The Able Label Blog
This International Men's Day, we are celebrating individuality, unique style and helping to support independence when it comes to menswear daily dressing.
For every man a shirt can help to empower and reflect his personality. For those with dressing difficulties, adaptive easy-to-dress fastenings can further help to maintain independence and boost his confidence each day.
The Kent County Show is an annual event showcasing farming, countryside and rural life. The show brings together the very best of Kent with animals and food, fun and excitement and above all, a flavour of what ’The Garden of England’ has to offer. The three-day event saw over 90,000 visitors, 400 exhibitors and trade stands and over 300 competitions, activities and displays this year.
The Able Label proudly exhibited with a stand in The Wrinkly Roadshow Hub Marquee. A brand new addition at the Kent County Show this year, the hubs aim was to provide advice, information and support in order to maintain independent living. All those with stands in the marquee had the same goal of helping people to live independent lives.
Exhibitors showing alongside The Able Label clothing included:
CROP – a charity setup to help with citizen rights for older people as well as with technology or any problem that may require a second opinion or some intervention from an experienced volunteer to help out
Home Instead Senior Care - supporting loved ones to stay safe at home without losing any personal freedom. This leaves family members feeling happy and confident that their loved ones are enjoying the highest standards of care at all times
The Family Funeral Service in Maidstone – a small independent funeral company
Argo Life & Legacy – provides advice, guidance and support to help you plan for the future whilst dealing with the present. Wanting to help you achieve your wishes, lighten the stress and strain that comes with age, affluence or ill health.
Audley Homes – retirement villages that enable you to stay firmly in control, with complete freedom and independence to live the life you choose. Own your own retirement home, in a beautiful and secure environment, without having to give up the things you love, including your pets. Plus, you have the added luxury of having your gardens and property maintained for you.
Domus Live-In Care – offers a professional, reliable service, providing 24 hour care and support to clients in the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own homes
Centra – have a wide range of care and support services to protect their customers’ individual needs, safety and independence. Through their breadth and depth of experience and resources, they deliver quality services to meet individual needs
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services – a not for profit charitable organisation that aims to enable people with dementia to remain in their own home for as long as possible
Oakhouse Foods – with a reputation for quality, great value and a caring service, they have become one of the country’s favourite ready meal services delivering food straight to your door.
The Garden of England Homecare – aims to raise the standards and quality of social care provision in Kent, by providing the highest quality of care to all their service users regardless of status in accordance with the Equalities Act 2010.
It was great fun showing alongside all of these exhibitors, learning more about the great services they offer to encourage independence.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to those of you who were able to come down and see us at the show. It was a fantastic event, which enabled us to let more people know about the range of easier dressing clothes we provide to encourage independence and grow self-confidence through self-dressing.
If you know anyone who may benefit from The Able Label’s range of adaptive clothing, please help to share our details:
Mothers (and not forgetting Grandmothers) Day is just 10 days away.
Founder Katie tells us how truly inspirational her grandmother has been and how her grandmother triggered the launch of The Able Label clothing.
As a buyer at White Stuff, we’d pride ourselves on creating beautiful, quality clothes that made people happy wearing them. Never did I consider the large numbers of women who found dressing into many high street clothes difficult, or just impossible.
You don’t appreciate the difficulties some people face dressing, until you yourself have experienced or seen it first hand – I certainly didn’t. My grandmother had Parkinson’s and with it lacked strength and dexterity, had reduced mobility and also faced cognitive difficulties.
She’d always tell me how much she hated my grandfather helping her to dress, feeling she was. Losing her dignity. She was also certainly not willing to sacrifice her style either taking great pride in what she wore. It really was a big part of her identity and she did not want to lose this.
From seeing my grandmothers need and going on to speak to many other women in the same position as her, The Able Label was created to bridge the gap between fashion and function.
The Able Label clothes have two key rules:
- no overhead dressing
- no fiddly fastenings
We also use quality, easy care fabrics with high stretch to make dressing easier and have colour coordinated internals to help dress items the right way if you have cognitive difficulties. This is all whilst maintaining style and comfort.
