Most of us don’t think twice about how we get dressed. Sure, we put thought into how we style ourselves for the day, but the actual process of putting clothes on - putting one leg through at a time, or buttoning up buttons - these tasks are as automatic as breathing.
There’s no denying the natural limitations that can occur from ageing. For ageing loved ones and their caregivers, dressing can be a difficult and time-consuming part of the day. Perhaps your dad is having trouble buttoning his shirt, or your mum can no longer zip her favourite dress. Seniors who use wheelchairs may have trouble putting pants on, and tying shoes can be confusing for those living with dementia.
Unfortunately, many seniors put up with these challenges for longer than have to. There could be many reasons for this, whether they’re embarrassed to bring up their problems, they don’t want to lose their independence or feel like they’re an inconvenience to others. That’s why it’s important for us to understand and be able to look out for the signs that our elderly loved ones could benefit from switching to adaptive clothing.
Sign 1 - They prefer to wear loose clothes and robes.
If you notice your parent wearing the same loose-fitting clothing, then it could be a sign that it’s the only piece/type of clothing that they’re comfortable wearing.
Sign 2 - Their clothing is unfastened
This sign can show itself in many subtle ways. Perhaps whenever your mother wears a cardigan, she doesn’t do up the buttons. Or your father may prefer zip-up clothing rather than buttons. During early signs of dementia, people may forget or not realise to do up fastenings. Another sign can come from shoelaces being left untied or signs that shoes are slipped on and off because they have difficulty tying laces.
Sign 3 - You notice lingering odours
Lingering odours is a big sign that there’s something preventing your loved one from changing into clean clothes for example limited mobility or lack of clothes in their closet that’s suitable for their needs. Another possible reason is that they may experience incontinence, where they have difficulty controlling their bladder or bowel.
These 3 signs can be very subtle and easy to overlook in everyday life. However, being conscious of these recurring patterns can lead to conversations where your loved ones can stop living in struggle and discomfort, and finally get the support they need.
If you notice these recurring signs, it’s important to be respectful and reassure your loved one that they don’t need to feel embarrassed, and that you’re here to offer support.
Fortunately, adaptive clothing is specially designed to make life easier for those who have difficulty with dressing, whatever their limitations may be. The idea is to provide options that ‘adapt’ to our needs and not get in the way of daily tasks within individuals’ capabilities.
Some examples of adaptive clothing can be seen in open back nighties/nightshirts. This type of bedtime attire is perfect for someone who has recently had shoulder surgery. It removes the need of extending the arm in order to get dressed/undressed. For suffers of autism (or those who are on the spectrum), there are some fantastic compression clothing options available. Dignity suits are also a great option for wanderers or those who disrobe.
Caring Clothing provides a wide range of stylish adaptive clothing that meet the needs of every individual. No matter what your situation is, we’re here to support you through our innovative and functional clothing.