Disability and mobility problems present unique challenges for dressing and undressing. I’m all for encouraging independence if possible and so, we approached the clothing challenges as a team. He explained what was difficult for him to do – and we came up with solutions that were paced and appropriate for his needs.
Fortunately – or unfortunately – my dearest had lots of clothes that only needed minor tweaking. Before taking all of his clothes to a tailor in our town, I posted an “ask” on our community resale page to see if there were any stay-at-home moms or people who did sewing projects at home. Luckily, we were introduced to Brenda, a stay-at-home grandma who loves to sew and really helped us come up with unique solutions for the clothes he already had.
When we first started getting the pants tweaked, Brenda would remove the button, sew the button hole closed and attach the button to the front of the pants for aesthetics. On the back, she fitted hook and eye closures that we found on Amazon.
As time went on, we had to adjust the front pant closures because the hook and eye closures were too difficult, those were removed and magnetic snaps we found on Amazon were fitted. What makes these closures easy to use is that the person only needs to get the magnets close together for them to snap in place. There’s no finagling, no frustrated moments when you think you have the hook and eye closure done up – only to find out it’s not.
Almost all his nice, dress pants have the magnetic snap now – and we’ve been pleased with this easy (and cheap) fix.
On a day-to-day basis, my darling wears clothes that are comfortable, breathable, and easy to wash. You might feel pressure to purchase adaptive brand clothing. It’s not necessary. There are plenty of adaptive-ish clothes that you can easily find at any clothing retailer.
Favorites for us include, mesh shorts with an elastic waistband for summer. T-shirts, 90 percent of his are Astro’s themed. In the winter, he frequently uses flannel pajama pants or athletic pants with an elastic waistband AND zippers on the bottom of each leg.
The zippers on the bottoms of each leg are helpful for several reasons.
- You can remove the pants without removing the shoes.
- You can zip and unzip to layer or remove compression socks (or any socks) as needed.
- Adds a little bit of breathability warm legs.
- They look cool – at least I think so.
Some clothing retailers have finally come to understand that their offerings need to be inclusive of those who need adaptive wear.
Companies like Zappos, and Tommy Hilfiger came on board pretty early on. Target now has their own line of adaptive clothing under the “Universal Thread” brand, which is really exciting since the price point will be more accessible to families that are already having to deal with the financial burden of a chronic condition or illness.