Adaptive Clothing for Seniors: Who Really Needs It?

women's adaptive clothing for seniors on a clothes rackThese days, it seems that every other day there’s a new “inclusive” product someone’s trying to get you to buy. So when brands start on about fashion inclusivity for older adults, it can almost sound like Nabisco’s latest marketing ploy. But it isn’t. Adaptive clothing for seniors is the real deal.

What does adaptive clothing mean?

Adaptive apparel is clothing that’s been modified with a specific population in mind. For example, companies that manufacture post-surgery adaptive clothing take things like IV drips into account. The idea is to create a line of apparel that is easy to wear even under less than ideal circumstances. Same thing goes for seniors.

Why would my mom need adaptive clothing for seniors?

She might not. If your mom – or dad – has full mental capacity and total range of motion, then they have absolutely no need for adaptive clothing at all.

If, however, your loved one’s capabilities – physical or mental – are operating at a less than ideal level, adaptive apparel can be a total game-changer.


Let’s look at Cheryl.

Cheryl is 70 years young and has suffered from arthritis for years. She leads as active a lifestyle as she possibly can, but lately buttons and even snaps have become very difficult. So difficult, in fact, that she needs the staff at her residence to help her get dressed and undressed. When Cheryl’s daughter comes to visit, Cheryl tells her how helpless she feels. 

If you’re a caregiver like Cheryl’s daughter, you know how helpless that kind of situation makes you feel. So what can you do about it?


How Adaptive Clothes Close

Cheryl has no problem choosing her outfits. She has no problem with raising her arms or reaching her feet. So all she needs is to solve the issue of how to get her clothing closed.

Fortunately, brands like Silvert’s, Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive, Buck & Buck and more have gotten it all figured out. Look for the following features if your loved one wants to either regain total independence when dressing or, if that’s not possible, to be dressed with minimum help and maximum dignity:

  • Magnetic closures. Tops with magnetic closures – even in the back – are great for seniors who’ve lost dexterity but still have range of motion.
  • Velcro. Jeans, pants and skirts with Velcro closures look just as good as their zippered counterparts and can be opened and closed easily by almost anyone.
  • Back snaps. Tops that have an overlap in the back and close with back snaps are a great option  for maintaining the dignity of seniors who do need assistance.

So when your loved feels like Cheryl, tell them with a smile that when the dressing gets tough, the tough go shopping.

Note: The links above are for informational purposes only. They are not affiliate links and do not represent an endorsement of any product or brand.