Holiday travel and stress seem to go hand-in-hand. However, for the 25 million Americans who are incontinent, holiday travel adds a whole new level of stress that others will never experience. Extended trips on airplanes, traffic jams, and overnight stays can turn an otherwise enjoyable time with family into an unbearable situation.
Whether you have incontinence or are traveling with an older relative with incontinence, how to manage long stretches between bathrooms can be a concern. “This is a busy travel season, and the longer the flight, the longer the travel period and the harder it is. From New York to L.A., if you add travel time to and from the airport, it can be 9 to 10 hours of traveling,” says Steve Goelman, CEO of Unique Wellness, the manufacturer of the driest adult briefs on the market.
No matter where you’re going, your travel time can be significantly longer than the average adult incontinence brief can protect you. Even if you are usually able to manage getting to the bathroom while at home, whether you’re traveling by car, train, or bus or are flying, your toileting options can be quite limited. “You need a product that works well for you, to get through that travel time. It’s important for you. It’s embarrassing to always worry about your own discomfort and about what the person next to you is thinking,” says Goelman. You want a product that works from a cost-effective viewpoint and a confidence viewpoint. Those were just a few of the issues Goelman sought to solve by creating an adult diaper that is, true to its name, unique.
The Unique Wellness brief is based on the same principles as the Maximum Absorbency Garments (MAGs) developed by NASA. In creating the MAG, NASA developed a super absorbent polymer capable of absorbing up to 60 times its own volume. Super absorbent material, like starch, is made from molecules that are banded together with millions of identical units. An adult-sized diaper with extra absorption material is used because astronauts cannot remove their spacesuits during long operations. Three MAGs are given during space shuttle missions, one for during launch, re-entry, and a spare in case re-entry needs to be tried again. The super absorbent polymers can absorb about 1,000 times its weight in water. The MAG absorbs the liquid and pulls it away from the skin. A 2000 study found that the MAG can absorb up to 64 ounces of liquid. Tests conducted by Unique Wellness showed that the Wellness super-absorbent brief can absorb up to 87 ounces of liquid because of its polymers. You use fewer briefs, irritating urine stays away from the skin and, best of all, you have greater peace of mind—a higher degree of comfort from not having to change so many times a day.
Apart from the daily convenience of an adult diaper that lasts eight hours, there are significant advantages when traveling, not just on your way to your destination, but also after you get there. “If you are going to family, it’s extremely embarrassing to stay in someone else’s house and wake up with a wet bed,” says Goelman.
Here are Goelman’s tips for getting the most out of the Wellness super-absorbent brief:
- Don’t wait until you feel wetness to change your incontinence brief. “We recommend three changes a day, once every eight hours.”
- Skin care is still important even though your need for skin care products will be reduced by using a more absorbent brief. Cleanse thoroughly once a day and use cleansing wipes as needed after every change.
- Take care of yourself. Based on your level of incontinence, ask your doctor about medication to take just during travel. See if Kegel exercises help.
- Carefully coordinate your schedule. If you’re staying at a hotel, be aware of the closest bathroom in the lobby for instance. Try to stick to the same times of day to change your incontinence brief.
If you’re battling incontinence, know that there have never been as many products available as there are today. “You have options and can be just like anybody else,” says Goelman. “Before Viagra, no one would talk about erectile dysfunction—nobody ever discussed it. Now people know there’s a way to deal with it. Incontinence is along those same lines. It’s not going to hold up your life anymore, there are ways to live your life and live your life with dignity. The world has changed. Things are different today.”