For those who are facing mobility issues (either themselves or in a loved one), the phrase "adaptive clothing" can be confusing at first.
Adaptive clothing is clothing that has been designed to be easily donned by individuals who have mobility issues.
Who Uses Adaptive Clothing?
Many people can benefit from adaptive clothing, if they are mobility challenged, are managing a disability or simply aren't as flexible as they perhaps were when younger.
The most common groups of people who use adaptive clothing daily are those who use a wheelchair due to mobility or paralysis, and the elderly who have difficulty with a wide range of motion or joint stiffness.
Some other common illnesses and conditions that can lead one to use adaptive clothing include:
- cerebral palsy,
- Alzheimer's disease,
- shoulder surgery recovery,
- edema, or
- hospital recovery
Additionally, loved ones with dementia often benefit from adaptive clothing that is specially designed to be difficult to disrobe, which is a common behaviour in the mentally confused.
What Kinds of Adaptive Clothing Are There?
Adaptive clothing frequently looks like regular attire at a glance, but offers ease and comfort such as open back shirts, extra wide slip-on slippers and shoes, easy snap pants, and wrap-around skirts and dresses.
These types of pants are ideal for those in wheelchairs and people who cannot be constricted by traditional pants or bear weight. Open back pants are cut out at the back but have a modesty flap to provide coverage. They fasten by 3 snaps on the side that allow for adjustment approximately by 2 sizes. Open back pants grant caretakers the ability to change someone in a standing or laying position.
These pants open at the sides using 3 snaps much like the open back pant. However, they have full coverage in the back. These pants are good for those who are are able and want to wear a traditional style of slack but have certain mobility issue and are unable to put them on themselves.
Open back clothing is applied by using snaps at the shoulder. This style still provides full coverage as an average shirt but it is much easier to put on and take off. Caregivers also love this style as it provides an easier changing experience as the individual being changed does not need to raise their arms. This style of product is available in long sleeve, short sleeve, polo shirts, blouses and cardigans.
Primarily used with individuals who have Alzheimer's or Dementia, Anti-Strip Suits are used to prevent inappropriate undressing. These suits are done up with snap closures at the back neckline, making it harder for the person wearing the suit to take it off. Caregivers appreciate these suits as it provides safety for the themselves as well as the person they are caring for.
Adaptive Slippers are easy to remove and put on. By using large velcro fasteners the entire slipper opens allowing the foot to be easily placed inside with minimal effort. Ideal for those being looked after by a caregiver. Available in wide fit to accommodate for swollen feet.