Smart Adaptive Clothing Strategies for Parkinson’s Dressing Challenges

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Senior Home Safety Specialist®
20 years of medical equipment experience
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If you have Parkinson's and struggle with dressing, adaptive clothing can help provide more independence and ease. Look for details like magnet closures, pull-on elastic waists, and velcro shoes to simplify dressing while maintaining your personal style.

Adaptive Clothing For Parkinson’s Patients
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As someone (or a loved one) with Parkinson’s, you may struggle with dressing and want solutions to make it easier. The good news is that many adaptive clothing options help you maintain independence or simplify the dressing process.

  • To address tremors and limited mobility, look for shirts with magnets instead of buttons, pants with pull-on elastic waists, and shoes with velcro closures. Brands like Joe&Bella, Silverts, and Ovidis offer these. Dressing aids like button hooks can also assist.
  • To maintain your style, focus on solid color, quality fabrics with minimalist detailing in classic cuts. Darker shades hide stains or spills. Stretchy fabrics assist with pulling clothing over the head.
  • Most importantly, stay true to your personal tastes. With some adaptive adjustments, you can achieve a functional and fashionable wardrobe. The key is prioritizing comfort and versatility as your symptoms change.

I wrote this guide to give you the information you need to accomplish all these goals.

Examples of Helpful Adaptive Clothing for Parkinsons

Joe-and-Bella-Freedom-Adaptive-Chinos-product

1. Joe & Bella Freedom Chinos (Men and Women)

Use Code GRACE to Save 15%
$98.00

The Joe and Bella Freedom Chinos are thoughtfully designed pants that help address many of the dressing challenges faced by those with Parkinson’s disease. The discreet adaptive features allow for increased independence and dignity when getting dressed.

  • The stretchable waistband and side zippers assist with getting the pants on and off. Those with Parkinson’s often struggle with the fine motor skills needed for buttons and traditional zipper flies. The magnetic closure replaces this, while the zippers allow the pants to be slid easily.
  • The pull-up handles hidden in the waistband provide leverage for pulling the pants up, reducing the strain for the wearer and caregiver assisting them. Lack of strength and flexibility makes pulling up pants difficult, so the handles are an invaluable aid.
  • The fabric itself offers benefits too. The slight stretch provides comfort, while the slick finish helps the pants glide over the legs and hips. For those with joint stiffness and mobility limitations, these features help pants go on smoothly.
  • The spill-resistant fabric also means stains and dribbles aren’t easily visible, helping reduce laundry while protecting dignity. This is useful since Parkinson’s can make eating messy.

Overall, the Joe and Bella Freedom Chinos allow people with Parkinson’s to dress stylishly and comfortably while maintaining their independence thanks to discreet yet functional adaptive features.

They reduce frustration and effort for aging adults and their caregivers during dressing. These pants are an excellent option for those seeking an adaptive aid that doesn’t sacrifice appearance.


Joe-and-Bella-Magnetic-Button-Up-Shirt-product

2. Joe & Bella Magnetic Button Up Shirt

Use Code GRACE to save 15%!
$88.00

The Joe & Bella Magnetic Button-Up Shirt is an innovative dress shirt specially designed to address the dressing challenges faced by those with Parkinson’s disease. The adaptive features provide increased independence and dignity when getting dressed.

  • The magnetic closures replace difficult-to-manipulate buttons, allowing one-handed fastening. Those with Parkinson’s often struggle with the fine motor skills needed for buttons.
  • The stretch shoulder fabric and generous arm holes make sliding arms in easy, reducing the effort and frustration of dressing. Lack of flexibility makes traditional sleeves difficult to get arms through.
  • The elasticized cuffs allow hands to slide through sleeves smoothly without unbuttoning. This aids those who lack the dexterity to manipulate closures.
  • The flexible fabric provides comfort, while the classic tailored style offers a smart, dignified appearance suitable for any occasion. This allows people with Parkinson’s to dress stylishly while maintaining their independence.

Overall, the magnetic closures, stretch fabrics and adaptive details in the Joe & Bella Magnetic Button-Up Shirt help restore freedom and flexibility for dressing. It’s a thoughtful solution that allows people with Parkinson’s to look sharp while dressing with ease.


