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Many seniors find that one of the most uncomfortable parts of growing older is the inability to handle the private chore of dressing. Adaptive clothing allows seniors to maintain their privacy and dignity by making it easier for people with various difficulties to dress and care for themselves, or by allowing caregivers to dress seniors more efficiently and comfortably. Alternative styles and fastenings are used to create normal-looking clothing that caters to many different special needs.
When looking for adaptive clothing, the first thing that must be considered is the individual needs of the wearer. If a senior is coping with arthritis, adaptive clothing may include velcro closures on shoes and pants, front closing brassieres,or clothing with toggle zippers that are easy to grip and pull. For a senior with incontinence problems, or one confined to a wheelchair, open-backed dresses or pants can help reduce mess and stress for the senior and their caregivers.
For seniors who require a higher level of care, there are other options for adaptive clothing. A senior with Alzheimer's Disease may require clothing thatis difficult for them to strip out of at inappropriate times, while a senior who is bed-bound might be better served by clothing that opens all the way down the side, so that they can be slid into it with a minimum of lifting and moving. Many seniors might find that they need different types of adaptive clothing to meet their own needs. An adaptive wardrobe may include pants with velcro fasteners for arthritis, special non-constrictive socks for diabetic edema, and a front-wrapping shirt to accommodate limited range of motion.
Although some seniors might feel reluctant to explore adaptive clothing out of a fear ofthe clothes being ugly or institutional, many stores and online retailers offer adaptive clothes that are attractive and stylish on a range of body types. The cost of adaptive clothing is also generally higher than other clothing, but the improved quality of life for the wearer is often more than enough to justify the extra expense and make it a solution worth exploring.
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