Incontinence pads are essential for patients with certain bowel and bladder issues. Pads help to contain waste, eliminate odours and allow adults - particularly seniors - to maintain their quality of life.
As the population ages, the need for incontinence pads is increasing. Many more people have conditions that make diapers necessary.
At the same time, the financial situation of older people is poor. According to research by the New York Times, bankruptcy is around three times higher among seniors than it was thirty years ago. And, to make matters work, many traditional health insurance schemes do not cover the cost of diapers (though they are a tax-deductible expense in some countries).
This situation has many people wondering: do charity shops accept incontinence pads?
Charity Shops Will Accept Unopened Diapers
Charity shops will usually accept unopened diapers and will gladly take them from you, should you offer to provide them. However, whether a particular shop will accept your diapers is a matter of policy. In some cases, they will refuse to accept diapers outright.
Fortunately, you still have options if you still want to donate your incontinence pads. Many countries operate voluntary diaper banks for people facing financial difficulties. Diaper banks provide reduced-cost or free diapers for patients with qualifying medical conditions, allowing them to continue living with dignity.
You can find lists of diaper banks in your area on internet directories. Some banks only serve infants. However, others recognize the growing need for adult diapers, particularly for those living under economic stress, and now offer options for older people too.
Diaper banks usually operate under the auspices of local governments or non-profit organizations. Senior centres and churches also sometimes offer diaper banks if coverage is weak in a particular area. Many have phone lines and websites that you can use to contact them and find out if you qualify for a reduced price or free diapers.
Who Else Will Accept Unopened Incontinence Pads?
If there isn’t a charity shop or diaper bank that will accept incontinence pads in your area, then there are usually many other local organizations that will. You may be able to donate incontinence products to:
● The Salvation Army
● Homeless shelters
● Senior centers
● Local food banks
● Visiting nurse agencies
● Local Area Agency on Aging
● Local veterans or American Legion Posts
● At-home caregivers you know
● Local township offices
● Shelters for sufferers of domestic violence
There are also businesses in some countries that offer pickup services for unused and sealed incontinence pads. These operators will come to your home, collect any products that you have, and then distribute them to people who need them.
Please note that while these firms make disposing of unwanted incontinence pads easier, they will still charge the end-user fees to cover their costs.
Whether charity shops will take incontinence pads depends on the individual shop. However, even if they won’t accept them, you still have plenty of options, including your local diaper bank, charity, senior center or religious organization.