Dressing is a fashion mission for millennials, while it’s a struggle for patients living with a disability or aging adults who aren’t that flexible anymore. Buttoning up a shirt might seem trivial at first, yet it poses a challenge for seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or epilepsy. The situation is just as complicated if the person lacks the proper ability to self-dress, like people who lost a limb or are bound to a wheelchair.
Even if an elderly relative is lucky enough to have a caregiver who can lend a hand during dressing, the process still takes a lot of effort. Fortunately, clothing manufacturers have recognized the need for simpler garments, and from this the adaptive clothing range was created.
What Is Adaptive Clothing?
In brief, adaptive clothing is designed to aid the dressing of the elderly and people with disabilities. Such garments usually ditch buttons and zippers in favor of more streamlined methods, like Velcro or magnetic clasps.
Adaptive vests usually have an open back so that seniors can easily slide into them while leggings might open on the side to make the process as convenient as possible for patients with movement disabilities. The clothes also feature flat seams to avoid friction, while the fabric is stretchy so it can fit multiple body sizes.
We would like to emphasize that there is nothing shameful in wearing adaptive clothes. They serve the purpose of comfort without sacrificing style. Most garments designed this way cannot be told apart from regular clothing.
Adaptive Clothing for Disabled Seniors
People living with disabilities are the prime users of adaptive clothing. Manufacturers often categorize the garments to match the difficulties that patients might face. For example, seniors suffering from arthritis can make dressing easy with vests and pants fitted with magnets, Velcro and Easy Touch closures.
Alzheimer’s patients can opt for soft, elastic sleepwear and special underwear. People with mobility issues might need side-open jeans or long robes that cover their entire body while sitting in a wheelchair. Sweaters are also longer to keep the lower body warm.
There is also a range of accessories for disabled seniors, such as arm protectors, wheelchair blankets, capes they can wear while outside, and even bibs.
Recommended Adaptive Apparel
Contrary to popular belief, adaptive clothing is widely available. Manufacturers like Silvert’s have created a whole wardrobe’s worth of special garments for the elderly and disabled.
Womens Soft Knit Adaptive Pattern Hospital Gown
The nightie can be machine washed and has large patch pockets too. The product is recommended for women even if they don’t live with disabilities, as the gown can be easily worn after any kind of surgery. Women with mobility issues can, of course, wear it on a daily basis.
Adaptive Shirt Top For Men
The polo shirt opens up completely at the back, allowing the wearer to slide their hands effortlessly into the sleeves, and won’t have to struggle with the small neck opening. After donning the shirt, the back overlap can be easily closed with a pair of snaps.
Fleece Adaptive Wheelchair Pants For Men
The pants can be pulled up to the upper thigh and then the overlays must be snapped in pace. In other words, the patient won’t need to be lifted from the wheelchair to finish dressing. The leggings are available in eight different sizes, from medium to 5XL, and the company provides an unconditional money back guarantee.
Easy Undies Men's Boxer
Importance of Footwear
It’s important to remember that adaptive clothing also includes footwear. Shoes and slippers play a vital role in how seniors dress, especially those who are disabled, frail, or live independently. Being bare feet or wearing regular socks could easily lead to the elderly slipping, which will have catastrophic consequences for their health. Slippers aren’t viable options either; just think about their name for a moment…
Non-skid socks are a step up, since the rubbery sole helps the feet stick to the floor while the fuzzy material keeps the wearer warm. But undeniably the best anti-fall footwear for seniors is a pair of shoes, like an athletic sneaker. It supports the ankles and helps the body keep its balance. Aging adults who struggle tying their shoes can opt for adaptive footwear that uses zippers and Velcro, too.
The main purpose of adaptive clothing is to provide comfort and convenience for seniors or disabled patients. For this reason, those who are afraid of slipping or falling should adopt other preventive measures into their life. On top of all that, while getting used to the stretchy, long fabric of these adaptive garments the wearer might trip as well.
Some form of safety net is a must have for all seniors who wear adaptive clothing since they are more likely to suffer from issues that might ultimately lead to a dangerous fall. A medical alert system is the obvious answer: the lightweight help button can be worn around the neck or on the wrist, and one simple button press is enough to summon help.
The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019
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There is also the fall detection pendant, which is capable of detecting when the wearer drops to the floor at a high speed, which then sends an autonomous distress signal to the medical alert monitoring agents. Even though the technology isn’t 100% accurate, it provides peace of mind for both the aging user and their family members.