As we age, there are a variety of changes that take place in our lives. Finding ways to hold on to independence and maintain comfort is an important part of this process. Often mobility devices and aids are what come to mind, but there are various types of adaptive clothing and dressing aids that can be a great help too!
What is Adaptive Clothing?
Specifically designed for individuals who have difficulty dressing themselves – whether due to age, disability, or general mobility issues – adaptive clothing makes the process of dressing and undressing less difficult. With the focus on keeping motions centralized and close to your body, there is less mobility required to adjust, remove, and put on these types of clothing pieces. This benefit extends to those with caregivers as well, making it easier for them to change clothing on a patient with low mobility.
Types of Adaptive Clothing
Open back clothing: From pants, to blouses, shirts and dresses, there are great open back options available to seniors and those with mobility limitations. These clothing pieces typically include a flap that falls into place on the back once the clothing is in place and fasten together through snaps or ties.
Switch to Velcro! If you are dealing with arthritis or back pain, or a loss of fine motor skills tying shoelaces can be difficult. Velcro straps are an easy way to keep your shoes tied and a great option instead of typical shoelaces.
Add easy pull tabs! Easy pull tabs can be an easy add to your zippers, making opening them much easier to use. Bonus – they can add some extra oomph to your outfit!
Magnets Magnets Magnets! Another great option for those dealing with a loss of dexterity, poor eyesight or other conditions that leave them struggling with typical buttons. Magnetic closures automatically snap into place and can blend in seamlessly.
Anti Strip Suits: For loved ones dealing with later stages of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, anti strip suits can help with the tendency to disrobe. These types of suits can have a zipper at the back with a dome closure for security, a bottom zipper (typically used in cases where there is incontinence or with those who require adult diapers). You can also purchase anti-strip underwear, which have snaps at the bottom and hook closures at the top.
Adjustable slippers: For loved ones dealing with foot swelling on a regular basis, adjustable slippers can help keep their feet comfortable. There are some options that adjust themselves to the size of the foot, as well as slippers that use Velcro straps to close the tabs on each side to fasten the slipper in place.
Dressing Aid Options
Dressing aids can provide additional assistance to those who need it. From dressing sticks to button hook aids, sock aids and grab sticks, there are many options to help give your loved one the increased independence they desire.
Dressing stick: Used to pull up pants and zippers, push off clothing and help fasten buttons.
Button Hook Aid: Helps minimize the challenge of button clothes by grasping the button with a wire loop to pull through the buttonhole.
Sock Aid: Helps pull on socks or stockings, typically made of a flexible or semi-flexible material attached to two long handles.
Grab Stick: Extends your reach!
It is easy to appreciate the difference in life quality and independence that comes from reducing the difficulty of getting dressed and undressed. Adaptive clothing and accessories are constantly evolving with new pieces hitting the market every day, with big name brands stepping into the market too.