I remember trying clothes on my grandmother to gain feedback and after checking she didn’t mind me doing so, she replied,
No dear, if you can help one other person in the same situation as me, you do what you have to do.
This still resonates with me today and is a key driver behind why we do what we do.
Had it not been for my grandmother, we may never have started the business. She has made us so passionate about helping others to maintain their style and identity as well as independence and dignity.
Like we achieved at White Stuff, The Able Label is making people happy wearing our clothes but, for a whole different reason.
Happy mothers day Grandma, I hope you’re looking down on us with a big smile having seen how far we have grown the business in your name!
To find out more on The Able Label, see our 'About Us' page by clicking here.
If you would like to contact us directly you can:
Phone: 01622 744242 // Email: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we could be giving them a mention in the next section!
Spreading Awareness for World Osteoporosis Day 2015
Today is World Osteoporosis Day, and at The Able Label, we feel it’s important to raise awareness and support organisations helping the very people that our products were designed to benefit.
Please help us spread this information, to let people know what Osteoporosis is, how it affects people and what Osteoporosis Day is about.
The key theme for this year is a call to us all - the majority of people not getting the recommended daily allowance of calcium, vitamin D and protein.
What is Osteoporosis?
Bone health begins in the womb so good nutrition is key to strong bones throughout life. As a child, bones grow and repair very quickly however this process slows, as you get older.
Osteoporosis is a fairly common condition, which weakens bones making them fragile and more likely to break. It affects around 3 million people in the UK, with the most common types of breaks that can affect people being wrist, hip and vertebrae fractures.
What is Osteoporosis Day?
World Osteoporosis Day takes place on 20th October every year and is organised by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF). It aims to raise global awareness of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.
Osteoporosis Day 2015
Nutrition across all ages is the theme this year with the majority of people not getting the recommended daily allowance of calcium, vitamin D and protein. These are all crucial to bone health.
The big 3: key nutrients for building stronger bones:
- Vital for strong bones and is a major building block of our skeleton.
- Essential for healthy nerve and muscle function.
- Your body will take calcium from bones and weaken them if you do not supply your body with the amount it needs.
- Calcium is most commonly available through milk and other dairy foods.
- For those who are unable to eat dairy products, other food sources include green vegetables like broccoli and curly kale; whole canned fish; nuts and tofu.
2.) Vitamin D
- Key in helping the body to absorb calcium from the intestines and ensuring the correct renewal and mineralisation of bone.
- Risk of falls reduced as muscle strength and balance improved
- UV-B rays in sunlight can make this in the skin.
- It is recommended that individuals should try to get 10-20 minutes of sun exposure to bare skin outside peak sunlight hours daily without sun cream (taking care not to burn).
- Oily fish; egg yolk and liver are also sources of vitamin D.
- Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets and lead to ‘softening’ of the bones.
- Essential amino acids, which support bone building, are provided to the body by protein.
- Skeletal growth can be affected as well as the preservation of bone mass with ageing due to insufficient protein.
- Reduced muscle mass and strength can come from lack of protein leading to increased risk of falls.
- Protein supplements can help reduce post-fracture bone loss, medical complications and rehabilitation stay in hospital of hip fracture patients.
Old Age and Osteoporosis – sustain mobility and independence
Preventative measures including a healthy diet will lower the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures. Calcium levels can lower as you age as consumption may be reduced with decreased appetite or illness; decreased absorption into the intestines and decreased calcium retention by the kidneys. Levels of vitamin D may be lower due to reduced sunlight exposure being housebound; decreased function of the skin to take in vitamin D.
Dietary protein is needed to maintain physical function in older people. It has also been seen to reduce risk of complications and rehabilitation time of those with hip fractures. Those aged over 50 who have suffered a fall from standing height or less should be tested for osteoporosis.
If you would like to know more about World Osteoporosis Day, take a look at the official website: http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org.