5 Tips for Putting Together an Adaptive Wardrobe
We know that adaptive clothing isn’t usually something you expect to buy and, in fact, many people don’t know what adaptive clothing is or that clothing like this even exists until they get a call from their loved one’s caregiver.
If your loved one’s care facility is suggesting you purchase adaptive clothing for your senior Mom or Dad, it’s likely because they feel this would help make dressing less stressful for both your loved one and their caregiver. We sometimes don’t consider how challenging getting dressed can be for someone with limited mobility, until we experience these difficulties first hand with someone you care for.
Putting together a complete adaptive wardrobe that meets the needs of your loved one and their caregiver is crucial. Adaptive clothing can offer life-changing benefits and increase overall day-to-day comfort. So to help you select the right pieces, we’ve put together a few helpful tips to consider when shopping for adaptive style clothing. Don’t forget that if you have any questions or need help choosing pieces, our customer care team can help.
#1 - Figure Out What Type of Adaptive Clothing is Needed
There are a few different options when it comes to adaptive clothing, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re purchasing the right type for your loved one. Open back items, including tops, pants, and nightwear, are the most common style of adaptive clothing. You can learn more about each type by visiting our Guide to Adaptive Clothing page.
Open back items are perfect for those being dressed and changed by a caregiver. This is because limited movement and flexibility is required for this type of clothing, which can make the dressing experience more comfortable.
If your loved one is using adult incontinence products, open back pants are a great option for ease of changing. This style of pants allows an individual to be changed in a standing or laying position, while still providing full coverage.
If you’re unsure of what type of adaptive clothing is needed, we suggest talking through the options with your loved one’s caregiver or facility. You can also call our team of product experts, and we'd be happy to help you figure out what type of adaptive clothing you need.
#2 - Consider the Type of Materials
If your loved one is in a long-term care home, you likely already know the importance of finding clothing that is durable enough to withstand repeated trips through industrial laundry machines. Clothing that is too delicate has a tendency to shrink or fall apart, sometimes after only one laundry cycle. When shopping for durable adaptive clothing, be sure to check the material content prior to purchasing to ensure that items are low-maintenance for garment longevity.
It’s also important to consider material type for comfort. If your loved one is looking for comfort as well as style, it’s important to keep that in mind. We suggest selecting items that are soft, cozy and lightweight. Many items that offer maximum comfort can also be very stylish. If you have questions about the feel of any of the items we carry, you can contact our customer care team or make an appointment to visit our Oakville store in-person (by appointment only).
#3 - Incorporate Personal Preferences and Style
This is essential. Even though your Mom or Dad are experiencing mobility issues, that doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the way they look. Clothing can really boost someone’s self-confidence, which is why you should choose items that you know they will feel great in.
For example, if you know that your Mom has never really liked bright patterns it’s important to keep that in mind and shop for solid-coloured items. Or perhaps your Dad has never liked wearing collared shirts, so you decide to get him an open back t-shirt instead.
These are important considerations when shopping for adaptive clothing. Shopping for clothes for someone else is always challenging, and even more so if you’re creating an adaptive wardrobe for the first time. If you have style questions or would like to discuss options that you think would make your loved one happy, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our Geri Fashions’ team members are style experts and will be able to help you choose some best selling pieces they’re sure to love and appreciate.
#4 - Add New Items Seasonally
In most of Canada, our seasonal weather can change quite drastically. That’s why we recommend adding new adaptive items to your loved ones wardrobe seasonally. This will help to make sure they are dressed in seasonally appropriate clothing in terms of both comfort and style.
Each season we hand-select items for spring/summer and fall/winter catalogues. If you aren’t already, you should subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know when our seasonal catalogue is released. These catalogues feature different styles of clothing depending on the season, so you can make sure your loved one stays cool in warmer months and cozy in winter weather.
#5 - Consider Items for Layering
Finding layering items that are easy to wear and polished isn’t an easy task. Cardigans and jackets can be difficult to wear for those who face mobility issues, but layering items are very important to help make sure your loved one stays at a comfortable temperature.
Fleece bed coats are a great option. They are fastened with a small Velcro tab at the neckline and require minimal movement to don. They can be used at nighttime to add a little extra warmth, or during the day. Available in a variety of colour options, these bed coats resemble a shawl and can be paired with any outfit, as they are both practical and fashionable.
- Amy C