6 Ways of Adaptive Clothing Helps Older Adults

6 Ways of Adaptive Clothing Helps Older Adults

I wish we had always known about the benefits of "adaptive wear." They were really useful to my grandmother, even though many of the choices did not match her aesthetic standards. 

One of the main reasons we established Preventawear was to help people find clothes that both work and look good. Adaptive clothing provides numerous benefits to care users and their caregivers. Here are 6 ways they make life a little easier.

Reduces Pain

During the pandemic, we put a camera in my grandmother's room so we could communicate with her more effectively. It was the first time we witnessed her being dressed by a caregiver, revealing the painful process she endured. Because she was wheelchair-bound and had limited mobility in her arms, putting on a shirt, let alone pants, was a difficult and stressful experience.

Adaptive clothing for the elderly can alleviate these challenges. Tops that fully open up in the back allow wearers to simply slide their arms through without needing to raise them over their heads. For those experiencing upper-arm pain or mobility limitations, open-back shirts make dressing and undressing easier and less painful.

Many of these items are so well-designed that their adaptive nature goes unnoticed. These are the products we carry at Preventawear.

Adaptive clothes and extend can boost and extend independence

Many older adults face mobility limitations that can make certain aspects of dressing a challenge or even impossible. Clothing designed with these challenges in mind can be truly transformative. For instance, individuals with arthritis or tremors may find it difficult to button a shirt. An adaptive solution could involve replacing buttons with magnets or velcro for easier fastening.

Similarly, those who struggle to bend down and tie shoelaces due to age, injuries, or physical limitations can benefit from adaptive shoes with wide openings and alternative closures that allow feet to slip in easily.

At Preventawear, we offer pants made from extra-stretchy fabric that can accommodate catheters and swollen legs caused by conditions like diabetes or surgery. Adaptive bottoms often feature internal loops that provide grips for easier pulling up of pants.

Adaptive clothing improves dignity in dressing and undressing.

For many adults, minor adjustments are insufficient, and they still require assistance with dressing. Depending on someone else for dressing and undressing is never enjoyable. It can be a vulnerable and tedious task, often twice daily. It also serves as a reminder of the wearer's dependence on others, which can be emotionally challenging. Moreover, the process of being dressed and undressed by someone else can be stressful and diminish one's sense of dignity.

Preventa wear is designed with wheelchair users in mind, making it easier and more respectable to wear and take off. Our pants are easily slipped on while seated thanks to the zippers running from the ankle to the hip. To keep wheelchair users' jeans from riding up, we now offer conventional-looking jeans with an elevated waistline. To further assure comfort and dignity while receiving assistance, Preventawear now offers underwear with creative patterns, like side or front openings. Keeping one's dignity requires paying close attention to details. 

Adaptive Wear Enhances Safety

Preventing falls is crucial for the safety of older adults. While bed rails and walkers are commonly thought of as aids to prevent falls, smartly designed footwear plays a significant role, especially for those who get up at night. Many older adults fall asleep at night, getting out of bed to go to the bathroom. Gripper socks and well-placed night lights help, but sturdy shoes or slippers can be even safer. We recommend that older adults have easily wearable shoes and slippers before walking across floors. Footwear with a wide-open heel or fully opening at the top with secured velcro are excellent choices.

Clothing that doesn't meet the evolving physical and cognitive needs of aging adults can be hazardous. Adults may slip and fall when trying to put on non-adaptive clothes or injure their arms or legs while taking them off.

For individuals with dementia, especially in later stages, the compulsion to remove clothes can pose risks. Special needs anti strip clothingthough not new, continues to be improved. As part of our commitment to dignified dressing, Preventawear offers anti-strip jumpsuits that resemble regular clothes, not adaptive wear. These jumpsuits are designed for comfort, with buttons in the back that the wearer cannot reach.

Adaptive Wear Helps Care Partners

Adaptive clothing not only benefits the wearer but also makes life easier for caregivers. Whether you're a family member or a professional caregiver, assisting with dressing and undressing can be both stressful and physically demanding. Caregivers often need to lift someone out of a wheelchair, which can strain their lower back. They may also need to reposition or lift the lower body of the person they're caring for during dressing. special needs adaptive clothing simplifies this process, making it easier, quicker, and safer for caregivers. My grandmother would become upset if a caregiver accidentally caused her discomfort while dressing her. Adaptive cloth helps eliminate this tension, allowing caregivers to focus on providing care and using these moments to build trust.

Adaptive clothing can also be stylish and appealing

When a care recipient is happy, their care partners are too. No one wants to wear clothes that deviate from their usual style. Our clothing is a reflection of our identity, deserving of respect and honor. As adults age, particularly those in care communities, their identity and preferences can sometimes take a backseat to caregivers' focus on basic health and wellness needs. Wearing clothes that you like and feel comfortable in can provide a significant emotional and cognitive boost.

Preventawear is dedicated to supporting care partners by enriching the lives of older adults. Explore our collection of adaptive clothing for seniors, and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or suggestions.

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