9 Ways Adaptive Clothing Can Benefit the Elderly and the Disabled

The term “adaptive clothing” refers to clothing and footwear specially designed for the elderly and people with disabilities. This type of clothing is also commonly recommended for post-surgical patients and anyone who may struggle to dress due to an inability to manipulate closures like zippers and buttons.

Arthritis sufferers, paraplegics, and quadriplegics may also require adaptive clothing. In addition to helping the elderly and disabled dress and undress, adaptive clothing makes the process of dressing and undressing easier for nurses, caregivers, hospice employees, etc.

Adaptive clothing is designed primarily with function in mind. It makes dressing and undressing easier, and some styles allow for easy access to certain parts of the body. This allows wearers to maintain a degree of dignity and self-sufficiency. In many ways, this type of clothing makes life easier for the elderly and the disabled. Let’s take a closer look at the ways adaptive clothing can benefit people who are elderly or disabled.

Increases Independence

Many of us take being able to get dressed in the morning and undressed in the evening for granted. For many elderly individuals and people with disabilities, these daily tasks can create barriers to independence. Adaptive clothing items allow these people to dress and undress without the assistance of someone else. This is extremely beneficial for people who live alone, and it helps boost self-esteem and feelings of independence.

Available for Numerous Situations

One common misconception about adaptive clothing is that it is only designed for people who are confined to wheelchairs or unable to leave their beds. In reality, adaptive clothing is extremely versatile, and there are options that are appropriate for people facing a variety of challenges. Such clothing is available for patients with a wide array of conditions, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, incontinence, multiple sclerosis, and motor neuron disease.

Depending on what condition a patient has, their needs for clothing adaptions vary. People who are unable to fasten closures like buttons or zippers, for example, require clothing that simply slips on. Those who are unable to bend their joints may require clothing with an open back. In some cases, slip on pants are the only piece of adaptive clothing necessary to the patient, giving them the freedom to continue to wear their favorite cotton t shirts or silk sweaters. Adaptive clothing is not a one-size-fits-all solution but rather a collection of items specially designed to make the lives of the elderly and disabled easier.

Provides Access to Medical Devices

With adaptive clothing, patients and caregivers can access medical devices attached to the body without completely removing clothing. This helps preserve dignity while ensuring that such devices can be accessed quickly in emergency situations.

For people who use devices like braces or incontinence garments, adaptive clothing provides the space necessary to accommodate these necessities. This prevents wearers from needing to purchase oversized clothing to ensure there is enough room for the devices they need. Adaptive clothing provides extra space for devices while remaining true to the wearer’s size.


Losing your independence due to age or disability can be devastating and can have a major negative impact on self-esteem. Adaptive clothing allows wearers to retain a sense of dignity and independence, which can improve self-esteem. Many adaptive clothing brands offer clothing that is stylish and looks and feels like “normal” clothes. Wearing nice clothes makes many people feel better about themselves, and being in control of their own dressing and undressing boosts confidence dramatically.

Built to Last

Quality adaptive clothing for elderly and disabled people is designed to hold up to repeated washings. Because these articles of clothing are often worn in hospitals and residential care facilities, they are made of durable materials that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. This ensures that wearers will get several years of use of out their clothing rather than needing to replace it frequently.

Made Using Quality Materials

Elderly and disabled people are often susceptible to skin problems, sores, etc., and wearing the wrong clothing can make these issues worse. High-quality adaptive clothing is made using materials that are not abrasive to sensitive skin. They are also manufactured without fasteners in places where they are likely to cause sores and irritation.

Available in a Wide Range of Sizes

People come in all sizes and shapes. It only makes sense that adaptive clothing should come in all sizes and shapes as well. From petite to plus size, adaptive clothing is available for people with all body types. There are also options for people of all ages.

People with disabilities and older adults often have body types that are not “typical.” Adaptive clothing designers and manufacturers take into consideration and produce clothing that works well on a typical body types.

Improves Safety

Older and disabled individuals often face additional fall risks. Many adaptive clothing pieces are designed to minimize the risk of accidents.For people in wheelchairs, there are options that are designed not to hang near wheelchair wheels or brakes. This helps reduce the risk of wheelchair-related injuries.

Easily Accessible

More and more designers and retailers now offer adaptive clothing, including top brands like Tommy Hilfiger. As adaptive clothing becomes increasingly available through traditional retailers and from known brands, it becomes more accessible to the people who need it.

Some brands, like Target’s Cat & Jack for kids, are available in stores, while other products are available exclusively online. Thanks to the internet, adaptive clothing is never more than a few clicks away. In some instances, adaptive clothing may be covered by insurance or Medicare if prescribed by a physician.

More than 55 million Americans have some type of disability. There is also a large elderly population that sometimes struggles with tasks like dressing and undressing. Adaptive clothing is designed to make life easier for disabled people and the elderly. It allows them to retain their dignity and a sense of self-sufficiency, and it is made to comfortably accommodate many types of special needs. Many manufacturers offer options that look and feel like “normal” clothing, which helps improve self-esteem.

