How to change a handicapped person's diaper

Updated February 21, 2017

People with certain handicaps and disabilities cannot control the functions of their bowels and bladders, or cannot lift themselves in order to use a toilet to relieve themselves. Caregivers of such people must learn how to change diapers of adults or children who are handicapped and unable to use the rest room on their own. The process to change a handicapped person's diaper is just like diapering an infant, except you are most often working with a larger person who does not have control of their lower extremities.

Have an assistant help you lift the handicapped person onto a bed or an appropriately sized changing table. Place a cloth towel underneath the disabled person's bottom before removing their clothing and diaper. The towel provides an easily washable surface to catch any liquid or solids that may fall out of the diaper.

Put on a pair of disposable gloves to protect open cuts on your hands and to avoiding spreading germs to the handicapped person's private parts. Remove the person's trousers, if they are wearing any, and unfasten the diaper. Lift the handicapped person's legs to pull the diaper out from under their bottom. Fold up the wet or soiled diaper and dispose of it in a dustbin.

Clean the handicapped person's private parts to remove urine and excrement residue. Have your assistant help to hold the handicapped person's legs up or open so you can wipe the entire area. Examine closely to remove all traces of waste. Use as many moist wipes as necessary.

Apply baby powder to the entire crotch and rear area of the handicapped person to prevent diaper rash from forming. Apply a liberal amount and then position the clean, open diaper underneath the handicapped person's bottom.

Pull the front of the clean diaper up and between the handicapped person's legs and secure the front of the diaper to the back of the diaper. Redress the handicapped person as necessary. Lift the person back into a sitting position on the bed or place them in their wheel chair after you have finished changing the dirty diaper.


Apply rash cream to any present rashes in order to treat the rash, prevent it from itching and make the handicapped person more comfortable. Do not move the handicapped person in any uncomfortable positions. Pay attention to the person's facial expressions and voice to avoid causing or continuing any uncomfortable movement.

Things You'll Need

  • Assistant
  • Cloth towel
  • Disposable gloves
  • Dustbin
  • Moist wipes
  • Baby powder
  • Clean diaper
  • Rash cream
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About the Author

Stephanie Daniels is a freelance writer residing in Louisa, Kentucky. Daniels focuses on parenting, children, gardening and home-decor articles. She was the manager of Home Decor for Home Depot for 4 years. Daniels has written for many online publications and enjoys ghostwriting.