should you choose for your bottle or pan?
There is a wide range of urinal bottles and urinal pans available that are made from either plastic, stainless steel or pulp-paper. Plastic and stainless steel devices are re-usable, whilst pulp paper is disposable. Stainless steel urinals can be cold to touch and use, heavy to handle and noisy to use. They are also expensive to purchase and can sometimes cause irritation to the skin. Disposable versions may be suitable for short-term use or if you don’t want to worry about cleaning and washing. However, pulp-paper products will need specialist handling and disposal so are best suited to hospitals and nursing home environments.
You can find our range of Urinals and Bed Pans under the Toilet Aids section of our website here.