This Quality Adaptive Clothing Helps Older Adults Get Dressed Easily
Adaptive clothing can be an absolute game changer, helping older adults to get dressed easily. I know that my older relatives have relied on it to stay independent and stylish as their needs changed.
At ElWell, we’re impressed with the quality adaptive clothing choices available which improve quality of life and mirror conventional clothing. This article looks at these, as well as best buys for comfortable adaptive clothing and adaptive underwear that are perfect for self isolation. Lastly, we’ve looked at some DIY adaptive clothing solutions. Here’s to dressing easily and well!
What Is Adaptive Clothing?
Getting dressed can become more difficult as people get older. Limited mobility, wheelchair use, difficulty bending down and conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and dementia can all make this daily routine harder.
This is where adaptive clothing can help. As the name suggests, it adapts clothing to make dressing easier for people who need it. Inclusive clothing can be life changing for seniors who live alone, don’t want help getting dressed, are in an assisted living facility or want to reduce their amount of home care support.
Let’s look at how easy access clothing works, and our favourite adaptive clothing brand.
How Adaptive Clothing Works
Adaptive apparel is designed to go on and off easily, making getting dressed easier for your elderly loved one. If you’re considering it for your older parents (or yourself) then this table explains how adaptive clothing works.
|Mobility Problem||Adaptive Clothing Solution|
|Zips and buttons are hard to grasp and do up||Easy but secure touch discreet velcro fastenings and closures are used. Ideal for older adults with less strength and dexterity in their fingers|
|Senior has limited strength and balance ability||Limited strength and balance increases the risk of falling over. Wrap style skirts and dresses make for quicker, easier and safer dressing for women. Velcro fly fastenings for men mean there is less risk of falling over|
|Clothing closures need a full range of motion||Closures are easy to reach, helping people with limited mobility|
|Seniors with cognitive difficulties find it hard to get dressed||Colour co-ordinating on the inside of adaptive apparel can help seniors get dressed correctly|
|Jewellery and accessory closures are hard to grasp, open or close if someone has limited hand mobility||Magnetic closures, clip on options and velcro fastenings ensure people can still feel fully dressed. After all, accessories can make an outfit!|
Where To Buy Adaptive Clothing
At ElWell, we’re big fans of The Able Label. This UK-based company was started by Katie Ellis who, like us, was inspired by her grandparent to start her company. Katie’s grandmother had Parkinson’s disease, and getting dressed was difficult.
The Able Label uses quality fabrics, discreety adaptive clothing designs and innovative fastenings to help men and women with limited movement, cognitive decline, or restricted finger dexterity stay independent. Plus they offer VAT exemption.
Stylish Adaptive Clothing For Women
Just because we’re getting older doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice on style! In our opinion, The Able Label’s adaptive clothing fuses quality, practicality and value. Here is our pick of The Able Label’s adaptive clothing for women.
The Able Label offers an alterations service so you can get sleeves, trousers, dresses and skirts taken up, either at the same time as purchasing or after!
Comfortable Adaptive Clothing For Self Isolation
We’re all spending more time at home now, which calls for comfortable adaptive clothing. Our best buys for comfortable easy access clothes are below.
The Easy Pull On Adaptive Lounge Trouser
You will want to wear these all day, every day! These Deborah Loose Leg Jersey Trousers are made from stretch fabric, come in two leg lengths (short and regular) and have an elasticated waistband with pull cord, for the perfect fit. Helping senior women stay stylish and get dressed easily, even during lockdown.
The T-Shirt That Helps You Avoid Overhead Dressing
There’s more to the Tabby Jersey Tee than meets the eye. It opens at the front and fastens securely with velcro so you can avoid overhead dressing. £39.95 and up to size 22.
Great for people with limited mobility, it’s easy to get on and off. It also has a high neckline and side vents which allow the tee to open further when seated for added comfort.
Keep Warm With An Adaptive Clothing Coat
How great is this mac? Lightweight, it has a silky lining to make it easier to take on and off. The buttons are for show, there’s velcro fastening for ease. It’s the perfect smart casual choice now we can start socialising outside again!
The Able Label has a great selection of smart coats and jackets, warm puffas and gilets. Find them all here.
Adaptive Nightwear For Seniors
Front Opening Velcro Nightdress & Adaptive Pyjama Set For Men And Women
The tie on dressing gowns can be hard to handle for people with limited hand dexterity and grip. Which is why we love the luxurious fleecy dressing gowns from The Able Label. They have hidden velcro closures so there’s no belt to thread through and worry about.
Or go for a shorter cape design (also sometimes called a bed jacket) which won’t get caught up in a wheelchair and is a good option for keeping warm and snug in a hospital bed.
Our Favourite Adaptive Clothing Pieces
Want to see what we LOVE from The Able Label? Then check out this short video (it’s transcribed at the end of this article too if that is easier).
Comfortable And Practical Adaptive Underwear For Seniors
Lots of older women have to start putting on their bra back to front, doing it up at the front and then shuffling it round (or rely on someone else to do the fastening for them). Adaptive bras are easy to put on and do up, so senior women can once again do this daily dressing themselves! Ideal for people with poor eyesight or arthritis in their fingers.
We like the Comfi Bra. Like the name suggests, this easy on bra is comfortable! Non-wired, non-padded it has a front velcro fastening and padded shoulder straps. Also great for women who are recovering from any type of breast surgery.
