Giving Care: Senior & Disabled Caregiver Resource Blog

What is Adaptive Equipment? A Comprehensive Guide

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As the saying goes, aging is filled with both beauty and challenges. While our minds may feel young and spry, the same can’t always be said of our bodies. Although slowing down physically can usher in a new stage of life, adaptive equipment and assistive technology can help provide the needed support for continued independence. Through proper planning, the aging population can continue to live a full life for many years.

For those who live with mobility restrictions and balance concerns, incorporating adaptive equipment into daily living can create an easier and more enjoyable living experience.

Understanding Adaptive Equipment for the Elderly

Adaptive equipment is any tool or device that enhances a person’s quality of life, such as mobility aids, specific equipment and various forms of technology.

As we age, we can sometimes experience discomfort when doing activities that once felt quite comfortable, including bathing or preparing food. For these people, assistive devices can make a positive impact on daily living and help to maintain a sense of independence. Using an adaptive device can enhance one’s motor skills and functional capabilities to regain confidence. However, it’s good to mind these signs and consider when is the time for a nursing home to further assist.

A lesser-known category of adaptive equipment is adaptive clothing, which can have incredibly impactful results for the person wearing the clothes, as well as their caregiver.

Key Types of Adaptive Clothing for Seniors & Older Adults

 Men’s and women’s adaptive clothing is a type of apparel that is specifically designed to create easy dressing solutions for people with mobility challenges. When looking to incorporate adaptive fashion into a wardrobe, be sure to pay attention to the needs of each person and the personal style they’ve always enjoyed.

Easy dress solutions

For seniors who continue to dress on their own, adaptive clothing allows these people to maintain their sense of independence with self-dressing.

Enhanced adaptive features such as magnetic button closures provide people with limited finger dexterity (such as those who live with arthritis or Parkinson’s disease) to fasten their own clothing, as seen with this Men’s Magnetic Sherpa Lined Shirt Jacket and even dress shirts such as this Men’s Self Dressing Magnetic Buttons Dress Shirt.

Magnetic zippers offer a different look while also ensuring ease of dressing and comfort. This Women’s Track Suit with MagZip Jacket & Easy-grip Pull on Pant allows someone to zip the velour jacket using just one hand, whether pulling the zipper up or down. The matching velour pants are oh-so-soft and reduce dressing time with the side grips for easy on and elastic waist for all day comfort.

For those who dress with caregiver assistance, adaptive clothing features create an easier dressing experience overall while allowing the wearer to express themselves through style and proper fitting clothing.

 Another fantastic adaptive clothing category is open back shirts for elderly. These uniquely designed adaptive garments allow the wearer to be dressed by their caregiver while maintaining modesty and comfort, such as this Women’s Open Back Sweater Knit Dress with Diamond Neckline and this Men’s Open Back Adaptive Sport Shirt.

Fabric Considerations for Sensitive Skin

No matter your age, everyone wants to wear clothing that feels good. Fabric selection is important when choosing women’s and men’s adaptive clothing , especially since sensitive skin often accompanies aging.

Silverts sources the highest quality of comfortable fabrics to ensure your loved ones are their most comfortable.

Plush fabrics such as Sherpa and flannel, hidden seams or closures that avoid pressure points, and elastic waists help create comfortable attire even for those with the most sensitive skin.

Remember, what goes on top is just as important as what goes underneath. Adaptive underwear for women and men , something not often thought of, is created to provide all day comfort and security with an extra absorbent layer. This unique undergarment can greatly improve quality of life through ease of dressing and continued comfort.

Non-Slip Footwear and Accessories

Incorporating adaptive footwear into a senior wardrobe can often be a life enhancement. Many older people struggle with limited mobility and heat edema, as well as other health concerns. Bending down or trying to put on a shoe that is too narrow is a challenge many seniors experience.

Adaptive walking shoes, adaptive slippers, adaptive sandals and even adaptive boots are all designed with extra-wide openings, easy one-touch closures and non-slip soles.

Silverts adaptive footwear is also created with a more spacious toe box and adjustable width to create a better feel. Many of these walking shoes also come with additional spacers so the wearer can create a personalized fit.

Benefits of Adaptive Equipment in Daily Activities

Aging is not always easy, but incorporating adaptive features into daily life — such as through adaptive clothing and adaptive equipment — can help your loved one feel empowered with their renewed independence. Adaptive technology is constantly reaching new breakthroughs to help those with physical disabilities or a medical condition to enjoy life.

Although seniors are more susceptible to slips and falls, these risks can be mitigated by incorporating the right type of adaptive features in their regular life. This can include adding handrails to a set of stairs or wearing proper adaptive footwear.

Quality of life also can also become enhanced when adaptive features are incorporated in daily living. With this, a caregiver can now dress their patient with greater ease, which limits discomfort to the person being dressed, as well as reduces the length of time getting dressed.

How to Choose the Right Adaptive Equipment

Each person has unique needs, likes, and dislikes. It is important to assess your loved ones needs, coupled with their wants to ensure the most successful experience. Whether you’re preparing a checklist for moving elderly parents or searching for the best gift for your grandparent, you should consider the following.

Assessing Individual Needs

If you are unsure what adaptive equipment or adaptive clothing is best for you or your loved one, you are not alone. Introducing these for the first time can feel overwhelming because there is such a variety of options.

It is important to ensure the right adaptive tools and clothing are chosen to fulfill the needs of each person. If you are unsure what may be most beneficial for your situation, you can speak with your family doctor or caregiver to help determine what products may be most helpful.

There are also various organizations that can conduct assessments to create the perfect aid package, too. These assessments may take into consideration strength and mobility levels, as well as other factors. Of course, you can call companies directly and speak with customer service representatives to better determine what may be best for each situation.

Quality and Durability Factors

Adaptive equipment and adaptive clothing are designed with extra care.

These devices and clothing will likely be used on a near daily basis, so you want them to last. This includes considering the ease of garment care. It’s great to be able to throw something in the washing machine instead of heading to the dry cleaner!

Every product at Silverts is designed to withstand numerous washings in a machine washer and dryer, while maintaining the expected look and feel.

Size and Fit Considerations

To reduce injury or further discomfort, it is important to ensure adaptive clothing and adaptive equipment are sized appropriately.

With edema and other foot concerns, it is a common misconception that people should purchase shoes one size larger than they usually wear in order to fit the swollen foot. However, this creates less stable footwear and therefore less stability overall.

Oversized shoes often lead to more trips and falls, which can result in serious injury.

Our shoes for older men and women are designed to accommodate swelling while also providing stability and support.Visit to learn more about adaptive dressing solutions.

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