From a very early age, we are taught that dressing ourselves and is an important step towards independence and self-reliance. But seemingly simple tasks, like getting dressed in the morning, can pose huge challenges due to injuries, illnesses, and just getting older.
This is an overview of what adaptive clothing is, the disabled clothing options available today, and how adaptive clothing for elderly individuals can help maintain independence.
What Is Adaptive Clothing?
Adaptive clothing makes dressing and undressing easier and less troublesome for individuals who have mobility issues. Adaptive clothing designers understand that it becomes more difficult to bend, stretch, and move with age, so they create age-appropriate fashions that look great and help seniors dress with dignity.
This specialty type of disabled clothing is also easy to care for so that seniors won’t have to worry about ironing or being uncomfortable throughout the day. Not only is adaptive clothing useful for elderly adults, but also for younger people who have recently undergone surgery, who are recovering from an accident, or who have developed a debilitating condition that makes daily tasks more difficult than usual.
Disabled Clothing Options Available
Fortunately, there are quite a few different disabled clothing options available to seniors who are having trouble dressing themselves on their own. For example, Velcro pants for disabled adults make it easier to pull pants off and on without fusing with zippers, buttons, or snaps. Meanwhile zipper closures on shirts can make it easier to get dressed, compared to shirts that must be pulled over the head with the arms outstretched.
For elderly women, adaptive clothing-style house dresses are popular because they’re loose and easy to put on. Knit pant sets, knit tops, wrap-around skirts, and simple nightgowns are also popular women’s’ choices. For men, you can find very nice dress and casual shirts that have adaptive front closures, shirts with Velcro fasteners, and comfy sweat suits made with stretchy elastic waistbands. Sweaters and cardigans for both men and women come with snap back designs and Velcro closures for easy dressing. Also, adaptive shoes come in easy slip-on designs and loop closures with Velcro as well.
All of these clothing features are great for elderly adults who have arthritis in their fingers or who have lost some coordination in their hands. Various health conditions and even medications can made seniors feel less coordinated or even shaky, which makes small clothing details seem like an impossibility. Seniors also often struggle with reduced vision and eye conditions as they get older, which is another reason why adaptive clothing can help eliminate barriers to dressing oneself.
Dressing as a Means of Independence
Independence is very important for seniors, and adaptive clothing is one of many ways that caregivers can help them achieve it. This is an area of independence that seniors want to maintain as they get older and a necessary task for staying in one’s own home for as long as possible.
Dressing oneself shouldn’t be a burdensome chore, but rather a familiar routine that is not hindered by natural changes in the body. Fortunately, accommodating home installations like stairlifts, assistive technology like emergency monitors, and adaptive clothing for elderly individuals can help seniors take care of themselves for longer and in a safer way.
We recommend that caregivers and family members of elderly adults familiarize themselves with the latest developments and current fashions in adaptive clothing in order to recommend dressing solutions that are convenient and attractive. You can shop for these types of clothes in stores, from mail-order catalogues and even online. Some brands to check out with the elderly adult you love include Buck & Buck, the Adaptive Clothing Showroom, Silvert’s, AdaptaWear, JBS Clothing, and AgeComfort.