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Easy To Put On Clothes For The Elderly: Dignified Dressing Solutions

Easy To Put On Clothes For The Elderly: Dignified Dressing Solutions

Adaptive clothing is designed to be easier to put on and keep in place. Read more about clothes that are easier for seniors to put on themselves - and for their caregivers too!
Easy To Put On Clothes For The Elderly
Easy To Put On Clothes For The Elderly
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Struggling to dress independently? You’re not alone.

Limited mobility and dexterity make buttons, zippers, and shoelaces difficult for many seniors. The good news is there are adaptive clothing options to make getting dressed easier.

  • Prioritize elastic waists, velcro closures, and stretch fabrics over tricky buttons and zippers.
  • Magnetic closures offer a stylish alternative to zippers on pants and shirts.
  • Look for sock loops, pullover tops, and open shoulder seams for wiggle room.
  • Shop specialty brands like Joe & Bella, Ovidis, and Resident Essentials or even international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, JCPenney, and Amazon for fashionable adaptive styles.
  • Or add velcro strips and magnetic closures to modify your own clothes.

With the right adaptive features, you can regain your dressing independence. This guide shares the best adaptive clothing for seniors and where to find it.

What Types of Adaptive Clothing Are Easier to Put On?

The most popular adaptive clothing styles are easy to put on and don’t impede movement. One of the simplest ways to create adaptive clothing that’s easy to put on is by replacing the closure mechanism on the clothes.

Most modern clothes have buttons, strings, or zippers to hold them closed. 

Handling the small closure mechanisms can be extremely difficult for an elderly citizen. Adaptive clothing styles often replace that mechanism with something easier to close without sacrificing comfort or style.

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It is simple and easy to remove Velcro clothing and shoes when changing.

1. Velcro Clothing

Velcro is considered the king when it comes to adaptive clothing for seniors. It’s one of the most common and reliable closure replacements for pants, shoes, shirts, shorts, dresses, and bras.

A Velcro closure can create a secure connection in a matter of seconds without the need to fight buttons, zippers, or laces. It’s just as simple to remove Velcro clothing when changing.

Velcro shoes are considered a major upgrade in terms of accessibility. Tying old-fashioned laces required bending over and tying the string. Most seniors found it painful and sometimes impossible.

Some people would resort to simply pushing their laces into their shoes, which meant the shoe didn’t have a firm grip. Velcro is a more reliable solution that doesn’t require a huge investment.

Pants are another article of clothing that can be vastly improved with the addition of Velcro. Small metal zippers can be difficult to grasp and control. A senior may even cut their skin on the hard edges of the zipper.

Replacing the zipper with a Velcro closure eliminates the difficulty and danger. Velcro doesn’t require any advanced motor skills, flexibility, visibility, or strength.

There’s no limit to the types of Velcro clothing you can find online and at retail stores. Essentially any clothes that require a mechanism to hold them closed can be modified with Velcro as well.

If you care for a senior, you can convert some of their favorite clothes into Velcro clothing.

Adding Velcro to existing clothes is extremely simple. The Velcro brand manufactures clothing strips that are designed specifically for this task.

It includes two pieces of attached Velcro with adhesive glue on the back side of both halves. It’s a modification that takes less than ten minutes and saves hours of headaches each year.

2. Magnetic Closures

Velcro isn’t the only closure alternative that’s popular in adaptive clothing. Magnetic closures are widely available on almost all of the same products.

Magnetic shoes might not be popular, but there are pants, shirts, and bras, all with small magnetic closures. The concept even inspired an entire brand of adaptive clothing called MagnaReady.

Similar to Velcro closures, magnets can be easily disguised to look the same as traditional button pants. It doesn’t make a noticeable difference to the pants’ appearance and doesn’t stand out. It simply changes the way that you keep the pants closed around your waist.

Magnetic closures are also becoming popular on the shoulders of adaptive shirts. Brands add magnetic shoulder openings to adaptive shirts, making them easier to put on and take off. The shoulders easily open when changing and can be clipped closed when wearing the shirt. 

Here’s a video demonstration I put together of the Joe & Bella Magnetic Button Up Shirt:

Joe & Bella Magnetic Button Up Shirt Makes Dressing Easier

3. Elastic Waist Pants

Not all adaptive features revolve around replacing the closure with something easier. Some of the changes, like the shoulder openings, make it easier to put the shirt on.

Clothes that are too tight or have small openings can be very difficult for seniors. If you are a caretaker, it means you will spend significantly more time trying to help them in and out of their clothes.

Elastic waist pants are adaptive pants that most have worn at least once. They are known for being comfortable and form-fitting. Pants with an elastic waist are easy to slip on and off, even if you suffer from a condition like arthritis.

The best part is that they don’t require any closure. It’s even faster than putting on Velcro pants.

The material in the waistline makes it possible for the pants to shrink or grow with the senior. This can be extremely helpful for seniors known to fluctuate in weight.

Older adults who take a variety of medications often experience fluctuations in weight. Pants with a comfortable elastic waist won’t need to be replaced during these changes.

