Problems with Adult Diapers in the Hospital

Updated February 21, 2017

Adult diapers have sparked a debate amongst hospitals and caregivers. While the initial thoughts of freedom seem to make these products a good idea, psychologists have pointed out some of the mental issues that come from putting patients in this situation. Medically, it can also be an easy answer at first that can develop into horrible rashes and bedsores, making the diapers more detrimental in the long run.

Mental Lapses

Mentally, adult diapers can be demeaning to certain patients. Older patients who have lost some mental capacity due to Alzheimer's or dementia might not remember why they are wearing the protection. Having to explain certain scenarios to mentally deficient patients is always a battle that can cause more mental trauma than good. It must be considered how far such a patient is from a toilet a majority of the time to determine whether it is worth the potential embarrassment.

Physical Ailments

Bedsores are quite prevalent in patients who use diapers and are bed bound. Unlike babies, adults have a very different food intake as well as waste output. Sitting in their own faeces for any amount of time can cause bacterial infections and irritation on the skin. This can mean the patient has to be just as closely monitored as if they were not wearing the product at all. While this saves on cleaning up after the person, it does not necessarily help if there is no immediate action to take care of the accident.


Adult diapers can also lead to laziness on the part of the patient. The type of dependence required by someone who is no longer able to take care of his or her bodily needs can lead to a reliving of the infant stage of the person's life. Hospitals can already set patients back when it comes to being capable of self-care, but adding a way for the patient to give up on caring for themselves can make the transition back to home much more difficult. One solution can be using adult briefs instead of diapers, as then the person still has some ability to care for themselves and use the bathroom if they can make it in time.

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About the Author

Pharaba Witt has worked as a writer in Los Angeles for more than 10 years. She has written for websites such as USA Today, Red Beacon, LIVESTRONG, WiseGeek, Web Series Network, Nursing Daily and major film studios. When not traveling she enjoys outdoor activities such as backpacking, snowboarding, ice climbing and scuba diving. She is constantly researching equipment and seeking new challenges.