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My father is going to assisted living and I wanted to get him some clothes or any items to make it easier to give him care. He has trouble dressing himself. I am getting him tearaway pants, since he has issues going to the bathroom and wears adult diapers. I am sewing velcro in his long sleeve shirts so they are easier to fasten.


Are there any other items that would help like a certain style of undershirts; he gets cold easily but hates wearing clothes that are heavy? Many thanks!

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I bought my father gadgets to help him dress himself - button loops, long shoehorns, suspenders - none of which worked out for him. He wanted to wear normal clothing and in fact, he was treated better when he did. Of course, we did have to get rid of the belt but I found jersey elastic waist pants that looked nicer than sweats and washed up well. Zippers work better than buttons. Polartec is warm and lightweight. The aids actually matched his clothing better than when he dressed himself. One area overlooked too long was shoes/socks. He had been wearing very old shoes that were too small and socks that were too tight. He liked bulky socks and the aids put him in lighter weight ones, which might make it easier to feel the ground. Stopped wearing pullover sweaters.
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Reply to Invisible
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If you go on the computer and enter adaptive clothing and equipment, you should find lots of information regarding clothing as well as items that make life easier for someone who needs assistance with their activities of daily living. You could also contact an occupational therapist for suggestions. The facility could provide you with information regarding speaking with an occupational therapist. They also may have information regarding adaptive equipment or clothing.
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Reply to Peanuts56
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Elastic pants.
Tops that can be layered (think short sleeve top and then sweater or light weight jacket).
Velcro sneakers (slippers might cause the elder to fall).
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Cotton and polyester is brrrr cold to wear unless it’s got that foamy spongy stretchy feel to the fabric. That’s what makes it have the breathable texture to the fabric and does not feel cold. I got my mom this type of stretchy type thick spongy fleece made of rayon and acrylic blend or poly blend and made sure that the elastic waist was narrow and NOT wide and thick otherwise it’s hard to pull down fast enough from around the waist unless he’s got no extra weight.
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Reply to truthbetold
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Obviously pull up pants, Velcro 👞 shoes, and shirts a little bigger than previously worn. My experience has been that these people w dementia stay cold, so long sleeves and long pants are a good idea.
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Reply to MaryLagen1
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Choose inexpensive but good quality pieces that can stand up to frequent washing and high-temperature drying. Your loved one will need 8-10 pairs on pull-on pants and pullover tops or shirts. Athletic pants and long-sleeved polo shirts work very well. Be sure colors of all items are compatible, as caregivers and staff will not try to match pieces. Pants must be roomy enough to fit a diaper or pull-on incontinence brief. Remove tags, labels and any care tags as these can cause skin tears. All items should be marked with your loved one’s full name in permanent marker. You can expect items to be lost during laundering, so check clothing, socks, pajamas etc regularly. Don’t leave any valuable items in drawers or closet. Jewelry or reading glasses if any should be inexpensive and childproof.
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Reply to joyce1golds
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elastic band pants, shirts that use Velcro fasteners instead of buttons (or sew Velcro in place of buttons and sew the buttons to the fronts for "buttoned up" look), easy fitting shirts that he can pull over his head himself, there are "grabbers" for items on shelves that can also be used to help put on socks, slip on shoes. Please have him "test drive" items before he goes to ALF.
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Reply to Taarna
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When it was difficult for my husband to dress, we found some athletic trousers that had elastic waists. You can find these without the bright stripes on the legs if you look around. We just cut off the ties that many of them have since he didn't need them and it eliminated any danger from them.This was a real transfer from him since he always wore bib overalls, and only had slacks when he was really dressing up!!

Instead of button front shirts, knit polos worked well and we could find short sleeves for summer and long sleeves for winter. He still wears this kind of garment at the care center and always looks neat.

