All About Adaptive Clothing For Dementia Patients

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Adaptive clothing makes it easier and comfortable to dress up your aging loved ones. Also, adaptive clothing is specially designed for people with dementia, mobility issues, and similar conditions. Keep on reading to learn all about adaptive clothing for dementia patients.

Adaptive Clothing For Dementia

Adaptive clothing makes it easier and comfortable to dress up your aging loved ones. Also, adaptive clothing is specially designed for people with dementia, mobility issues, and similar conditions. Keep on reading to learn all about adaptive clothing for dementia patients.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors.
I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

Dressing can be a difficult and time-consuming part of the day for aging loved ones and their caregivers. In fact, older adults with dementia may find it difficult to button or zip their favorite clothes.

On the other hand, tying the shoes can be confusing and difficult for such patients. That’s where adaptive clothing for dementia patients comes in handy.

Adaptive clothing can lessen frustration and improve the comfortability of your loved one and ­is more accessible than ever before. This article provides information on adaptive clothing for dementia patients.

What Is Adaptive Clothing?

Adaptive clothing is clothing that’s specially designed for people living with physical disabilities, cognitive challenges, mobility issues, and sensory sensitivities.

Adaptive clothing for seniors is also known as geriatric adaptive clothing or simply geriatric clothing. For example, velcro straps are equipped in these clothes to eliminate the hassle of having to deal with tricky buttons. There are also:

  • Shoes that slip on without sacrificing support
  • Dress shirts with magnetic buttons
  • Pants for seniors who use wheelchairs or remain in bed for long parts of the day
  • Clothing for seniors with limited mobility
  • And more…
adaptive clothing for dementia types
Clothing that are easy to put on/take off, such as shoes that close with Velcro, are ideal for dementia patients.

What Types Of Adaptive Clothing Is Available For Seniors With Dementia Or Alzheimers?

Anti-Strip Clothing

One of the unfortunate side effects of dementia is the need to fidget at times – most probably with clothing. Anti-strip clothing is clothing that is more difficult to take off. A caregiver should help dress the senior.

It’s a little price to pay for keeping your older adult comfortable, warm, and clothed.

Velcro Clothing

Lining up zippers or handling small buttons can be difficult for seniors with dementia. Velcro clothing is designed to enable self-dressing to help caregivers. I have an entire guide to adaptive clothing with Velcro closures you can read here.

Magnetic Closures

Magnetic closures are popular in specially designed clothing for dementia. Clothing with magnetic closures are easy to handle than buttons and zippers. These clothes use magnetic buttons that clasp themselves together.

Easy On/Off Clothing

Clothes that are simple to put on/take off and are soft and stretchable are ideal for dementia patients. For example, pants with elastic waistbands, slip-on shoes or shoes that close with Velcro, or a camisole instead of a bra can help your senior dress more easily and comfortably.

Open Back Clothing

Open back clothing is designed to help both the senior and his/her caregiver. Both open back gowns and open back shirts are quite convenient for dressing and undressing and help cut down on morning routine times. These clothes are breathable and comfortable, with different styles and fabric options to choose from. 

RELATED: What Are the Different Types of Adaptive Clothing?

How Does Adaptive Clothing Help Seniors With Dementia Or Alzheimer’s?

Adaptive clothing is specially designed to meet the needs of seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s. These people require an easier and more accessible way to get dressed. The dress, pants, or shirt should be easy to put on and take off.

On the other hand, these clothes should be comfortable to wear. In fact, well-designed adaptive clothing grants greater independence and allows the seniors to dress themselves, despite any health and cognitive challenges.

Style is another important factor to consider when choosing adaptive clothing for your older adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

A recent Applied Ergonomics study confirmed that looking good encourages self-confidence in social and physical activities – no matter the age of the individual. Seniors who are socially connected enjoy better health benefits.

On the other hand, adaptive clothing lessens confusion and discourages untimely undressing.

How Does Adaptive Clothing Make Caring For People With Dementia Easier? 

Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s experience changes in thinking, remembering, and reasoning, which affects their daily life and activities. They will require more assistance with simple day-to-day tasks after some time.

Grooming and dressing are two of the most common areas that a senior needs assistance from a caregiver. Dressing a senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia is one of the most cumbersome tasks for caregivers.

As the condition progresses, putting on clothes can be frustrating for a person with dementia. He or she may not remember how to dress or may be overwhelmed with the choices or the task itself. They may try to take off their clothes at times.

