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Stroke Dressing Guide | Adaptive Clothing | Easy to Dress | The Able Label


After a stroke, getting back to your daily routine can be a struggle, especially the process of getting dressed. How we dress is a means of showing our personality and staying positiveDiscrete adaptations to clothes can transform lives, give back confidence and help to maintain your independence. Here are some of our top tips for easier dressing.

June 23, 2021 by Felicity Smith
VAT Exempt icon


We are so happy that we can make beautiful, accessible clothes. But, we also like to shout about the fact we can offer VAT relief on the majority of them too. This is because they have been specifically designed to help make dressing easier.

We often get asked how does it work? Am I eligible, is my relative eligible? So we have put together this guide to make it all a little clearer.

VAT exemption logo from HMRC


We have had several people call us for clarification about VAT exemption and whether it applies to them. Others have simply put through orders oblivious to the fact that they may be eligible for VAT exemption on The Able Label clothing. 


We therefore wanted to help explain VAT exemption on our clothes to help with future orders. 


What is VAT exemption?

VAT is a tax that you pay when you buy goods and services as a consumer within the European Union, including the UK. 20% is the standard rate for VAT. H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC) states that “equipment that has been designed solely for people with a disability, chronic or terminal illness or on the adaptation of equipment so they can use it can be VAT exempt”.  This means that they pay the retail price excluding VAT. 


Who is entitled to VAT exemption?

As per HMRC wording, “people with a disability, chronic or terminal illness” can be VAT exempt. Chronically sick means that you have an illness that is likely to last a long time and disabled means substantially and permanently handicapped by illness or injury. Some disabilities covered by this include arthritis, diabetes, lupus, angina, parkinson’s, stroke, dementia, fibromyalgia, MS and ME.


Please be aware that VAT exemption does not apply to a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb. 


The items must not be purchased for the general use of other able-bodied persons, they have to be for the own ‘personal and domestic use’ of the disabled individual.


What items are VAT exempt?

Only products shown with "excl VAT" prices are available for purchase with VAT exemption.


How do I claim?

To claim VAT exemption when placing an order is simple. When you are at checkout follow these steps:



1. Tick the box “I qualify for VAT Exemption”.

2. You will then be prompted to create an account by clicking on the “Create an Account” link. 

3. Complete details fully for all boxes to set up an account, and tick the button to show that you do qualify for VAT Exemption. Go on to complete the extra details fully for the VAT Exempt claimant and then click ‘Create’

4. Your account has now been created so click ‘Take me to my Cart’ to proceed  with the order.

5. For future orders, log in and VAT exemption will automatically be applied.



What HMRC require

The Government requires that you fill in a simple declaration setting out the nature of your disability and/or chronic or terminal illness. We are required to retain a copy of your declaration and it may be passed to HMRC as evidence of your eligibility. 


The Able Label require no proof of your disability or a doctor’s letter, however you need to remember that it is an offence to falsely claim that you or someone you are buying for is eligible for VAT exemption under the guidelines.


What to do now?

If after reading this guide you are still unsure if you or the person you are buying for qualifies for VAT exemption then please read the HMRC guide, consult your doctor for clarification or email us at where we will be happy to help.

World stroke day promotion logo


World Stroke Day 2015

Today is World Stroke Day 2015, which aims to emphasise the serious nature and high rates of stroke. It also aims to raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death in those over 60 years of age and the third leading cause of disability-adjusted life years worldwide.

There are many organisations focusing on different themes today however we have chosen to flag the World Stroke Organizations campaign. It resonates with us as we focus our efforts on providing clothing for women post-stroke, who may now find dressing more difficult as a result of the stroke’s impact on their physical and/or cogitative skills.


‘I am Woman’

The theme for the World Stroke Organization’s World Stroke Day 2015 is ‘I am Woman’. The campaign focuses on women because a woman is: 

  • more at risk of having a stroke.
  • more likely to die from a stroke than a man.
  • less likely to receive acute care and rehabilitation than a man, even though she responds equally well to treatment.
  • more likely to experience a severe decline in cognitive function, and runs a higher risk of post-stroke depression and instutionalisation.
  • more likely than men to experience hypertension, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), diabetes, depression and obesity, all of which increase stroke risk.
  • more likely to take on the caregiving role.


Stroke affects women, stroke affects everyone

There are certain strokes, which are more specific to women with the risk of stroke increased by pregnancy related diabetes, use of the birth control pill and hormonal changes.

The World Stroke Organization’s main aim for the day is to encourage women to make healthier lifestyle choices and get a health check. 


The Able Label Stroke Clothing

Strokes can make daily life more difficult. In particular, dressing can become a struggle. The Able Label specialises in providing quality, comfy, stylish clothing that is all easier to dress. Velcro fastening, wrap around styles and nothing dressed over the head all aid physical difficulties faced when dressing. In addition, we also provide help for the cognitive difficulties that may be faced after a stroke. All styles have colour co-ordinated internals to help prevent items being dressed incorrectly or the wrong way around. Lime is for left and red is for right.

Su wearing The Able Label's 'Su Jersey Wrap Dress'

The Verdict

Su is lives in London and is twenty-four years post stroke. The stroke affected her left side resulting in a fixed flexion in her elbow limiting use of her left arm meaning dressing is with one hand.

Su has tried the clothing and in particular, loved the wrap dress in gingko print navy. She loved it so much, that we decided to name the dress after her. 

She commented on how comfortable the clothes were on and how they were “pretty yet practical”.



More Information

Get involved and help share information about stroke prevention to help avoid preventable stroke and cardiovascular disease.

To find out more about stroke and World Stroke Day, visit World Stroke Organization’s website:


For further information on The Able Label clothing which aims to support survivors by encouraging independence and self-esteem, visit: