Being able to do it alone can improve their self-esteem, which could motivate them to work harder on other parts of their recovery. Immediately after a stroke, dressing may be very difficult, but as time goes on and the senior regains more of their abilities, they will have an easier time. There are several ways that dressing can be simplified to help seniors do it independently after a stroke. Below are 5 tips to help.
Certain clothing is easier to put on than others. For example, a polo shirt that pulls on over the head is easier to get on than a button-down shirt that requires two hands and finger dexterity to button. And, pants with an elastic waist can be pulled on, eliminating buttons or zippers. Look for shoes that don’t need to be tied, such as loafers or tennis shoes with Velcro. Women may also wish to wear a sports bra that goes on over the head since fastening a bra with one hand can be challenging.
Rather than purchasing a lot of new clothing, consider taking some of the senior’s clothes to a tailor or seamstress who can modify them for easier wear. For example, they could replace zippers with Velcro and buttons with snaps or hooks and eyes. Having clothing modified is usually a less expensive option than purchasing a new wardrobe. Plus, it allows the older adult to continue wearing their favorite clothes and dressing in what they are used to.
You can also purchase adaptive clothing specially made for people with disabilities. Adaptive clothing uses alternate methods for closures, like Velcro or zippers with grab pulls. Some of them close on different parts of the body than usual, which can make it easier for seniors who need assistance dressing. For example, there are shirts that close in the back making it simpler for a family caregiver or senior care provider to slip the garment over the older adult’s arms and close it in the back while they remain seated.