During the pandemic, Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank saw an increase in United Way 211 referrals and partner agency requests for incontinence supplies for seniors who had a lack of transportation, health restrictions, and were isolated in quarantine. Incontinence is not only an issue that affects seniors. It is reported that 60% of women over the age of 20 will experience incontinence, and it can have a direct correlation to childbirth. Adult diapers cost almost three times the price of baby diapers and are also not covered by government assistance programs. Insurance programs have restrictions and often do not cover the full needs of the clients. Medicare does not cover incontinence supplies.
Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank began to address incontinence to better support its family caregivers and seniors. The Diaper Bank piloted its incontinence distribution program in 2021 with The Legacy Senior Living Facility in the Hill District. A confidential survey to assess needs revealed that in addition to Poise pads, many seniors inquired about extra adult diapers, bed pads and ointment, which it now offers to better support the residents.
The incontinence program has grown since its creation and the Diaper Bank now offers incontinence supplies to its regular monthly partner distribution to over 20 agencies in the region in addition to The Legacy.
As part of the National Diaper Bank Network, Western Pennsylvania Diaper works to combat incontinence on a state and national level. It is currently working to advocate for bills to fund incontinence supplies. It also works to destigmatize needing these essential needs products.
To find a partner near you who offers incontinence supplies, click here.
“Even one pack of Depends is nice to have. It saves a lot of money so I can use it for other things. I have money to buy food or pay for prescriptions or over the counter medication. Also, I’d be spending more on laundry detergent if I didn’t have them.”