The need for adaptive clothing amongst seniors is at an all-time high. In fact, experts predict that the industry is set to exceed $390 billion by 2026, coming from $100 billion in the year 2017.
The catalyst for this market boom is the increasing number of people, particularly older people with special needs, looking for simpler dressing options. After all, the decline in physical ability brought about by aging is not something you can ignore. Research indicates that even generally healthy adults with mild dexterity issues already have trouble with self-dressing.
Fortunately, the development of senior-friendly clothes is no longer limited to adaptive clothing companies. These days, even famous fashion brands such as Nike and Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive have their own clothing lines marketed toward older men and women. Available clothing designs consist of a wide range of options from button-down shirts with magnetic buttons to side-parting dresses with strap-type closures.
Still having trouble understanding what adaptive, senior-friendly clothes are for or how they make dressing easier? Check out our in-depth guide on the different adaptive clothing line options available to older adults!
Blazers are some of the hardest pieces of clothing to wear if you suffer from dexterity complications such as Parkinson's disease or rheumatoid arthritis. Snapping buttons into their respective holes isn't easy if you can't even pinch your fingers together.
Fortunately, the Tommy Plaid Blazer addresses such concerns. It's a classic glen plaid jacket equipped with magnetic buttons. With this piece, you can easily glide the buttons in place without using much gripping force.
The Nike Flyease is one of the best active footwear clothing for men, women, and even children with physical disabilities. What makes it senior-friendly is its easy-to-use, hook-and-loop, Velcro-lined strap. Not only does this strap make wearing the shoes easier, but it also prevents the issues of laces getting undone while you're walking.
Studies show that men are more prone to lower body dexterity issues than women are. Fortunately, NBZ offers these straight-leg pants. These have no zippers and no buttons, so you'll simply have to pinch the straps or elastic bands to put on and take off these pants.
Diabetic seniors looking for comfortable footwear can check out these slippers by Silverts. They have an elastic band and closure that's not just easy to wear but also doesn't hurt swollen or inflamed ankles.
Having trouble lifting your arms? This dri-fit shirt by Reboundwear has a side-parting zipper that allows patients and the elderly to put on the shirt like a jacket. This way, they won't have to rely on shoulder mobility as much.
Having an array of adaptive clothing to choose from is exciting. However, for first-timers, being faced with too many clothing choices can also be overwhelming and intimidating. Should you go with the first clothing line you see online? Should you just head straight to Target and see what's on the racks?
The best approach here is to carefully assess your or your senior relative's needs and explore the available clothing options. As we mentioned, there are dozens of choices on the market, but you don't need to rush making a decision.
To ensure you find the perfect clothing option for your needs, we suggest taking these factors into consideration:
Adaptive clothing is designed specifically so that getting dressed is a breeze. On that note, different clothing garments have varying features: some may have Velcro closures, while others may have an open back. It's best to go for fit clothing that address the specific issues or problems you or your relatives are facing.
Functional, ergonomic features are great but don't forget about the design. There are multiple fashionable brands that create stylish adaptive clothes for the elderly, wheelchair users, and PWDs. You don't necessarily have to go with a tacky set.
For seniors who live in nursing homes or follow an assisted living setup, you can consult with the caregivers who take care of them. These women and men are the ones in charge of their clothing—they know the client best. Ask them what the senior patients need help with the most then look for adaptive clothes that address those issues specifically.
Every person has a specific dressing process. With that thought in mind, there's no one-size-fits-all approach to building an adaptive clothing and footwear wardrobe. It's all about finding what suits you or your aging loved ones best.
Contrary to popular belief, not all adaptive apparel pieces are expensive. These garments might cost a bit more since each piece was specially crafted, but there are cheaper options. If you're looking to build a wardrobe that makes dressing easier without spending more than a few hundred bucks, opt to shop at Target or Etsy.
On the other hand, those who are willing to invest more than a grand can opt for fashionable adaptive clothing from bigger brand lines such as Tommy Adaptive, Zappos Adaptive, and IZ Adaptive. These aren't the cheapest. However, these senior- and sensory-friendly clothing are guaranteed comfortable and fashion-forward.
Research shows that the adaptive clothing market valued at $278 billion in 2017, and is projected to exceed $390 billion by 2026.
Many seniors have trouble with the simple task of getting dressed. These issues are the result of underlying complications and physical impairments that limit one's overall strength, dexterity, and mobility.
Senior-friendly clothes are pieces of clothing made to help older women and men dress and undress by themselves. If you're looking for stylish shirts and pants, opt for Tommy Hilfiger. If you want comfortable shoes with Velcro-type closures, opt for Nike.
If adaptive clothing isn't enough to help you or your senior loved one, consider hiring caretakers. We have multiple resources that explain how older adults can look for caregivers to assist them with their daily needs. Check out our resources on senior living today!