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Friday, August 31, 2007

Loose Stretch Clothing Comfortable for Elders

When a caregiver is assisting an elderly person who has arthritis or injuries to put on clothing the process can be difficult if the clothing is too snug to allow someone's head and arms through without strain. It might cause someone to feel soreness in joints of the shoulders or arms or cause a skin injury.

Choosing loose, stretchy clothing for an elderly person can help to make each day more comfortable. This will be safer too because soreness will not occur from twisting or straining to put it on.

Sometimes shirts and tops have shrunk through the years, or someone's posture and shape has changed. The caregiver needs to ease clothing on slowly and carefully because the joints and skin of the elderly are frail and injure easily.

Shirts or tops made out of stretch fabric that have buttons or zippers enable the caregiver to make the neckine easy for an elderly person to put on over the head without causing pain. Shoulders and sleeves that are loose and wide are easier for an elderly person or a caregiver who is assisting to put on without causing discomfort or pain to a sore shoulder, arm or neck.

If the clothing is loose enough it also helps to avoid rubbing on a hearing aid that is still in or on a sore ear.

Pants that are made of stretch fabric and have an elastic waist can also be more comfortable. If the waistband has shrunk it will pinch at the waist while someone is resting in a recliner or chair and this can be uncomfortable and may cause a skin problem. Tight waistbands and pants will also be more of a strain when being put on or off. Something loose will be more comfortable.

A turtleneck can be warm and comfy when there is a chill in the air but it needs to be large enough to be easy to pull over the head and to put the arms through without twisting or straining.

Roomy T-shirts, sweatshirts with zippers, sweatpants, pull-overs with large necklines and loose shoulders and sleeves, and other clothes made of cotton stretch fabrics can help make dressing and wearing the clothes more comfortable.

The caregiver can use an afghan or small throw blanket to cover a person's feet and legs, and their arms if they wish, while an elderly person is resting in a recliner or chair. As people get older they may feel chilled more easily than they used to and it's a good idea to have a small blanket handy at home and in the car.

If someone's neck, arms or shoulders are too stiff and sore to put a regular top on the back of an old top can be cut open with scissors at the back of the neck to enlarge it. If needed, the top can be cut with scissors from the neckline to the bottom of the hem. The arms can be easily put on and the top will be open at the back so it can be lifted off easily. If someone has had an injury but does not want to wear a hospital gown this is a way to wear regular clothing.

Socks that do not bind at the ankle are easier to pull on, more comfortable, and better for circulation too. Sometimes socks that were large enough originally have shrunk with many washings and caregivers can check to be sure the socks are not putting too much pressure on the ankles.

These tips can help to make a more pleasant day for an elderly person. Caregivers who provide assistance with activities of daily living in home care can use these tips to make a difference in the kind of day someone else experiences.

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