The growing senior population has resulted in more fashionable adaptive clothing manufacturers offering high-quality, affordable, easy-access clothing. Workable, stylish clothing is now available in a wide variety of styles to meet various dressing challenges.
Medical Issues and Self-Dressing
It can become very difficult for an individual to dress themselves when they become physically or mentally challenged with Alzheimer's, arthritis, muscle weakness or other medical issues. Getting fingers to move easily enough to button a button, zip a zipper or tie a shoelace can become impossible.
In addition to movement issues, individuals may also develop special medical issues that make it difficult to be comfortable in standard off-the-rack fashions and shoes. For example:
- An individual who has trouble standing may not be able to step into pants.
- A foot condition could cause swelling of the feet throughout the day, requiring a shoe or slipper that can adapt to the foot's changing size.
- A person who requires the assistance of a caregiver to get dressed may prefer garments that close in the back, instead of in the front.
Adaptive Clothing Makes Dressing Easier
For many years, people with dexterity problems or medical issues were faced with the choice of either wearing shapeless clothing that resembled hospital gowns or relying on someone else to dress them.Several fashionable adaptive clothing manufacturers have developed clothing that is easy to get on and off. This "adaptive" clothing is designed in such a way that it still maintains the look of clothing that does not have these easy-access features. For example:
- Velcro-type closures instead of buttons
- Open-back blouses, shirts and dresses with Velcro-type closures that still retain the traditional button styling on the front
- Lap-over back style garments with snaps for the individual who cannot raise their arms
- Zippers with easy-to-grasp pull tabs
- Pants with side zippers
- Seatless pants for the incontinent individual
- Shoes with Velcro-type closures instead of shoelaces
- Slippers that adjust in width to accommodate swollen feet and ankles
This easy-access clothing also makes it easier for family and group caregivers to provide dressing assistance.
Finding Fashionable Adaptive Clothing Manufacturers
Manufacturers typically inventory a wide variety of adaptive clothing for:
- Alzheimer's patients
- Arthritis patients
- Disabled individuals
- Nursing home residents
- Wheelchair-bound individuals
- Foot problem individuals
- Incontinence individuals
- Full-figured individuals
Silvert's has provided easy-wear, easy-care clothing for men and women since 1930. Their inventory includes dresses and separates, nightwear, bras, outerwear and footwear. All of their fashions are designed for easy care in both personal laundries as well as the rough and tough environment of an industrial laundry. Their prices are moderate and they offer gift certificates.
Shop on the Net
Shop on the Net is a Canadian company that has specialized in providing adaptive clothing and footwear for residents of group care facilities such as nursing home and long term care facilities since 1979. Their prices are moderate. They provide free labeling of the purchaser's name into the garment - a very attractive feature for clothing that will be washed with the clothes of other individuals in a group care facility.
Buck & Buck
Buck & Buck was created by a nursing home worker who knew first-hand how difficult it was to find fashions that could be customized to meet the specific needs of an individual in a nursing home setting. For example, Buck & Buck will convert a front-opening garment so that it also has a back-opening option. In addition to special alterations, they also offer free labeling and hemming.
Professional Fit Clothing
Professional Fit Clothing prides itself on having stylish, adaptive fit clothing to meet the needs of all ages. Their inventory includes the basic easy-access separates as well as a variety of easy-to-wear accessories such as suspenders, belts and neck ties. They offer free labeling. They will also customize a garment for a nominal fee.
Comfort Clothing offers a basic line of dresses, separates, underwear, socks and hospital gowns with easy dressing features. All of their garments are easy-care, high-quality designs which will be long lasting when washed in group care industrial laundry facilities. Free labeling is available.
Shop for The Best Features
Each manufacturer has developed their own customized features for their adaptive clothing. You may find that the clothing from one manufacturer is better at meeting your particular needs. For example, most adaptive clothing manufacturers offer Velcro-like front closures; however, some closures require more physical strength than others to operate. If you can't find what you need - ask. Most manufacturers are willing to customize a design to meet specific needs.