Resident-Essentials-Adaptive-Twill-Pants-product

3. Resident Essentials Elastic Waist Twill Pants

Use Code Grace20 to Save 20%!
$43.00

For individuals with Parkinson’s disease who are self-conscious about wearing obviously adaptive clothing, the Resident Essentials Elastic Waist Twill Pants offer a discreet solution.

  • The elastic waistband provides effortless pull-on ease. Accommodates limited early-stage dexterity needs.
  • The stretchy waist glides smoothly over hips. Aids getting dressed alone, reducing caregiver assistance.
  • The pants maintain a dignified, trouser-like style. The structured fabric and details like pockets retain a polished look.
  • Easy-on pants reduce physical exertion and strain of dressing. Helpful for early mobility and stiffness issues.
  • For caregivers, the elastic waist simplifies getting Parkinson’s patients dressed. Pants easily slide into place with less repositioning.

Overall, the Resident Essentials Twill Pants allow people with Parkinson’s to retain their style and dignity while benefiting from subtle adaptations. For those in the early stages or wanting low-profile aids, these pants offer an ideal solution.


Side Opening Adaptive Pants for Men - Black | Stan | Adaptive Clothing

4. Ovidis Stan Side Opening Pants for Men

Use Code GWG10 to save 10%
$64.99

The Ovidis Stan pants are specifically designed for those with limited mobility due to conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Thoughtful adaptive features provide frustration-free dressing for wearers and their caregivers.

  • Side openings with adjustable Velcro closures allow pants to be easily slipped on and tightened to fit. This accommodates stiffness, tremors, and lack of flexibility in Parkinson’s patients.
  • Fold-down elastic waistband enables pull-on dressing from a seated position, ideal for those unable to stand safely. Reduces risk of falling during dressing.
  • Soft, stretchy knit fabric conforms to body shape, enhancing comfort. Eases dressing around rigid or trembling limbs.
  • Lightweight material is cool and breathable for sensitive skin. Will not overheat wearer.
  • Loose fit with elastic waist provides room to layer clothing underneath if needed. Accommodates fluctuating Parkinson’s symptoms.
  • Wrinkle-resistant fabric requires minimal ironing or laundering. Saves time and energy for caregivers.

The Ovidis Stan pants provide struggle-free dressing with thoughtful design details to aid Parkinson’s patients and caregivers. Highly recommended for adaptive clothing needs.


Side-Opening Adaptive Pants - Poppy | Indigo

5. Ovidis Poppy Side-Opening Knit Pants for Women

Use Code GWG10 to save 10%
$62.99

The Ovidis Poppy pants allow women with Parkinson’s disease to dress and undress with ease and dignity thanks to thoughtful adaptive features.

  • Side openings with adjustable closures make slipping pants on and off simple. Accommodates limited mobility and dexterity issues.
  • Soft, stretchy knit fabric comfortably conforms to body shape. Moves with stiff, rigid limbs during dressing.
  • Loose, relaxed fit provides room to layer clothing as needed. Accommodates fluctuating Parkinson’s symptoms.
  • Lightweight material stays cool. Ideal for Parkinson’s patients with heat sensitivity.
  • Elasticized waistband with adjustable tabs offers a custom, secure fit. Adapts as symptoms progress.
  • Wrinkle-resistant fabric requires minimal laundering and ironing, saving time and energy.

The Ovidis Poppy pants provide struggle-free, dignified dressing for women with Parkinson’s. The side openings and stretch fabric solve multiple dressing challenges. Highly recommended adaptive clothing.


Silverts Disabled Elderly Needs Mens Side Zip Adaptive Fleece Tearaway Pants for Seniors - Navy Blue,Medium

6. Silverts Side-Zip Men's Adaptive Fleece Tearaway Pants

$63.98
as of 09/23/2023 4:54 am

The Silverts Side-Zip Pants allow people with Parkinson’s disease to dress and undress independently thanks to their adaptive zippered design.

