Adaptive Clothing For Parkinson’s Patients

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Getting dressed is a difficult task for people with Parkinson’s disease, which causes loss in muscle control. But with adaptive clothing, wearing clothes can now be easier and effortless. In this article, we will be your helpful guide to get to know more about adaptive clothing for Parkinson’s patients.

Adaptive Clothing For Parkinson's Patients

Getting dressed is a difficult task for people with Parkinson’s disease, which causes loss in muscle control. But with adaptive clothing, wearing clothes can now be easier and effortless. In this article, we will be your helpful guide to get to know more about adaptive clothing for Parkinson’s 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.

Adaptive clothing fulfills some of the needs relating to the elderly and individuals with disabilities. These clothing types do not require a lot of effort to put on or wear, and the type that you choose will depend on what you need.

Common examples of adaptive apparel include easy-wear shirts, dresses, pants, or skirts with an opening on the side using magnetic closures or zippers rather than buttons.

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

Parkinson’s disease causes muscle control loss that can make getting dressed a difficult and pesky routine.

From manipulating buttons and zippers to untangling a sleeve, the task of getting dressed for Parkinson’s patients presents challenges. But similar to many other disability challenges, it is also one that is solvable. 

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

When your loved one is starting to struggle with the task of 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:

  • Lightweight shoes
  • Clothing with magnetic or Velcro closures
  • Non-slip socks with a lot of stretches
  • Elastic waist pants

Examples of Adaptive Clothing

1. Ovidis Stan Side Opening Pants for Men

These pants are ideal for elderly or handicapped people that have reduced mobility. These knit trousers are very easy to put on and come with adjustable Velcro strips on either side of an elasticized waistband which allows for struggle-free dressing.

There is also a front-fold down panel which allows for slip-on dressing from either a seated or wheelchair position. 

Features:

  • Openings on the side for easier dressing
  • Easy slip-on for the mobility impaired
  • Easy care and wear

2. Ovidis Poppy Side-Opening Knit Pants for Women

Classic jeans with an interesting twist. The stretchable and soft fabric includes embroidery detailing along one side, while the adjustable waist makes them the perfect denims. 

Features:

  • Ideal for people with poor hand dexterity and limited mobility in the lower body, such as Parkinson’s or arthritis patients. Makes undressing and dressing pain-free and simple.
  • Side-openings for easier dressing.
  • Dignified dressing.
  • Quality fabrics that provide comfort and stretch
  • These fabrics also do not require ironing. 

3. Silverts Side-Zip Men’s Adaptive Fleece Tearaway Pants

A thoughtfully quality-designed zipper pants that provide roomy comfort with the special features that you need.

These zipper pants come with a two-way zipper that opens fully, providing easy access to devices such as catheters and casts or an easy way to dress for any person in a seated or reclining position. 

These pants are not bulky and are made ultra-soft. The drawstring elastic waist is stretchy for extra comfort. The single pocket at the back comes with a hook-and-loop fastener and 2 side pockets (these are sewn shut but easy to open for extra convenience).

The zippers on the side are secure at waist-level with a hook-and-loop fastener tab and run down the ankle level. 

This quality material is made up of 20% Polyester and 80% cotton. The zipper to just under the knee makes it a simple task to leave the pants open from the bottom or to hem each pant leg. 


4. The Bo Adaptive Shirt

The Bo Adaptive Shirt comes with exceptional tailoring and broad shoulders for much easier movements. The hook-and-loop fasteners offer an easy-to-use closure at the cuffs. There is also a yoke across the upper back and the shoulders for additional support. 

Features:

  • Imported and made in the USA
  • Machine washable
  • Tumble dry on low
  • 100% cotton
  • Wrinkle resistant

5. Alana Soul Adaptive Blouse

Get the independence and look that you deserve with this Alana Soul Adaptive Blouse. The collared V-neck and long-sleeve sports a classically tapered and tailored look with an ultra-feminine feel and style. 

Each button comes with sewn-on hook-and-loop closures that offer an easy way to fasten the buttons. The darts in the back and the front provide attention-to-detail tailoring with a stylish and luxurious feel.

Features:

  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Straight hemline
  • Moisture-wicking properties
  • UV protection
  • 100% polyester
  • Imported
  • Tumble dry and machinable washable 

6. Tommy Hilfiger Tina Adaptive Tee With Magnetic Shoulders

This stylish women’s tee from Tommy Hilfiger is a signature item. Getting dressed is really simple due to the innovative magnetic closures that help to expand the opening at the neck.

Once you have pulled the shirt over your head, you can align the magnetic closures to close the tee-shirt at the shoulders. 

Features:

  • Regular fit
  • Magnetic closures that look like regular seams
  • The magnets are tested for safety. If you are using a pacemaker, first consult with your doctor before you use these products
  • Imported
  • 100% cotton
  • Tumble dry on low, machine wash in warm water

RELATED: Ultimate List of Top Adaptive Clothing Brands and Retailers

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 the same time, rather than having to make several trips to your wardrobe or closet.
  • When possible, 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 your 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 the process of 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 shoes that are lightweight 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.
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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