The Able Label Blog
We are fortunate enough at The Able Label to have the opportunity of crossing paths with many people and organisations who’s care and support goes above and beyond, making a significant impact on peoples lives. We felt it would only be fair to honour some of these often unsung care heroes within our new section, ‘Care Heroes’.
Founder Katie is all too familiar with the challenges and also rewards involved with caring for someone. It was when her nan needed a carer whilst Katie’s mother (the sole-carer for her nan) recovered from a serious operation that she decided the time was right to take on the role as a carer.
Katie’s nan lives at home independently at the grand age of 94 and was adamant she didn’t want to go into a care home but knew she still needed some help to maintain as much independence as possible. Katie left her job at fashion retailer White Stuff to become her carer whilst her mother recovered.
At the same time, Katie began work on her dream, establishing The Able Label with the aim of encouraging independence and self-confidence through clothing. Whilst caring for her nan, she quickly realised the need for stylish adaptive clothing wasn’t solely amongst those with a disability, like Parkinson’s which her grandmother had, and where she first spotted the need. It was also through the general changes, which come through ageing. Her nan has reduced range of movement like getting her arms over her head and limited feeling in her finger tips affecting her fine motor skills which all make dressing a challenge. The Able Label sought to overcome these very common challenges to make the daily dressing routine quicker, easier and safer for those in the same situation as her nan – wanting to remain independent but still look good too.
You can see Katie's proud nan modeling one of the lovely, best selling Imogen Jersey Shirts in the image above. It is much easier for her to get on and off as there is no over head dressing involved and no fiddly fastenings as buttons are for display only. The shirt is fastened securely using velcro which can be touched closed and requires less strength and dexterity to open than other fastenings.
Someone else who has been moved by a person experience into care is Symone Salwan. Previously a successful carer in management, she left her job to run the Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge branch of Home Instead. You can read more about her and the great work Symone and Home Instead do by reading the Home Instead Senior Care blog. Home Instead Senior Care is part of a worldwide organisation providing high-quality care for older people - you can read more about them on the Home Instead website here. Had Katie not been able to care for her nan as she did in this situation, Home Instead care certainly would have been an option keeping her nan as independent as possible in the comfort of her own home where she wanted to remain.
If you have a ‘care hero’ who you feel deserves to be honored, please let us know by emailing email@example.com and we could be giving them a mention in the next section!
What is an Occupational Therapist (OT)?
We take most daily activities for granted. These could be simple things like shopping and getting dressed, or more complex things like raising children or studying. For some individuals however, being unable, or finding it difficult, to do these things, can have a huge impact on our quality of life. This is where the assistance of a qualified occupational therapist (OT) comes in.
The British Association of Occupational Therapists, refer to therapy provided by specially trained, qualified staff “who help people of all ages who are suffering from physical, mental or social problems as a result of an accident, illness or ageing to do the things they want to do.”
How can The Able Label help OT’s?
The Able Label clothes are all specifically designed to make dressing easier. However, where we are different from other adaptive clothing companies is that we also consider quality, comfort and style. By creating the perfect blend of function and fashion, The Able Label is helping OT’s to fulfil their role of helping those they work with to the things they want.
The clothes encourage independence with the easier Velcro fastenings and colour co-ordinated internals whilst boosting confidence as individuals feel comfortable, able to maintain their style and this shows.
All styles have been through rigorous focus group testing with those who would benefit from the clothing as well as OT’s.
Some of the key features of the range include:
- All clothes are eligible for VAT relief
- Velcro fastenings
- No overhead dressing
- Trousers pull on in regular and short leg
- Extra long, hidden zips at cuff on cardi and hem on trouser for easier access
- All styles available in sizes 8–22
- Colour co-ordinated internals to help cognitive difficulties
- Breathable fabric with extra stretch for comfort
- Easy to mix and match creating different outfits from only a few items
- Quicker, easier and safer dressing for carers assisting with dressing
Find out more on how The Able Label clothing can benefit OT’s and the individuals they support by visiting our website: http://www.theablelabel.com.
The OT Show
The Able Label will be showing alongside Access Independent at the OT Show 25th – 26th November. We will be on stand B34 and even have a catwalk planned at 10:15am both days in the Innovation Theatre. If you are there, come and visit the stand and catwalk. We would love the opportunity to show you the benefits of the clothing first-hand!
We are also looking for OT ambassadors. If you are about to move into or already in the independent sector and are looking for an add-on, we would love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Otherwise we hope to see you at the OT Show!