Bariatric Care Tips for Caregivers

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Tue Mar 30 2021.

Bariatric Care Tips for Caregivers

Providing bariatric care presents unique challenges. People who are obese have special needs and are more likely to experience mobility issues and weight-related health problems like pressure sores and incontinence. 

If you care for a loved one who’s overweight, it’s normal to wonder what you can do to improve their quality of life. To help make your job easier, we’ve developed a comprehensive guide that answers common questions, provides helpful insights, and highlights specific products from Tranquility®, a leader in high-performing bariatric products.

This article answers the following questions:

What does bariatric mean?

Bariatric is a medical term used to describe obesity. Specifically, it refers to the treatment, prevention, and causes of excess body fat. 

Obesity occurs in people of all ages, but it’s especially common in seniors. One study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 35% of adults over the age of 65 are obese. 

Though the terms obesity and overweight are often used interchangeably, they’re actually two different things. To calculate obesity, doctors use the Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is an equation that divides a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters. If your senior has a BMI of 30 or higher, they’re clinically obese and considered a bariatric patient.

Why do bariatric patients require special care?

When someone is severely overweight, it makes routine tasks like climbing stairs, using the bathroom, or taking a shower challenging.

Carrying around dozens or even hundreds of excess pounds takes a toll on the joints, causes the heart to work overtime, and can even make it difficult to reach certain areas of the body. These factors can lead to various issues, including chronic pain, shortness of breath, or difficulty maintaining proper hygiene.

To provide adequate bariatric care, it’s important to take these and other factors into account. The more you can cater treatment to your loved one, the easier it is to improve their health and well-being. 

What are some common health problems that affect bariatric patients?

People who are obese are more likely to experience chronic conditions like heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. These issues are undoubtedly serious, but it’s possible to manage them with routine doctor’s appointments, healthy lifestyle changes, and prescription medication. 

Other weight-related health problems require daily monitoring and care. That’s especially true when it comes to two, in particular: skin care and incontinence.

Bariatric skin care

Skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s incredibly resilient but excess weight causes it to stretch and fold, increasing the risk of various problems, including:

  • Bacterial and/or yeast infections

  • Rashes

  • Contact dermatitis

  • Stretch marks  

  • Infections

If your loved one is bed-ridden or wheelchair-bound, they might also experience bedsores. Bed sores are slow-healing wounds that develop on areas of the skin placed under excess pressure like the buttocks, lower back, or thighs. 

Incontinence

The risk of incontinence increases with age, but it’s especially common in bariatric patients. The more fat that builds up in and around the abdominal region, the greater the pressure on the bladder. This pressure can weaken the pelvic floor muscles, resulting in involuntary urination and bowel voids. Additionally, individuals who are severely obese may find it difficult to properly clean themselves after using the bathroom. 

Incontinence products can extend the time between bathroom breaks and help protect clothing and bedding, but they require regular changes. If stool or urine is left to sit, it may result in an infection or diaper rash.

Are there products designed for people with bariatric needs?

Yes! There are a variety of products designed for people with bariatric needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of our best sellers from Tranquility.

Products for bariatric skin care

Some the most popular bariatric skin care products from Tranquility include:

Tranquility ThinLiner Skin Fold Pad

These pads make it easy to clean up sweat and other types of moisture that collect beneath skin folds, around the groin, or under the breasts. They’re made of breathable, absorbent material that can be folded into any size. By wicking away moisture, it’s possible to lower the risk of common skin-related problems like heat rash, diaper rash, and fungal infections.

Key Benefits  & Features:

  • Cloth-like material that wicks away moisture

  • Ultra-thin sheets that lock sweat and other fluids into an absorbent core

  • Latex-free

  • Helps reduce skin-to-skin friction

Tranquility Wipes

Tranquility cleansing wipes come in a resealable package that contains 56 disposable cloths. They’re soft, have a mild scent, and are safe for use on any part of the body. Thanks to their large size and durability, these wipes are great for cleaning up accidents or bathing someone who is wheelchair-bound or bedridden.

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Enriched with Aloe, Chamomile, and Vitamin E

  • Peach mat construction

  • Disposable

  • Alcohol and latex-free

Tranquility products for incontinence

Some of the most popular bariatric incontinence products from Tranquility include:

Tranquility Underpads, Heavy Duty

These heavy duty underpads are designed to protect chairs, bedding, and other types of furniture from urine and bowel voids. Each pad is 30 x 36” and provides 7.5 square feet of protection. The material is slip and tear resistant and can hold up to 34 fluid ounces (4.25 cups). 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Disposable

  • Clothlike topsheet and backsheet

  • Provides urine and fecal protection

  • Made in the USA

  • The peach mat core reduces bacterial growth and odor

Tranquility Adult Pant Liners

Tranquility adult pant liners are incontinence pads worn inside regular underwear. They come in two sizes –– regular (M-XL) and super plus (XL-7XL) –– and feature a highly absorbent peach mat core that prevents odor and keeps the skin dry. The product’s moisture-proof backing prevents leaks, extending the time between changes.

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Unisex

  • Disposable

  • Provides urine and fecal protection

  • Made in the USA

  • One size fits most

  • Wide hourglass shape, perfect for larger bodies

Tranquility Air-Plus Bariatric Disposable Briefs with Tabs, Maximum

Air-plus disposable briefs with tabs are specially designed for plus-sized individuals. They’re comfortable, convenient, and provide long-lasting protection from urine and bowel voids.

Tranquility’s peach mat core reduces odor and prevents bacterial growth, and the elastic leg cuffs protect against leaks. The material is very similar to traditional underwear in that it’s soft, cloth-like, and silent.  

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Refastenable tabs allow for a customized fit

  • Breathable backing material reduces the risk of diaper rash or infection

  • High-rise fit with extra fabric in the front and back for larger bodies

  • Ideal for people with waist sizes between 70-106 inches

What if I still have questions about bariatric personal care items?

If you’re struggling to determine which bariatric personal care items will most benefit your loved one, reach out to our friendly care team by calling (855) 855-1666 or sending an email to support@carewell.com. They can make recommendations, answer questions, and help you find products that meet your budget and needs.

Related reading:

Smooth As Silk: Skincare Tips for Keeping Immobile Adults Rash and Infection-Free

10 Best Adult Diapers for 2021. Detailed Review.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance B2B and B2C medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.