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Caregiver’s Corner

To Pee or Not to Pee? Well, that Depends

by Barbara Gaughen-Muller
That was my husband’s favorite question after he became incontinent. We both were not in favor of adult diapers. Imagine all those used diapers landing in our local landfill. I can hear you saying, adult diapers are absolutely essential. But wait. There is an alternative! It’s the PEE CAN!

I discovered the PEE CAN while walking the isles of a local drugstore—clear plastic, wide mouth cookie jars. I bought two sizes and began trying them immediately with my husband, who had no problem standing up to use them. The wide opening was perfect. Unzip, use and sit. I kept a large one near his bed at night. With its convenient white hinged snap lid it is easy to find and a snap to use even in the dark.

To maintain a fragrant free PEE CAN, I found a simple answer, also quite by accident. I tried everything. None of the perfumes in my cabinet would mask the odor or cleaning solutions got rid of it.

One day after shining the faucets in the bathroom with alcohol, I poured some in the PEE CAN which I had just emptied and I swished it around and the smell was gone immediately. From that day forward I kept an inexpensive bottle of alcohol on the counter for daily use and a fragrant free PEE CAN.

Now ladies you too can use the small dainty one. I know, I use it when I travel. It helps to wear a skirt. We are good at hiding things.
We can hide almost anything in the purses we carry today, so hide it in a plastic bag and whip it out as needed.

I remember one time we were in the car and about to go into the store when I asked “do you need to pee?” and the answer was “yes.” Behind the store was a trusty dumpster, a perfect wall for the privacy needed. I pulled the spare PEE CAN from the trunk, handed it to him and even with his cane he was able to use it. The empty can went into a plastic bag to be cleaned later.

And lastly, so the family does not get confused and think this container is for cookies, I write in large, black permanent letters PEE CAN and draw an arrow toward the opening.

To pee or not to pee that was the question, and I add to pee in a diaper or PEE CAN, well that depends.

Have you had a similar experience? E-mail me: Barbara@rain.org.