Bladder weakness can affect anybody. Whether you’re young, old or someone close to you is living with a disability, it’s something that affects people from all walks of life.
It actually affects an estimated three to six million people in the UK alone.
With disposable products being the most popular, this can be very costly. But, switching to reusable incontinence pads and pants could save you a large sum of money, while also being good for the environment.
The cost to you
With approximately 66 million people living in the UK, with between 5 and 10% of the population using incontinence products, the sales show it’s a hugely lucrative industry.
In 2016 alone, the sales of incontinence products reached a staggering £180 million.
While these products have most likely become a weekly purchase for those living with or caring for someone living with bladder weakness, it’s a cost you probably overlook, counted as an essential in the same way you would a loaf of bread or washing powder.
But, these costs accumulate, and when looked at, you’d be surprised at how much they’re costing you. Based on the current market, the average incontinence pad costs between £0.38 and £0.50.
Usage guides are that a pad is changed every 3-4 hours, based on this an incontinence sufferer could up spending up to £900 on incontinence products every year.
Of course, this doesn’t account for anyone having to pay out for more expensive brands or product designs, such as those for youths and teens, which could be setting you back a lot more. In fact, the average UK resident living with bladder weakness spends approximately £422 a year on incontinence products.
The cost to the environment
Aside from the cost to you, these products come at a cost to the environment too.
The average pad can take up to 400 years to decompose when sent to a landfill, while the only other way of disposing of them is by incineration. This, however, contributes to air pollution.
When you consider that more than one billion incontinence products are sold in the UK every year, it’s pretty alarming.
With a growing focus on global warming across the world at the moment, the move into using products such as washable incontinence pads could, therefore, prove hugely beneficial to our environment.
This is a trend that’s been seen with similar products. Recently there’s been a resurgence in the use of cloth nappies, while feminine hygiene products such as menstrual cups and cloth sanitary pads have also been increasing.
Environmentally friendly incontinence pads
As the trend continues to progress, it would only seem natural that an increase in reusable incontinence pads and pants would be next.
Of course, several benefits come with using these pads, which include:
- Comfort – while you may be accustomed to disposable pads or pants, reusable ones don’t compromise on comfort, in fact, they feel just like regular underwear
- Discreet – they also look just like regular underwear, meaning you’ll be able to wear them without worry
- Ease – due to them being washable, you won’t need to stock up regularly either
- Cost – with a one-off cost, you won’t need to buy weekly or monthly anymore, helping to save on your cash flow
- Environment – with 90% of incontinence product waste ending up in landfills or worse, re-using products will provide an instant benefit to the environment
However, while there are advantages, there are some things you’ll need to be aware of, which for some could be considered a downside. These include:
- Temperature – you’ll need to ensure you have a washing machine that can wash on high temperatures. Most washable incontinence pads need to be washed on at least 60 degrees
- Absorbency – some reusable incontinence products can have a lower absorbency than some disposable products. This could, therefore, be a problem if you, or someone you’re buying for, lives with severe incontinence problems
- Supplies – you’ll need to make sure you have enough to hand to keep you going. Of course, you’ll be aware of how many you use at the moment, which will help to inform how many reusables you’ll need to buy
With all of this in mind, if you are thinking of moving away from disposable products, there are plenty of reusable incontinence pads and pants out there, which come in sizes designed for all ages and needs. This will help you manage the costs of incontinence products.
If this is something you’re considering for yourself or someone that you look after, and you need some guidance, we are always happy to help.
Contact us from Monday – Friday between 9 am and 5 pm on 01204 895410, and a member of our team will be happy to help.