Arthritis Dressing Guide
How we dress is a means of showing our personality and staying positive. For those living with Arthritis, the struggle of daily dressing can leave many feeling stressed and worn out.
Adaptive clothing can help to manage and overcome a variety of dressing difficulties including reduced finger dexterity and joint discomfort. Discrete adaptations to clothes can transform lives, give back confidence, provide dignity and help to maintain independence.
The Arthritis 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;
Loose & Wide Fitting Shapes
Looser fitting styles with wider openings will make dressing much easier, and more comfortable. Relaxed clothing can provide all day comfortable and stylish layering 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. Sleeveless styles are even more ideal if you would prefer avoiding sleeves all together!
For night-time dressing, nightshirts and nightdresses avoid the struggle of trousers and provide easy movement, making getting ready for bed that bit more relaxing.
Front Opening Velcro Designs
To avoid uncomfortable overhead dressing, especially if you experience stiffness, fully front opening options, such as shirts and nightwear provide a perfect solution.
For those with arthritis in the hands and fingers, fastenings such as buttons and zips can prove particularly tricky, substitute these for adaptive alternatives such as Velcro. The Able Label offers a vast range of front opening designs with secure Velcro fastenings designed to open and close with ease, suitable for reduced dexterity and strength.
For an easier grip on your clothing with zips, apply a zipper pull which can help you 'hook' your fingers through.
For women, bras can prove particularly difficult, as they traditionally fasten at the back. Front opening bras make it a lot easier to reach and grip onto the fastenings. Choose Velcro fastening bras for added ease of touch closures.
Comfortable Stretch Fabrics
For greater well-being and comfort, 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 an easy feel and comfort of movement all day.
To keep feet happy, warm and to avoid swelling, choose gentle fabric socks such as bamboo for a soft comfortable fit.
When looking for outerwear, bulky fastenings and stiff fabrics can make dressing into very restricting. Slippery and silky lining in clothing can help you to slide on styles without having to manoeuvre limbs too much.
Extra Tips For Easy Dressing >
- Prep ahead, if you tend to be less stiff in the evening get your outfit ready for the next morning so that you can get up and go
- Dress in a seated position or with the support of a rail or handle, in front of a mirror if possible
- Choose comfortable and well fitting clothing
- Use dressing aids for extra help e.g. long handled shoe horn
- Welcome help from a carer or loved one if needed, even if just to lay clothes out ready the night before
- Wash Velcro adapted garments with fastenings closed to maintain strength and to avoid Velcro damage.