Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Depending on Depends

It's almost a full-time job, buying Depends.
First I tried Walgreen's because I had coupon for $1.50 off each package of 18 refastenable disposable pants, but they had no small/medium size (only large/extra large).
Walgreen's is often out of this size, but the weekly shipment comes in on Tuesday, so I gave it a try. After speaking with three clerks and standing around, I learned that the boxes had not yet been unloaded.
On to Long's Drugs, where I purchased two packages of Depends Refastenable small/medium--all they had left. But the price was $15.49 for each package. With tax, the total was $33.54 for 36 disposable adult incontinence underwear.
That's a cost of about $1 per pee.
Next I drove to Von's to use another coupon and buy two more packages (she uses three packages per week). At Von's they were on sale for $11.99 per package, and with another $1.50 off, the cost was a mere $10.49 per package (with tax $25.54 for two).
The cost: a mere 71 cents per pee.
I'm avoiding CVS, which just took over my Depend-able Sav-On store. I have a $5 off coupon for use there, but in the takeover CVS discontinued products Mom and her caregivers need, like latex gloves in medium-size. They just have "one size fits all," but the caregivers have small hands. They also changed the checkout stands so all items have to be handed back and forth across the counter before and after bagging, instead of placed on a counter, bagged and easily moved from there into my cart.
Last week I went to CVS just to use a $5 coupon, but when I got to the checkout stand, I was told that I should have used some new coupon printout machine as I entered the store. No discount without using the machine.
So now in addition to plastic discount cards and paper coupons for each store, I'm supposed to interact with a machine upon walking in if I want to actually get a discount.
At each store they offer their own brand of refastenable adult incontinence wear, several dollars cheaper than Depends. I've bought each one, only to find that they are not as thick and absorbent, not very fitted--more like a pad folded over than like underpants.
Sometimes when I visit Mom in the late afternoon, I find her Depends soaked and heavy (with maybe five pounds of urine) because she has not been changed since 10 am. That's why she needs the most fitted and absorbent disposable underwear possible.
The easiest option for me would be to stop buying Depends all together and just let her wear the non-refastenable disposable wear provided by her residence. I don't do that because she wears support panty hose for circulation in her vericose veins; without refastenables, her pantyhose, shoes, and long pants would have to be changed each time her underwear is changed.
Also the disposables provided by the residence are loose, barely fitted--again, like a large rectangular pad folded in half.
Note: the caregivers call them diapers. I avoid this word in order not to hurt Mom's feelings. She hates wearing them, hates being treated like a baby, especially hates having them changed at night while she's lying in bed. She'd prefer to get up and be taken in her wheelchair to the restroom two or three times per night, but that's too much work.
Take the quiz:
What's your solution to this care issue for your elderly relative?
What's your view of my time-consuming shopping habit?
A. It's another sign of your codependent behavior. Stop buying Depends and let the residence supply the underwear.
B. Keep buying Depends but stop feeling that you need to shop for bargains, use coupons, etc. Just go to one store where they keep the right size in stock.
C. Accept what you cannot change.
D. Oh, you are such a good daughter. Sigh.