For those living with Alzheimer's and Dementia, the struggle of daily dressing can leave many feeling frustrated and anxious. The way we dress is a means of showing our personality and staying positive, which makes the clothes we choose to wear incredibly important.

Adaptive clothing can help to manage and overcome a variety of dressing difficulties including reduced mobility, lack of strength and cognitive difficulties. Discrete adaptations to clothes can transform lives, give back confidence, provide dignity and help to maintain independence. 

The Alzheimer's recommended clothing range for both women and men has been designed to provide style without the struggle for self dressing and also to ease the process of assisted dressing. 

Here are some of our top tips for easier dressing: 

Choose looser fitting styles

Sleeveless and loose fitting styles make dressing much easier, especially for the role of a carer. Relaxed fitting clothes also ensure all day comfort and the ability to easily layer without feeling restricted.

Wide opening sleeves such as raglan sleeves are perfect for comfortable daytime dressing, with more room for arms if stiffness and rigidity is experienced. For night-time dressing, night shirts and night dresses avoid the struggle of trousers and provide easy movement, making getting ready for bed that bit more relaxing, as it should be. 

Here are a few suggested products:

Womenswear - Lilly Luxury VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners Cape 

Menswear - Andrew Pure Cotton Short Sleeve VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners Nightshirt

Opt for adapted fashion, such as front opening designs and VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners

Overhead dressing can be uncomfortable as well as upsetting for people with Alzheimer's. Opt for fully front opening options, such as cardigans, shirts, nightwear and bras to provide a perfect solution.

Substitute tricky fastenings such as buttons and zips for adaptive alternatives such as VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners. The Able Label offers a vast range of front opening designs with secure VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners designed to open and close with ease, suitable for reduced dexterity and strength.

Short sleeve styles are often the preferred option as for many long sleeve styles can be difficult to dress arms into. For comfortable layering, short sleeve styles provide ease of movement and a more casual feel.

For women, bras can prove particularly tricky, as they traditionally fasten at the back. Front opening options make it a lot easier to reach and to see how to align the fastenings.

Here are a few suggested products:

Womenswear -  Tabatha Short Sleeve Pure Cotton VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners Tee   Front VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners 1020 Comfi Bra

Menswear - Harvey Short Sleeve VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners Casual Check Shirt

Wear comfortable, stretch fabrics

For greater wellbeing, choose fabrics which move with the body rather than against. Super stretch fabrics including jerseys, and viscose with elastane help make getting in and out of clothes much easier. Stretchy fabrics also give greater ease and comfort of movement all day. 

To keep feet happy and to avoid swelling, choose gentle fabric socks such as bamboo for a soft comfortable fit.

Here are a few suggested products:

Womenswear - 

Molly Jersey Waterfall Cardigan 

Imogen Jersey VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners Shirts

Menswear - 

Pete Short Sleeve VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners Polo Top 

Bamboo Gentle Grip Mens Socks

Look for easy care fabrics that last and look good

Non-iron options make clothes easier to look after. They will often contain synthetic fibres so look out for mixes such as poly-cottons that give you the best of both worlds, being easy-care and comfortable. Easy-care fabrics can also be washed at higher temperatures, making them ideal for care homes.

Here are a few suggested products:

Womenswear - Camilla Seersucker Half Sleeve VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners Shirts

Menswear - Men’s Hugo Oxford Velcro Non-Iron Shirt

Discreet scarves to help at mealtimes

Mealtimes may become messier and eating out, especially in crowded restaurants, can cause anxiety. Struggling and being forced to wear bibs can lead to a feeling of loss of dignity. The Able Label Pashminas are not only practical protecting clothes and keeping skin dry but look like part of your clothing. They are pretty and practical. 

Here are a few suggested products:

Pashmina Scarf Style Clothing Protector

Try out adaptive styles with our bundle offers

Individuals living with Alzheimer's may prefer wearing repeat outfits that they are familiar and comfortable with. Buy multiples of the same style and easy to mix and match styles.

Bundle offers can help to save money and time shopping, whilst building an easy to dress staple adaptive wardrobe. 

Here are a few suggested products:

Womenswear - All Women's Bundle Offers 

Menswear - All Men's Bundle Offers


Extra Tips For Easy Dressing to Stay Independent:

Daily dressing can be an enjoyable experience, keep it positive considering the surroundings. Is the room warm enough, light enough, should the curtains be drawn? Go to the toilet beforehand

Dress in a seated position or with the support of a rail or handle, in front of a mirror if possible

Use dressing aids for extra help e.g. long handled shoe horns
Lay outfits out on a plain background. Ensure they aren't inside out and that all fastenings are undone. Arrange the items in the order the person would put the items on

Selecting outfits each day is one small but important personal choice but to reduce the change of confusion or feelings of being overwhelmed, reduce the number of options to just a couple

As long as the outfit choice is not causing any harm, respect the persons choices, even if it is unusual

Allow enough time for dressing each day to make the experience more comfortable and relaxing for everyone involved. This will help to prevent anxiety
It's really important to change clothes regularly, especially if they’re dirty. This can be more challenging for someone living with dementia being resistant or reluctant to get changed. In this situation, Alzheimer's Society recommend that you swap the items out for fresh ones when possible, or let them know you’d love to see them wearing something smart and clean

Welcome help from a carer or loved one if needed, even if just to lay clothes out ready the night before

Wash adapted garments that use VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners with fastenings closed to maintain strength and to avoid the VELCRO® Brand Fastening / Fasteners becoming damaged
Add signs to wardrobes and drawers - a combination of words and pictures can make the labels clearer and easier to understand.
    September 14, 2022

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