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The Best Adaptive Clothing for Seniors

By Chacour KoopFebruary 17, 2022
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For aging loved ones and their caregivers, dressing can be a difficult or time-consuming part of the day. Perhaps your dad is having trouble buttoning his shirt, or your mom can no longer zip her favorite dress. Seniors who use wheelchairs may have trouble putting on pants even with the help of others. Tying shoes can be confusing for seniors living with dementia.

Fortunately, adaptive clothing for seniors — which can lessen frustration and improve comfortability — ­is more accessible than ever before. You can find easy-to-put-on clothes for elderly loved ones and apparel designed for specific conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease at popular stores or online.

Here’s what to know about adaptive clothing for elderly or disabled loved ones, along with a few products to reduce hassles.

What is adaptive clothing for seniors?

Adaptive clothing is clothing specifically designed for people living with physical disabilities, mobility issues, cognitive challenges, and sensory sensitivities. For seniors, it’s sometimes called geriatric adaptive clothing or just geriatric clothing.

Think simple and easy: Velcro pants for seniors that eliminate tricky buttons, shoes that slip on without sacrificing support, dress shirts with magnetic buttons, pants specifically designed for people who use wheelchairs or remain in bed for long parts of the day. Easy-access clothing for elderly loved ones and clothing for seniors with limited mobility can be especially helpful for family caregivers.

Retailers will often separate adaptive clothing for seniors into two categories:

  • Assisted dressing, which is apparel that a caregiver helps the wearer put on
  • Self-dressing, which is apparel that a more independent wearer can put on themselves

Where to find clothing for people who are elderly or disabled

In recent years, popular companies like J.C. PenneyKohl’s,TargetTommy Hilfiger, and Zappos have all launched adaptive clothing lines, meaning you can shop for your loved one at familiar stores.

Magnetic, snap-on, and Velcro clothing for seniors

Sometimes, handling small buttons or lining up zippers can be difficult for seniors. For those with limited mobility or hand dexterity, several brands sell magnetic, snap-on, or Velcro clothing for seniors designed to enable self-dressing or assistive clothing to help caregivers.

Here are some specialized online stores where you find easy clothes for seniors to put on themselves or with the help of a caregiver:

  • Buck & Buck has built up an extensive wardrobe of adaptive clothing, with a large collection of Velcro options. While their pants and dress shirts are favorites, Buck & Buck also sells Velcro shortsfor elderly men and stylish blousesfor women.
  • Silverts’ clothes with snaps for elderly loved ones are among the company’s most popular. They sell stylish dresses that snap over shoulders for women who have limited arm mobility, and their men’s cargo pants with snaps feature conveniently located pockets for wheelchair users.
  • MagnaReady — a line of adaptive clothing using magnetics for closures — sells casual, athletic, and sleep apparel that enables the wearer to dress themselves as the “buttons” clasp themselves together. Their men’s button-down dress shirts are popular, and the company has a fashionable collection of casual women’s clothing, too.

Adaptive clothing for seniors with dementia

Adaptive clothing brands sell apparel specially designed for seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These clothes can lessen confusion or discourage untimely undressing.

  • Ovidis offers apparel for an array of needs, but the company was founded upon the shared experiences of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. If you need clothing to help prevent disrobing, the company sells anti-strip jumpsuits for women and men.
  • The Able Label sells clothing with elastic waistbands, pull-on pants, and Velcro fastenings as part of its line of clothing for people with dementia. They’re based in the United Kingdom, so shipments to the U.S. can take a few days longer.

Talk with a Senior Living Advisor

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Adaptive bras, underwear, and shoes

Putting on shoes, bras, and underwear can be very challenging for seniors. A few companies specialize in making this easier for people with limited mobility.

  • Slick Chicks specializes in bras, underwear, and loungewear for people with limited mobility, especially those who use wheelchairs or struggle to stand up or bend over. Their products include underwear for urge and stress incontinence that fastens along the side and bras that fasten in the front with Velcro.
  • Friendly Shoes has comfortable, sturdy footwear for people who are elderly, disabled, or diabetic — with fashionable options. Their selection includes shoes with discreet zippers, eliminating the need for tying shoestrings while enabling easy access.

When dressing seniors becomes difficult

While adaptive clothing can help your loved one remain independent, it may indicate that their care needs are rising. If your loved one is having trouble with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, toileting, or maintaining hygiene like they used to, it could be time to consider whether they need extra assistance.

Assisted livingmemory care, and care home communities offer help with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting. Additionally, these communities often have access to physical therapists and occupational therapists, who can help improve a resident’s mobility and independence.

For seniors who want to continue living in their home, home care services can help them stay safe, and the extra assistance can reduce stress on family caregivers.

Disclaimer: A Place for Mom received no compensation from the makers of these products and makes no formal endorsement as to their quality. Readers are urged to conduct their own research.

Chacour Koop

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