Thank you for the adapted bras. I have ineffective hands due to MND and the extra 2 inch panel makes the bra much easier to fasten.”Judy, has motor neurone disease, The Able Label customer
Women’s Underwear With Built In Pads
As we get older, urinary incontinence becomes more common. These leakproof briefs help keep seniors comfortable, dry and secure. With a built in absorbent pad, these heavy duty 100% cotton high waisted briefs are machine washable so there’s no need for other products. Making them an environmentally-friendly investment worth making.
The Super Absorbent Washable Full Brief Knickers come in black and white for £19.96.
My great aunt was super stylish and always prided herself on dressing well. As she got older though, she found the clasps on her jewellery difficult to open and close. So what did she do? She found adapted jewellery, which used strong magnetic closures instead of the conventional closures. Meaning she could continue to wear the bling which made her feel so good throughout her old age.
The Able Label have some great options for adapted jewellery, using magnetic clasps and clip on earrings.
If my dad is anything to go by, he isn’t fully dressed unless he has belt on. But belts can be tricky to do up as men get older.
This adaptive leather belt looks exactly like you would expect, but uses hidden velcro to secure. Costs £29.95.
Buy And Try – Return For Free
You can find adaptive clothing at The Able Label online (or order their catalogue). They offer free returns, so you can buy and try with no pressure.
DIY Adaptive Clothing And Accessories
We love The Able Label! But if you want to get crafty and try to DIY some adaptive clothing for your favourite senior, then here are some easy tips for people with limited hand mobility.
Make Your Own Adapted Handbag
Intricate closures (zips, small buttons etc) on bags can be hard to do up for people with arthritis. Remove the zip and replace it with easy to touch poppers or a large button and a big hoop made out of fabric.
Make Your Own Adapted Jewellery
If your parent has a necklace or bracelet that they love but can no longer wear due to the clasp, then this DIY tip could help. Get some thin elastic (choose one which matches the colour of the necklace – there are metallic options available). Thread it through the clasp and tie a loop. Hey presto, you’ve made a secure fastening which allows the necklace or bracelet to be placed over head or wrist.
Make Your Own Adapted Trousers
As we get older, getting to the toilet in time and then undoing the requisite zips and buttons can be difficult. Change the fly, replacing the current clasp with a hidden velcro fastening. If your sewing isn’t the best, you can even buy ready cut velcro which is sticky on the reverse and can be attached to the trousers.
The daily routine of getting dressed can become harder as we get older. Adaptive clothing can really help here, giving seniors more independence. Adaptive clothing is a great option for people with limited mobility who struggle with conventional clothing, are in a nursing home or assisted living facility or want to reduce their dependence on carers to help them get dressed. There are some fantastic quality adaptive clothing solutions out there.
As the name suggest, adaptive clothing adapts clothes to make getting dressed easier. The clothes don’t look different, but clever fastenings (such as hidden velcro and magnetic clasps), colour-co-ordinated trims and easy on products help people get dressed independently.
Any adult who needs a little help with getting dressed. Elderly people can struggle with mobility, or conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and MS can make putting clothes on harder. Adapted clothes can also make it easier for carers to help people get dressed, potentially cutting down on the time you need a carer for.
Yes! There’s a great selection of adaptive nightwear for men and women. Front fastening pajama sets and nightdresses stay secure with velcro. Easy close dressing gowns and comfortable and easy to put on and off underwear is also available.
Adaptive clothing video transcript:
Hello, it’s Jessica from ElWell here. As part of our adaptive clothing article wanted to show you some of our favourite pieces from TAL. In case you don’t know, The Able Label is a beautiful adaptive clothing line that was started by Katie Ellis. She was inspired by her grandmother’s Parkinson’s to start a clothing line that looked really quality and beautiful but that also helped people get dressed independently or with the help of carers.
And as you can see here we’ve got their best selling Stella jersey top that’s long sleeved, its really nice and long and it has hidden velcro tabs so that you can easily get it on and don’t need to put it over the head as well.
So moving onto the next item, the lovely Monica straight leg trousers with a pleat down the front as seen here, expertly modeled by my door. There’s also a side elasticated waist for comfort and easy on and off and this looks where the button is but actually it’s all a velcro fly. It means going to the toilet, getting dressed or undressed is so much easier for yourself or for your loved one if you’re helping them as well.
So not forgetting abot nightwear as obviously this is so important whether you’re in hospital or at home and wanting to feel good in bed. So here is a really beautiful long sleeved long nightdress. They’ve got short sleeved options as well. Nice look at the label too there. It’s a really quality good printed cotton here and once again as you can see, lovely floral shaped buttons but just for design essentially, there’s white velcro on the inside that runs all of the way down so you can get dressed, be comfortable and not have to worry about it going over the top of your head.
And then lastly we don’t want to forget about the men so here we have one of their shirts. So they have a really good selection of long and short sleeved cotton shirts that have got buttons running all the way down the front ,again just from a style perspective as they all have the velcro tabs on the inside.
So really this is just a quick look at practical stylish clothing, really good quality. All made in Europe, all designed by Katie and her team based in Kent and it’s an absolute winner in our eyes. Lots of the items are eligible for VAT exemption if that’s relevant to yourself or your loved one and we’d really recommend you go check out The Able Label and look at them there.