Clothes and tips for getting dressed

By changing routines, buying more suitable clothing or using aids such as button hooks, putting on or taking off clothes can be simpler.

Bedroom chair

Keep a chair in the bedroom to sit down while you dress and undress. This can help with any balance problems and makes it easier to put on socks and shoes. A chair with a firm seat and arms will be easier to manage than sitting on the side of the bed, and the arms will help you stand up afterwards. To make the routine as smooth as possible, try to make sure that all clothes are within easy reach of the chair.

Adapted clothing and aids

If you struggle with ordinary buttons and small openings, there is a range of clothing with special features that can help. You might like to consider:

  • magnetic buttons
  • back overflaps
  • slip-resistant shoes
  • elastic shoelaces

There are also many clothing aids available, from dressing sticks to button hooks.

Clothing adaptations and aids

Choosing suitable clothes and footwear can make dressing easier. For example, zips and Velcro are both easier to fasten than small buttons or shoelaces. Easier still are clothes that do not have fastening at all.

Consider these adaptations:

  • magnetic buttons rather than traditional buttons
  • elasticated waist bands
  • Velcro fastenings on shoes instead of laces
  • bras and underwear with front fastenings or side openings

There is also a large range of clothing aids available, including:

  • button hooks, comfortable plastic handles attached to a metal loop, helping to fasten buttons on clothes such as cardigans
  • zip grips to help pull zips up or down
  • dressing sticks, which are wooden sticks with a rubber tip at one end and a double wire hook at the other, used to pull on or push off garments, such as socks, that cannot be reached easily
  • long-handled shoehorns to help with putting on shoes
  • grabber sticks (or pick-up stick), which are not only useful for picking items up off the floor, but also to help pull trousers or underwear over the feet
  • bra angel allows you to manage a bra fastening with the use of one hand

If you have a visual impairment, consider items that can help identify different clothes, such as:

  • audio labellers
  • tactile markers
  • special buttons

Clothes storage tips

  • Avoid tall wardrobes with high rails and low drawers.
  • Wardrobes with sliding doors are easier to open, particularly if you use a walking aid.
  • Think about having a light fitted in the wardrobe if you have problems with your eyesight.
  • Even making small changes to clothing storage systems, such as labelling drawers, can make a big difference.
  • Replace chests of drawer units with wire baskets or clear drawers.

Take your own changing facilities

If you often find there’s nowhere suitable to change teens or even adults when out and about, a great solution can be a portable camping bed. Get one that folds up rather than needing to construct it each time you use it. You will not need to change on the floor. DEMAND Design and Manufacture for Disability

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