Ruth
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Reply to Rutucker
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You'll find unique & easy closures for pants, pull-overs, p.j.s at CareZips.com, Aliumadaptive.com, and dignitypajamas.com to make life much easier for all. CareZips will help with the easier, faster change of an adult brief. These options will not be found at Silverts or Buck & Buck. Good luck.
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Reply to CareZips
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I've shopped for my dad at Silverts. They have a "shop by need" section that is kind of cool.
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Reply to SofiaAmirpoor
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Water shoes are non-slip and warm because they are rubber; they also provide more protection to the foot than slippersox or sox with bottom gripping strips. If he resists wearing anything other than the belt and zipper sort of pants, suspenders helped in making toileting faster for Spouse, just slide them off the shoulders and sit down. I do agree with a nightshirt or kilt or lavalava for ease in dressing, though. I just don't know any guy who would wear one as a regular thing, outside of actually being bedridden, in the case of a hospital gown or "nightshirt."
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Reply to pronker
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Google Buck & Buck online. They specialize in clothing for people with dementia and Alzheimers.
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Reply to Kindnessandlove
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Jillie1 Nov 29, 2019
I get everything from Buck and Buck
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There are stretchy shoestrings to use in lace up shoes so they function like pull-on shoes. Socks with the non-slip stuff on the bottom are useful; they may make some regular shoes (with a tight fit) harder to put on but they work fine with slippers. For elders who get up at night and need to wear socks to keep their feet warm, the non-slip socks may prevent a fall.

A personal sound amplifier with corded earplugs may help. The handheld amplifier has larger and easier to handle buttons (compared to hearing aids) and the elder can put the earplugs in as they want. My father would pull the plugs out whenever he wanted a nap or a break from the general noise in his MC. It uses one AAA battery which is much easier to swap out than any set of hearing aid batteries.

My father liked a personal DVD player to watch old cowboy movies and listen to CDs of audible books and music. I used a permanent gold colored marker to initial the player and DVDs/CDs I left with my father so they were easy to identify as his.

I found small plastic storage boxes to be helpful too - from index card to shoe box sized. My father could put small items like chap stick, kleenex, or his DVDs in them to keep things neat and put the box in his lap to take stuff out. When he moved from bed to chair, he often took the small box with him. Make sure the lids are not too hard to get off. There are some "super stacker" boxes with lids that set on and have fold up latches on each end that work really well.

An led floor lamp with a flexible head and dimable light is great by the table or bed. The on/off switch is slightly lit when the lamp is off so it's easy to find it in the dark. It comes on at the last light level and holding the switch down cycles it from bright to dim.
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Reply to TNtechie
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Also you can google  Smart Adaptive Clothing, Philadlephia P.
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Reply to thepianist
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Shoes and slippers that are easy to do up. The trouble with slip-ons is that they either slip off, too, or they're too tight for the person to put on unassisted. So ones with Velcro fastenings are better.

The other tip for your father's being able to put on his own socks and shoes is a footstool or step that he can keep under his bed. It is amazing how much easier it is to put your shoe on if you can rest your foot just those 9-12 inches above the ground.

With clothes, I'd avoid adaptations that will stop things looking and feeling familiar to him. It's better to stick to the styles he's used to so that muscle memory can play its part in helping him.

I shouldn't bother with the tearaway pants (unless he has an awful lot of soiling accidents?), but do get him the kind of diapers that you tear open at the sides to remove - they're a godsend, and much more comfortable for the person as well.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Buck & Buck is a company that makes assistive clothing
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Reply to Dunteachn
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Mom has issues walking so I have a portable commode next to her bed and a shoe rack hanging behind her door so for this arrangement, furniture may have to be rearranged. The shoe rack holds her Depends, baby wipes, toilet paper and bags for the garbage (Dollar Tree 4 gal.) Mom can stand, pivot and sit on her comode. I can easily clean out and grab the bag for the trash. She also has hand sanitizer, baby powder, disposable chucks for her bed. Mom has several throws not full blanket which are easier to wash if soiled. I hang them in her closet for easy grab. I buy mom outfits I put together from local Goodwill. Like new but without the $$ tag. She loves them. I would suggest Dad simply long john top and socks. the bottom portion needs to be easy to pull down for bathroom like sweat pants. He is in the house. Dad may be from the era of pants up to the chest and a belt but this is about independence. The better independent Dad is, the easier life is for daughter. Good Luck.
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Reply to commutergirl
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Use Velcro sparingly (or choose alternatives - large plastic zippers, large buttons, easy snaps). Lighter weight Velcro is ineffective. The heavier type gets stuck on everything, increasing snags and frustration.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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Invisible Nov 30, 2019
Totally agree. I hate Velcro closures on jackets, sleeves as I always catch on everything.
(1)
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Velcro or zippers closures on clothes rather than buttons. Pullover tops can be difficult unless the collar is room enough or has a few buttons. Non-tie shoes, velcro closings or slip-ons. Warm sweaters and socks. Nightshirts rather than PJs, even for men (unless they find this objectionable). Purses with shoulder straps for carrying. Long-handle shoe horns. Elastic waists or drawstrings on slacks or skirts.

