For older adults, one key to remaining independent is the ability to dress themselves. This can be difficult if they have a physical impairment. However, there is room for hope. Designers have noticed the lack of options for seniors and have decided to do something about it. It is called adaptive apparel, and with it, seniors have more options — and even some fashionable designer choices.
Why Apparel for Seniors Matters
Most seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age. To do so, they may need help, but the more they can do for themselves the better. By being able to dress themselves, they gain confidence and independence. This can help ward off depression and a loss of self-esteem and self-worth.
That said, dressing one’s self is a basic task that can become difficult with age or with physical impairments. A recent article in the Wall St. Journal notes that, according to the U.S. Census, 19 million Americans have difficulties climbing stairs and even getting dressed. Also, as Baby Boomers age, more are dealing with arthritis or other health conditions that impair their ability to get dressed or even button a shirt. That is where adaptive clothing for seniors comes in.
Fashionable Clothing for Seniors
There are several designers that are producing clothing options for seniors. For example, one Canadian brand called Iz Collection offers a line of clothing for people who need to use a wheelchair. The clothing includes details such as an open snap back on t-shirts and wrap waists for jeans. The brand’s designer, Izzy Camilleri, has gone the extra mile with adaptive clothing. She designs clothing that is not only functional but beautiful. From evening wear to business attire and even wedding gowns, her designs for both men and women are designed so those with special needs can continue to dress themselves and look great doing so. She even offers custom alterations and zipper placement.
A brand of clothing in the US called, ABL Denim has created jeans for those with dexterity issues or limited mobility. Their jeans have higher waistbands for those in wheelchairs as well as integrated weights. These weights are actually hidden therapy tools to help seniors and disabled persons with sensory disorders.
Another US brand of clothing called Care + Ware is producing a line of clothing that includes shirts that are made for easy insertion of medical ports.
UK-based clothing brand Teatum Jones is working with the British Paralympic team to create a line of clothing to bridge the gap between the able-bodied and disabled.
Of course, seniors and those with disabilities still want to look their best, and that is where high fashion comes to the rescue. Tommy Hilfiger is creating a line of adaptive apparel that is not only fashionable, but is easier to put on and remove. Dress shirt maker Van Heusen has also developed a line of men’s dress shirts that use technology that eliminates the need for traditional buttons.
If you or a loved one has a difficult time finding stylish clothing that works for your specific needs, take heart. Adaptive clothing is on the rise and more options are available all the time. With a little research, you should find just what you’re looking for.
Have you found functional and fashionable clothing for seniors and physically impaired people? What are some of the best finds you’ve stumbled on? Do you have any local stores in your area that carry these types of clothing? What types of adaptive clothing would you like to see more of on the market? Let us know in the comments below!