  • Full-length side zippers open completely for step-in dressing and easy access. Accommodates mobility limitations.
  • Zippers secure at top with Velcro closures. Ensure privacy while allowing pants to be parted as needed.
  • Soft, stretchy fleece fabric and elastic waistband provide a comforting fit. Moves with rigid, stiff limbs.
  • Roomy fit allows layers or braces underneath. Accommodates fluctuating Parkinson’s symptoms.
  • Zippers to knee enable pants legs to be parted for medical devices. Useful for catheters, braces, etc.
  • Durable 80% cotton, 20% polyester blend is machine washable. Requires little laundering or ironing.

The Silverts Side-Zip pants simplify dressing and undressing for Parkinson’s patients through adaptive zippered access. Reduces dependence on others for help dressing.


Smart Adaptive Clothing The Bo Adaptive Shirt (White Snow) Men's Clothing

7. The Bo Adaptive Shirt

$79.00

The Bo Adaptive Shirt simplifies dressing for those with limited mobility due to Parkinson’s disease. Its thoughtful design provides flexibility and support.

  • Hook and loop closures at cuffs allow shirt sleeves to open wide for step-in dressing. Accommodates rigid, stiff limbs.
  • Broad shoulders and tailored cut provide full range of motion. Moves with body for ease dressing.
  • Yoke across upper back offers posture support and stability assistance.
  • 100% wrinkle-resistant cotton is soft and breathable. Provides comfort all day.
  • Machine washable fabric needs little laundering or ironing. Saves time and energy.

With its adaptive closures and tailored design, the Bo Adaptive Shirt makes dressing frustration-free for people with Parkinson’s. It provides flexibility without compromising style.


Smart Adaptive Clothing Alana Soul Adaptive Blouse (Black/White Trim) Women's Clothing

8. Alana Soul Adaptive Blouse

$79.00

The Alana Soul Adaptive Blouse simplifies dressing for women with limited dexterity due to Parkinson’s disease. Its adaptive closures provide independence.

  • Hook and loop buttons allow blouse to be fastened with less coordination. Accommodates fine motor difficulties.
  • V-neck collar and tapered fit aid getting blouse over head and shoulders.
  • Moisture-wicking, UV-protective fabric keeps wearer cool and comfortable all day.
  • Wrinkle-resistant polyester needs minimal ironing or laundering. Saves time and energy.
  • Feminine tailored style offers dignity and polish. Looks stylish, not adaptive.

With its closure adaptations and flattering silhouette, the Alana Soul Blouse provides easy and dignified dressing for women with Parkinson’s. It balances function with feminine style.


Signature Stripe T-Shirt

9. Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Tee

$39.50

The Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Tee simplifies overhead dressing for men and women with Parkinson’s thanks to its magnetic shoulder closures.

  • Magnets allow shoulder seams to separate widely for easier over-head dressing. Accommodates rigid, stiff limbs.
  • Magnetic closures have a seam-like appearance. Provide accessibility without sacrificing style.
  • 100% soft cotton construction and regular fit offer comfort all day.
  • Machine washable fabric requires minimal laundering. Saves time and energy.

With its discreet magnetic adapters, the Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive Tee makes overhead dressing frustration-free for women with Parkinson’s. It balances function with feminine style.

(Note: Consult doctor before use if you have a pacemaker.)


What Challenges Do People with Parkinson’s Disease Have Getting Dressed?

Here are some of the common struggles that people with Parkinson’s disease face when dressing independently:

  • Bradykinesia (slow movement) makes performing sequential tasks like buttoning shirts or pulling on pants difficult. Their movements become very slow, and tasks take much longer.
  • Tremors in the hands make it hard to grasp buttons, zippers or shoelaces. The trembling makes fine motor tasks requiring dexterity challenging.
  • Rigidity or stiffness in the muscles makes bending and reaching to put on clothes hard. Movements may be reduced in range and fluidity.
  • Impaired balance and coordination make standing on pants or skirts difficult without support. They are at risk of falling over while dressing.
  • Cognitive issues like impaired executive functioning can make it hard to plan and sequence the dressing order. They may get confused part way through.
  • Fatigue means they must frequently rest while dressing due to the required exertion.
  • Poor proprioception (body awareness) makes it hard to orient clothes and get body parts in the right places without looking.
  • Medications can cause motor fluctuations, with “off” periods preventing them from moving well.

