WHERE IS THE CARE ARTICLE – Adaptive clothing can really help!

We want to tell you about some of the specialist clothing we were forced to source when we saw care provided to our mum, Renee, could have been provided in a kinder, healthier and common sense way. There are a lot of items of clothing to enable independent living and assist dressing with the aim to make getting dressed easier and less painful for both the wearer and carer.

This involved observing mum seeming to be cold in bed. We were told she wasn’t but clearly she was. We sourced some soft, warm bedjackets. Short so easy to get on and when mum’s top part of body was out of the bed kept her warm. There are also fleecy capes.

We were told by a home that she could not wear normal knickers and be hoisted, this was untrue, later when hoisting on my own in our own family home I could do this. We however found that side opening knickers existed and had them adjusted to fit her. Make sure the fasteners are not too hard and don’t dig into your relative’s side when they are laying on them. We had our adjusted so they were slightly forward of the hip.

There are a number of back opening items of clothing and side fastening clothing that can also assist greatly – nighties (good for incontinence), bedclothes, trousers, tops, even jogging bottoms and lovely matching tops so check these out.

There are open back trousers help those who are immobile or wheelchair bound whilst maintaining their dignity at all times. They have a loose fit that is ideal for drainage bags as well as for better comfort.

To protect heels and body prominences there are sheepskin blankets and heel protectors to aid with pressure care,we had these for mum especially when in a wheelchair when there is pressure sores on heels and we need to protect these as much as possible and also when shoes can’t be worn and to protect from feet being knocked on wheelchair footplates.

In one care home mum was always cold, we thought this was her health, it wasn’t, it wasn’t warm enough. Thermal socks help. Also fingerless thin thermal gloves and arm warmers that come just past the wrist can keep cold hands warmer.

There are items such as magnetic closing shirts for fingers that have less dexterity, belts that look like normal buckles but are velcro fixing and thumbless mittens. Also items ideal for wheelchairs users who cannot move their arms easily such as smart capes/ponchos and padded seat cushions and arm cushions, we had cushions for mum as with her brain haemmorhage she leaned to one side and pressed down on the wheelchair arms, but even without this one tends to rest ones arms on the wheelchair arms and this can be uncomfortable, especially if you have some sensory impairment and you don’t always know when to move your arm when there is some pressure on it.

Many items of adative clothing can be purchased VAT exempt for eligible disabled or ill customers living with long term sickness or physical disabilities.