No Fuss Clothing: Easy Wear Apparel Options for Seniors

They say, “with age comes wisdom.”  Unfortunately, things like arthritis, diabetes, and many other health problems also commonly accompany old age, and many elderly people struggle with normal daily tasks like dressing and undressing. These challenges make it harder for some elderly people to maintain their independence and retain a sense of dignity.

Fortunately, there are several no-fuss clothing options for seniors who are looking to dress nicely without the difficulty of wearing traditional clothes. Known as “adaptive clothing,” many of these options are made to look just like “normal” clothes without all of the fuss. Keep reading to learn a bit more about adaptive clothing for seniors and discover some of the most popular no-fuss clothing options.

What Is Adaptive Clothing?

Also known as “adaptive clothes,” adaptive clothing consists of garments and footwear that has been specially designed to meet the needs of the elderly, people with physical disabilities, and post-surgical patients who may be unable to wear standard clothes.

There are many purposes for this type of clothing. In some instances, it provides access to certain parts of the body without removing an entire garment. In others, it is simply made to be easier to put on and take off. Many older people have conditions like arthritis that make it difficult to manipulate fasteners like zippers and buttons. Adaptive clothing designed for these people features elastic waistbands, Velcro closures, magnetic closures, etc. Some adaptive clothes are made with extra room to accommodate medical devices like monitors or braces.

Who Uses Adaptive and Easy Wear Clothing?

Adaptive clothing is worn primarily by people with disabilities and older people. For the elderly, it often provides a no-fuss solution to dressing and undressing. In addition to making the process easier, it can make it safer. Adaptive clothing provides an Easy wear apparel option for seniors who want to look their best without the fuss and hassle of dealing with traditional clothing.

This type of clothing comes in many forms, and it is suitable for people with a wide range of needs. From slight modifications like elastic waistbands to completely restructured clothing intended for people with major mobility issues, there are options to suit nearly anyone.

What Are the Benefits of Easy Wear Clothing?

One of the primary benefits of easy wear clothing is, of course, that it is easy to put on and take off. It typically features strategic openings and closures that are intended to make dressing and undressing as simple and stress-free as possible. Many brands offer easy wear and adaptive clothing options that are very similar to traditional clothing in appearance. This helps wearers feel confident, and having access to comfortable, fashionable clothing can improve self-esteem. For many people, clothing that is easy to wear helps the wearer maintain independence and avoid needing help with the personal tasks of dressing and undressing.

Easy wear clothing is designed to feel like normal clothes as well, and it is made to withstand repeated wearing and washing.

Common Types of Easy Wear Clothing

Easy wear and adaptive clothing come in many forms. From outerwear to undergarments, it is possible to find just about every type of apparel in an easy-to-wear option. Some of the most common types of easy wear clothing include:

Rear Closure Tops

Rear closure tops provide comfort and dignity for elderly people in wheelchairs and those who are unable to get out of bed. Rather than pulling over the head, they slip over the arms and snap closed in the back. Most feature a generous overlap in the back for modesty, and the front is designed to look like a normal top. Made from soft, comfortable materials, they also work well for people with sensitive skin.

Elastic Waist Pants

Fussing with buttons and zippers is a hassle for everyone. Most types of pants—even jeans—are available in designs featuring elastic waistbands. Elastic waistbands make pants much easier to pull on while eliminating possible discomfort from a front button.

Velcro Closure Shirts

If you love the look of a classic button-down blouse but struggle with fastening and unfastening buttons, shirts with Velcro Brand closures are an ideal option. These shirts are designed with Velcro tabs on cuffs and placket for easy closure. Traditional buttons are sewn on the placket, however, to provide a more traditional look. You can also create your own DIY Velcro closure shirt using your favorite cotton t shirt or polo.

Easy Wear T Shirts

T shirts work well for many elderly people. Their simple design means that there are no buttons or zippers to worry about, and various styles allow shoppers to find options that suit their needs. T shirts with wider neck openings often work well for people who struggle to pull tighter shirts over their heads. For those with limited mobility, snapback styles are also available.

Magnetic Closure Shirts

Like shirts with Velcro closures, magnetic closure shirts provide the style of a classic button-down shirt without the hassle of needing to fasten buttons. Unlike Velcro, however, magnets do not collect lint in the wash. These shirts feature magnets behind decorative buttons. The magnets are strong enough to keep the shirt closed but are easy to open when needed. These shirts are ideal for many people, but they should not be worn by those with pacemakers.

Easy Wear Shoes

Easy wear or adaptive shoes are also popular among elderly people. Some options fasten with Velcro while others simply slip on. They are designed to be put on with ease, and many offer additional features to help with common problems like edema, bunions, etc.

Easy wear apparel provides the perfect no-fuss solution for seniors who want to look their best without spending a lot of time dealing with dressing and undressing. Many top brands offer fashionable easy wear solutions that are as stylish as they are comfortable and convenient. Opting for easy wear or adaptive clothing makes life easier for the elderly and helps preserve their dignity and independence.

Author Bio: Jenny has been managing marketing campaigns in the glamorous world of wholesale t-shirts for 7 years. She can coordinate a tradeshow and get the holiday cards out on time while planning the spring Facebook campaigns. Jenny has a young family and great group of loved ones she spends her free time with. She also loves cats, coffee, and book club!