So dressing aids like button hooks, zipper pulls, long-handled shoe horns, and seated dressing sticks can assist with independence.

Occupational therapy helps find strategies to simplify dressing step-by-step. Caregiver assistance is often needed for safety and reducing frustration.

How Can Adaptive Clothing Help People with Parkinson’s Dress Easier?

When your loved one struggles with getting dressed, changing over to adaptive designs can offer more comfort and an easier way to get dressed. Adaptive clothing for disabled adults generally includes easy-to-reach zippers and snaps along the sides.

When your loved one needs help getting dressed, you can make it easier on his/her caregiver by investing in adaptive clothing.

What Types of Adaptive Clothing Are Recommended for Parkinson’s Patients?

Some of the most common types of adaptive clothing suggested for Parkinson’s patients include:

Balancing Your Adaptive Clothing Needs and Personal Style with Parkinson’s

As someone with Parkinson’s, you may feel your clothing options are limited or unfashionable. But with some considerations, you can find pieces that are both adaptive and reflective of your tastes.

  1. Prioritize soft, lightweight fabrics that move with your body. Stretchy knits, smooth jerseys, and breathable cottons complement stiffness or tremors.
  2. Focus on simple, minimalist styles without complicated details. Clean silhouettes, pullover tops, and wrap dresses adapt well as Parkinson’s progresses.
  3. Look for versatile solid colors or small prints. They disguise stains or spills related to Parkinson’s tremors. Darker shades can also hide dyskinesia-related sweat.
  4. Details like magnetic closures, shoulder snaps, and pull-on elastic waists allow ease while maintaining a streamlined appearance.
  5. Maintain your sense of color and fun with accessories like scarves, jewelry and shoes. They complement adaptive basics.
  6. Work with an occupational therapist to identify range of motion needs and attractive adaptive styles for your body type.

The right adaptations don’t have to look clinical. With some consideration to fabric, design and color, you can craft a functional and stylish wardrobe. Focus on quality, comfort and versatility as Parkinson’s progresses.

Tips to Make Dressing Easier for People with Parkinson’s

According to the National Parkinsons Foundation, there are a few tips that Parkinson’s patients can use when it comes to getting dressed. These tips are also helpful for caregivers or family members that are helping to look after a loved one with Parkinson’s:

  • Allow for extra time before getting dressed for the day since rushing will increase stress and panic and could make your Parkinson’s symptoms worse.
  • Gather all the clothes you plan to wear at one time, rather than making several trips to your wardrobe or closet.
  • Allow your medication to start working before you try getting dressed.
  • A couple of gentle and slow stretches can help to warm up and loosen your muscles. This can make the task of getting dressed or undressed a bit easier.
  • If one of your legs or arms is stiffer than the other one, put your stiff limbs into your clothing items first.
  • When possible, remain in a seated position while you get dressed. Use a chair that has armrests and a supportive back.
  • Avoid sitting close to the edge of your bed while you are getting dressed since this could result in a loss of balance, and you could fall forwards. 
  • A footstool can help to put on shoes or socks.
  • Fabrics such as nylon, velvet, or velour can create friction when they rub together, which can also hinder getting dressed.
  • Avoid wearing tight socks that are not easy to put on.
  • Non-skid socks are a better option than slippers since they will stay on your feet and help to prevent tripping hazards. 
  • Choose lightweight shoes that come with elasticized shoelaces or Velcro closures. 
  • Replace awkward buttons and fasteners with magnetic buttons or Velcro for an easy way to undo your clothes or shoes.
  • Replace traditional shoelaces with lace locks or elastic laces. 
  • Choose simple loose-fitting clothes with as few buttons and fastenings as possible.
  • Elastic waistbands are a preferable choice to buttons or fly zippers. 
  • Choose stretchy and soft fabrics for added comfort.
  • Oversized pullovers, sweaters, and coats are much easier to take off or put on. 
  • Ask for help when you cannot help yourself.
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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