While it’s common for retired seniors to prefer living on their own, they’ll reach a certain age and physical condition when even dressing up becomes difficult.
Since putting on a piece of garment often involves bending or hunching over, gripping, reaching, pulling or even needing to stretch tightly-compressed articles of clothing, such movements can be a struggle for older adults suffering from common old-age disabilities.
Fortunately, research and development raised awareness among designers and innovators of the need to modify garments, or to create dressing-aid devices for older people. Symptoms of health impairments like stiff hand joints, lumbar stiffness, muscle spasms, and weak muscles.just to mention a few, can make dressing up independently quite difficult for aging folks. .
Modification of Garment Designs
Brassieres for example required modifications in design if for use by older women who are unable to easily bend arms backward when closing the undergarment. Bras are still important as breasts support for women even during old age, especially for the heavy-breasted types, since the pull of frontal weight can inflict additional strain on weak upper lumbars.
While those with flat chests aren’t as affected, wearing brassieres that give them shape and form boost their self-confidence, especially when dressing up for social functions. A simple modification in bra designs provided the solution as there are now comfortable front closing bras for elderly women. Modern brassiere designs for senior women also come with cushioning via padded adjustable straps and comfort fit by way of elastic backs.
Still, other aspects of dressing up such as wearing of trousers, pulling on socks or stockings, zipping up, closing buttons, tying up shoe laces and even picking up or gripping an article of clothing can be difficult for those who suffer from terrible back pains and/or arthritis.
Some Examples of Dressing Aids for Seniors
Find below some examples of dressing aids that help make living independently more manageable for seniors:
Dressing Stick – Seniors find this useful when pulling up or taking off pants, or pushing off socks. Most dressing sticks have hooked ends, which older adults can use to zip up or down closures; or in fastening up hard-to-manage button holes due to the toughness of a textile. Some dressing sticks are also extendable, making it versatile to use as shoe horn or as simple aid for picking up or reaching for light objects.
Button Hook Aid – These are best for seniors who suffer from weak muscles, arthritic fingers or tremors that make gripping regular-size buttons difficult to fasten into buttonholes.
Elastic No-Tie Shoelaces – Bending, kneeling with the added discomfort of having a poor grip can make tying of sneaker laces an ordeal for many seniors. Replacing the regular shoe laces with no-tie elastic shoelaces can convert a laced-up sneaker into an easy-to-wear slip on.
Sock Aids – These contraptions are in the form of smooth plastic tubes to make sock or stocking stretching easier for seniors with weak muscles or poor grip. Use the plastic tube to stretch a sock then put it on by putting the foot inside the plastic tube. Pulling up the grip or string gently will remove the plastic tube and make the sock-wearing process a whole lot easier.
Shoe Assists This dressing aid works similarly to sock aids but they can also double up shoe horn when putting on a closed-in footwear