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.
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:
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:
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.
Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.
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.
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 living, memory 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.