Easy On Pants for the Elderly - Dignified Dressing Made Simple

4. Open Back Clothing and Gowns

Adaptive clothing may also be any clothing designed to make it easier for seniors to wear and access certain equipment. Designers often accomplish this by leaving stylish gaps in certain areas of the clothing.

For example, a backless gown or open back shirt may seem elegant while allowing access to important medical devices.

Sometimes, the gap may be covered by a second piece of overlaying fabric. The second piece of fabric will be placed with a magnet or a Velcro patch. The senior can choose to keep the open sides open when necessary and closed when they are not needed. 

Side opening garments like the Joe & Bella Men’s Polo and Joe & Bella Women’s Everyday Blouse are equally helpful.

5. Pullover Tops

Another way to completely eliminate pesky closure devices is wearing a pullover top. It’s a simple design concept that is popular even for people without disabilities. 

There are some potential disadvantages of the pullover technique.

First, the senior may struggle to find the neckline when getting dressed. It’s best to look for adaptive clothes with a wide hole for the head or shoulder openings that can be closed with magnets or Velcro.

Second, they must be able to lift their hands above their head to remove the shirt.

6. Rear Closure Tops and Pants

Clothes with rear closure mechanisms are more common in patients with severe disabilities. The major advantage of rear closure is that it is often easier for the caretaker to help change the clothes.

If the caretaker is doing most of the work when it’s time to change, then investing in rear-closure tops and pants can speed the process along.

7. Socks and Shoes

The most common type of adaptive shoes uses Velcro instead of laces. Velcro works just as well for holding a firm grip. It’s also much easier to put on and take off.

Socks may also have simple adaptive designs implemented as well.

A common example is a large loop at the back of the sock. This makes it easier to grab the sock and pull it into position. The elderly want to spend as little time as possible bent over pulling socks and tying shoes.

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There are many brands to choose from when finding easy-on adaptive clothing for the elderly.

Where Can You Buy Easy-On Clothes for the Elderly?

Dozens of brands and stores now sell easy-on adaptive clothing for the elderly. You can even find a large selection in big box stores like Target and Walmart.

Joe & Bella

Use code GRACE to save 15%

Joe & Bella creates stylish, easy-to-wear adaptive clothing for seniors. Their designs discreetly incorporate senior-friendly features like magnetic buttons and pull-on waistbands, providing dignity and accessibility for those needing a little extra help getting dressed.

With a mission to help seniors stay independent and express themselves through fashion, Joe & Bella offers the perfect solution for mature adults seeking adaptive apparel that balances style and comfort.

Related Reviews:

Resident Essentials

Use code Grace20 to save 10%

With over 20 years of experience, Resident Essentials specializes in adaptive clothing for seniors that is both comfortable and easy to put on. They offer a wide selection of options for men and women featuring modifications like velcro and side openings to simplify dressing.

Resident Essentials caters directly to nursing homes and facilities, providing free services like shipping, name labeling, and rewards programs.

Their decades of focus solely on adaptive senior clothing makes them a leading choice for families and caregivers seeking quality, easy-to-wear clothes to improve daily living for elderly loved ones.

Related Review: Resident Essentials Elastic Waist Twill Pant (Men and Women)

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.

Zappos

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

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.

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!

What is Adaptive Clothing?

Adaptive clothing includes a wide range of different styles, materials, and mechanisms. The clothes are primarily designed for seniors, the disabled, bedridden, and immobile customers.

They utilize different materials and design techniques to make the clothes easy to put on and take off.

Adaptive clothing may be something as simple as a pullover top with stretchier fabric near the neckline. It could also be a formal dress shirt with a long series of Velcro patches instead of small buttons.

Adaptive clothing for seniors and the elderly can be any type of specialized clothing that is meant to be easier to put on, close, and hold into place.

The clothing may also be designed with a specific medical condition, treatment, or piece of equipment in mind. For example, some adaptive pants are designed specifically for patients who use a catheter.

Some of the clothes come with flaps, holes, or pockets for certain types of equipment.

How Can You Make Dressing Easier for the Elderly?

The best approach is to be patient, mindful of their condition, and helpful when necessary. Simply investing in a larger selection of adaptive clothing will make the process much easier.

Seniors who previously struggled to get dressed in the morning may be able to do the job on their own with the help of adaptive clothing.

How Do Easy-On Clothes Make Caring for an Elderly Person Easier?

Their biggest advantage is that they reduce the amount of time wasted getting dressed and undressed. It’s easy to lose several hours each year spent helping an elderly person get dressed.

Trying to work zippers, laces, or buttons on another person is rarely easy. Easy-on clothes can help condense a thirty-minute job into a five-minute job.

Tips to Make Getting an Elderly Person Dressed Easier on Them (and You!)

  1. Set aside enough time for dressing – Even with adaptive clothing, a senior may move slowly and take their time. Keep that in mind ahead of schedule so that you aren’t pressed for time when it counts.
  2. Keep it simple – If you are choosing clothing options, then keep it limited to only two or three combinations. Too many options can be overwhelming and cause confusion.
  3. Make adaptive modifications – You can modify some of the senior’s existing clothes to include a Velcro closure. If there are certain articles of clothing they wear frequently, then this can save you plenty of time in the long run.
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Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

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