That’s where adaptive clothing comes in handy. Adaptive clothing is specially designed to make your senior adult convenient and comfortable while donning the clothes.

These clothes have Velcro straps, magnetic buttons, and other convenient features to suit the needs of your loved one.

adaptive clothing for dementia buy
Here are some of the best shops that have adaptive clothing for your senior adult.

Where Can You Buy Adaptive Clothing?

There are many places to shop for adaptive clothing for your older adult with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Here are some of the best places to shop for adaptive clothing for your senior adult:

Ovidis

Use code GWG10 to save 10% off regular prices.

Ovidis is a specialty manufacturer of clothing for people with physical or cognitive difficulties. They offer unique and innovative designs for easy and stress-free dressing by older adults, the disabled, or their caregivers. If you need anti-strip clothing, they will be your best source.

Dignity Pajamas

Dignity Pajamas has created a nice niche in adaptive sleepwear for men and women with dementia. They offer many styles of sleep shirts, pajamas, and gowns with open backs and velcro closures.

Zappos

Zappos offers much more than adaptive shoes. They offer many adaptive clothing items for people with dementia as well as from many of the popular adaptive clothing brands. Plus, they have an Advisory Council that reviews and selects the items they choose to sell.

Amazon Adaptive Clothing

Being one of the world’s largest retailers, Amazon offers a wide selection of adaptive clothing for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s from many of the most popular manufacturers.

Another benefit to purchasing from Amazon is their easy to navigate website and generous return policies. 

Etsy

Etsy is a great place to find one-of-a-kind adaptive clothing pieces that aren’t mass-marketed. Some Etsy sellers even offer custom-made items for special situations or will make special sizes for larger or smaller people.

JCPenney

JCPenney offers a decent selection of adaptive clothing made by standard clothing manufacturers like St. John’s Ba, a.n.a., and Worthington. Plus sizes are available too. 

You can also find adaptive clothing through brands dedicated specifically to the craft. A few examples include:

Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive

Perhaps a surprising addition to the list is well-known fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger who has a line of adaptive clothing for both adults and children. His shop is a great choice for the more fashion-forward person.

Seven7 Adaptive

This company focuses on creating stylish denim jeans that use adaptive technology like Velcro or elastic waistbands. Several of their styles are even wheelchair-friendly!

RELATED: Ultimate List of Top Adaptive Clothing Brands and Retailers

FAQ

Q: Why Do Some Dementia Patients Take Off Their Clothes?

A: Most people who suffer from dementia prefer to take off their clothes due to discomfort. They may feel too hot or too cold at times. On the other hand, if the clothes are too tight, they will try to take off the clothes – even in public – to feel comfortable.

Disorientation is another reason for taking their clothes off at inappropriate times. For example, your senior may be confused about the time of day and believe that he or she should be getting ready for a bath or for bed.

In fact, they may believe that they are already in the bathroom or bedroom and take their clothes off in the process. 

People with dementia or Alzheimer’s confuse the identity of people. For example, they may believe that a caregiver is their wife and behave in such a way. You should be aware of these factors and get some quality adaptive clothing for your older adult. 

Q: Why Do Some Dementia Patients Wear The Same Clothes Every Day?

A: A common challenge faced by a caregiver who cares for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s is to get them to change their clothes. They will soon find out that the senior doesn’t want to change their clothes but wear the same clothes almost day after day.

In fact, the seniors may refuse to change even if their clothes have been worn nonstop for weeks and weeks. They might insist on wearing the same outfit day and night.

The reason for this type of behavior is the damage done to the brain of your loved one due to conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. The behavior of your senior adult may not make immediate sense to you.

In fact, impaired memory, need for control, need for security & comfort, and dulled senses can lead to this type of action from your senior adult.

Q: Does Medicare Or Medicaid Pay For Adaptive Clothing For Dementia or Alzheimer’s?

A: NO. Medicare and Medicaid don’t pay for adaptive clothing for older adults suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. You should find other means of paying for adaptive clothing for your loved one.

The most important thing is to invest in the highest quality adaptive clothing for your loved one suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Dressing is one of the most difficult tasks for a person suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. If your senior adult suffers from one of these conditions, you should consider investing in adaptive clothing for your loved one.

Adaptive clothing is specially designed for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, mobility issues, and similar conditions. The most important thing is to invest in high-quality adaptive clothing for your loved one.

The aforementioned article provides information on adaptive clothing for dementia patients.

Photo of author

Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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