The Best Adaptive Clothing For Nursing Home Residents


In nursing homes, many elderly residents have difficulty in getting dressed or undressed due to their physical difficulties. Adaptive clothing, make dressing easier for the resident as well as the nursing home staff. Learn more about your options here.

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Adaptive Clothing For Nursing Home

Are you shopping for adaptive clothing for nursing home residents? If so, you have come to the right place.

Adaptive clothing is specially designed for the elderly or people with physical disabilities. Many elderly residents in nursing homes find it difficult to dress and undress due to various physical disabilities and old age.

Finger dexterity is a common issue experienced by most of these residents. They may find it difficult to manipulate closures (think buttons and zippers), and limited motion affects their ability to self-dress.

That is where adaptive clothing for nursing home residents comes into the picture. This article provides information on why you should invest in adaptive clothing for nursing home residents.

What Is Adaptive Clothing?

Adaptive clothing is clothes that are specially designed for people with disabilities.

Adaptive clothing comes in different styles, including slip-on footwear, replacing buttons with magnetic & Velcro closures, and designing clothes and footwear so that you can get dressed while in a seated position.

The most important feature of adaptive clothing is catering to a wide variety of needs of elders and people with physical disabilities while maintaining fashionability and style at the same time.

Adaptive clothing for seniors and the elderly helps make self-dressing possible for more people with disabilities than ever before. On the other hand, adaptive clothing will benefit the caregivers as well. They help nursing home residents stay independent for longer.

adaptive clothing for nursing home why
Adaptive clothing is easy to wear and comfortable for the elderly and physically disabled in nursing homes.

Why Do Some Nursing Home Residents Need Adaptive Clothing?

Adaptive clothing for the elderly and physically disabled in nursing homes is easy to wear and helps make them comfortable. The elderly and physically disabled find it difficult to dress and undress by themselves.

They struggle with tying shoelaces, buttoning garments, wearing garments with narrow neck openings, and more. In fact, patients with joint pain may find it difficult to maneuver in and out of tight regular clothing.

Many residents with limited mobility find it painful and uncomfortable to wear regular clothing. In fact, thick fabric seams can place a lot of pressure on the body if they sit or lie down for extended periods of time.

Everyday garments can place too much pressure on surgical sites and result in discomfort and pain for post-operative patients in nursing homes. That’s why they require adaptive clothing with minimal seams for ultimate comfort.

What Types Of Adaptive Clothing Are Available For Nursing Home Residents?

Here are some of the most popular adaptive clothing available for nursing home residents:

Velcro Clothing

Velcro clothing encourages independent dressing and undressing for nursing home residents. Finger dexterity diminishes when a person ages. They cannot put on clothing with buttons or zippers as a result.

Velcro clothing is ideal for such people. Velcro clothing lets the elderly and physically disabled dress themselves or with little assistance.

Easy On/Off Clothing

Putting on and taking off clothes is one of the most difficult tasks for the elderly and people with physical disabilities. Clothes with large necklines and shoulder openings are ideal for such people. These clothes are easy to put on and take off.

Anti-Strip Clothing

Anti-strip clothing prevents your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s from disrobing. These clothes tie at the back of the neck & are secured via an anti-strip ring tab to make sure the wearer is not able to disrobe.

Open Back Clothing

Open back clothing gives the appearance of everyday clothing but with an open back design. It helps the caregiver to dress the handicapped person or elderly with ease and avoid a struggle while dressing.

Most of these open-back clothes will snap at the shoulder to avoid any pressure points on the back. The most common types used with nursing home residents are open back gowns followed by open back shirts.

Magnetic Closures

People with arthritis will find it difficult to open and close traditional buttons. Replacing traditional buttons with magnetic closure clothing is the best way to make dressing comfortable for such people.

In fact, magnetic closures automatically snap into place when one end of the closure is brought close to the other. On the other hand, the magnetic closure can be hidden behind decorative buttons to enhance the style and looks of the garment. 

Zippers With Easy Pull Tabs

People with arthritis and poor eyesight will benefit from this type of adaptive clothing. On the other hand, seniors who have lost the use of their fine motor skills will find these clothes quite beneficial.

These clothes have a long and easy-to-pull tab and a loop in it to insert the finger and pull the zipper.

Pants Open On The Sides

Open side pants are useful for seniors with dexterity and arthritis issues. They find it difficult to deal with buttons and zippers. Open side pants have flaps on either side that open up for putting on the pants easily.

They are fastened back using velcro straps on either side to avoid buttons and zippers that are difficult to negotiate.

adaptive clothing for nursing home where buy
Take a look at some of the best places to shop for adaptive clothing for nursing home residents.

Where Can You Buy Adaptive Clothing For Nursing Home Residents?

If you are shopping for adaptive clothing for nursing home residents, there are many places to purchase them. Here are some of the best places to purchase adaptive clothing for nursing home residents:


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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.


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

Dignity Pajamas

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

Amazon Adaptive Clothing

Being one of the world’s largest retailers, Amazon offers a wide selection of adaptive clothing from many of the most popular manufacturers. Another benefit to purchasing from Amazon is their easy to navigate website and generous return policies. 


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 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

How Does Adaptive Clothing Make Caring For Nursing Home Patients Easier?

By way of providing easy-to-work closures like magnetic and Velcro closures, adaptive clothing helps nursing home residents dress and undress themselves for as long as possible while maintaining their general sense of independence.

Just think about how long a physically disabled person or an older adult takes to dress and undress! They become frustrated when they can’t self-dress using regular clothing. That’s where adaptive clothing comes in handy.

Adaptive clothing facilities the task of the caregiver in dressing and undressing an older adult. On the other hand, adaptive clothing gives caregivers confidence in their ability to keep caring for the patient as long as possible.

Which Is Better: Hospital Gowns Or Adaptive Clothes? 

Even though there are many advantages of hospital gowns, they cannot be compared to adaptive clothing for seniors in a nursing home. In fact, a hospital gown will allow doctors to gain easy access to patients to conduct a physical examination.

Most patients find hospital gowns undignified, disempowering, and vulnerable. But adaptive clothing isn’t the same. They are specially designed to make dressing and undressing easy for people suffering from physical disabilities and older adults.

The most important thing is to shop for the right adaptive clothing for your loved one.


Q: Is the Nursing Home Responsible for Providing Adaptive Clothing to Their Residents? 

A: The short answer is NO. In fact, nursing homes are not responsible for providing adaptive clothing to their residents. You should invest in adaptive clothing for your loved one in a nursing home or similar facility.

Make sure you shop around and choose the right adaptive clothing for your loved one.

Q: Does Medicare or Medicaid Pay for Adaptive Clothing For Nursing Home Patients?

A: NO. Medicare or Medicaid doesn’t pay for adaptive clothing for nursing home residents. You are responsible for purchasing your own adaptive clothing for your loved one in a nursing home.

Adaptive clothing for nursing home residents facilitates the dressing and undressing tasks of your loved ones. Your older adult will find it easier and less frustrating to dress and undress with the right type of adaptive clothing.

The aforementioned article provides information on why you should invest in adaptive clothing for nursing home residents.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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