Comfortable and Affordable Adaptive Clothing and Footwear for Senior Women and Men
Every one of us has fumbled with a button. But the difficulties of aging — stiffness, weakness, pain or paralysis — can make dressing and undressing particularly difficult. Here are some tips on types of clothing and simple adaptations, devices and methods that can make dressing and undressing easier.
- Clothing should fasten in the front. This includes bras.
- Use button hooks and ring pulls attached to zipper tabs. Difficult closures can be replaced with Velcro.
- Pull-over clothing should be avoided. All clothing should be loose-fitting and non-binding.
- Velcro fasteners and elastic shoe laces can be substituted for standard laces on shoes. Shoes that “stick” to the floor should be avoided.
- Dressing aids are available to assist with issues such as putting on socks and shoes. Use a bootjack for shoes that are hard to take off.
- Wheelchair users should avoid long ties or scarves, full-length coats, wide pant legs, or floppy sleeves, which can catch in wheel spokes or pick up dirt from the tires.
- Use an apron of pockets designed for tools or items that you use most frequently to make work or hobby activities easier and more enjoyable.
Allow your loved one to do as much as possible with the least amount of assistance. Relax your standards — don’t always strive for the way things should be done. Assistance may be offered but may be refused. If the patient can perform a task himself, let him do so even when it takes much longer. In situations where there is risk of a fall, supervision is warranted but do not “take over” unless necessary or asked.