Some residents in LTC may not want to change from what they're used to, at least not all at once, and of course respecting their wishes is paramount. But some people may be open to types of clothing suggested above, Whatever makes it easier for the person to dress herself is better. Whatever is easier for the aide to help with is better. Ease of use and comfort are important insofar as the person's personal choice is respected.
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Reply to thepianist
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Just discovered this company... have warm, xwarm, xxwarm thermals, non-slip socks, joint warmers, etc.
The slipper socks are really warm.

https://www.heatholders.com/
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Reply to Lea2019
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There are many assistive devices that will help your dad dress himself. Having just had a hip replacement, I used several. There are devices to help a person put on socks when they can’t bend over. There are dressing hooks that help a person put on pants and shirts. Also my dad used a device that helped him pull a button through his shirt cuffs. These are all available at a medical supply store, Amazon and some at Walgreens. My dad (and I) found a long handled grabber invaluable if one isn’t able to bend over to pick things up off the floor. Place his socks and underwear in a drawer that is waist level and have a bench or chair nearby where he can sit to get dressed. Be sure he has a place to sit down in his shower and a long handled brush or sponge to reach his feet and legs or back. I also had a chair in his bathroom where he could sit down to dry off in case he got dizzy. An occupational therapist would also be someone who is trained to help people be as independent as possible and yet safe. Sometimes an AL facility can recommend someone for a visit, or his physician can. Put his clothing shoes etc. where it makes sense for ease of dressing and safety.
as far as clothing to stay warm, fleece vests and fleece jackets were favored by my dad.
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Reply to Harpcat
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My husband liked to wear jogging suits with either a t-shirt or golf shirt. The pants just pulled on. He also worr only slip on shoes - no more laces or Velcro.
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Reply to Franklin2011
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My dad and FIL went to sweatpants and sweatshirts at the EOL. They were always cold, so they like them. When dad had to be catharized, we got a hospital gown and using that as a pattern, made several out of 'manly' fabric. Mom thought he'd like cartoon characters, I told her to made them neutral or with a small innocuous print so spills wouldn't show. They were very comfortable and made for ease of changing the cath and taking his vitals.

Florida is right about the length!!! My mom has had to dump haf her wardrobe. She is so bent over, her dresses and skirts all drag on the floor. we've had to be creative to keep her rear end covered, but also her knees. Anything that touches the floor in the front doesn't cover her behind. (Yes, she's that stooped over).
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Reply to Midkid58
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Make certain any bathrobe is on the short side.  Many of our parents shrink or get stooped, tripping and falling is a real danger.  Check, and have them re-hemmed if needed.  Many of our parents are comfortable with a particular robe, don't let it get too short.
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Reply to FloridaDD
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I honestly don't see tear away pants as being helpful, if anything they will cause problems because the laundry is not likely to reassemble them so they are ready to wear. I think that having shoes that are easy to get on/off if he needs to change his pants is probably a better solution, and emphasize to him that if he's having problems in the bathroom he needs to call for assistance.
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Reply to cwillie
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I would recommend things like lap quilts, fleece lined items and of course, a warm, thick bathrobe. My dad wore his bathrobe all of the time at assisted living, He was cold all of the time and it did the trick. He also wore more than one shirt at a time, he also wore insulated vests, even when he slept. Maybe get some warm socks (wool ones) for him to wear. Some of the things he wore were lightweight and warm, some were not. Hopefully you can get some ideas for your father from this post.
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Reply to Anonymous1256
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I found that anything that is comfortable is fine at the ALs I have encountered. The staff will assist him with dressing, including handling buttons and zippers, so, he won't have to do it alone. Most of the men that I see in AL wear their regular clothes. If the facility is going to do his laundry, I'd make sure they are little large at first and room for the clothes to shrink, as they put their laundry in very hot dryers. And, I'd check with them on velco, first. That may have a tendency to snag other articles of clothes in the laundry.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Make sure you write or sew a label with his name into all his clothes if the facility will be doing his laundry.
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Reply to Geaton777
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My FIL liked wearing sweatpants in the facility as they were comfortable and had no buttons, hooks or zippers to mess with.

If your father gets cold easily, perhaps some insulated underwear shirts would do. They're lightweight, stretchy and layer well under regular shirts.
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Reply to PeeWee57
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