After a stroke, one may experience hemiplegia, or hemiplegia, which causes weakness on one side of the body. As a result of this weakness, a stroke patient may have great difficulty getting dressed. While in a rehabilitation center, stroke patients and caregivers may learn hemiplegic bandaging techniques that focus on using the uninjured arm and leg to perform the bandages. These techniques focus on putting the weak arm and leg into the garment first and using the strong hand to pull the garment over the paralyzed limb. Other techniques to help with dressing may include the use of adaptive equipment such as a bandage stick. In severe disability, getting dressed or undressed can sometimes become difficult even with hemorrhage dressing techniques or special equipment. There is a solution to this dilemma. The answer to dressing is adaptive clothing or clothing for the disabled. This type of garment is designed to make it easier for caregivers to assist the patient when dressing. Adaptive clothing and apparel are easier to use because of adaptations such as the following:
* Velcro or snap closures instead of buttons
* Designs that allow a person to get dressed while sitting
* Zippers at the front of the garment
Front closure straps
* Velcro on the shoes
* Open back garment
* Wrap skirts
Side slit pants.
There are also apparel and accessories that help with safety and hygiene such as non-slip socks, arm guards and protective aprons. Another important aspect of garments made for the disabled is that they can accommodate issues such as swelling or poor circulation. It also allows for quick changes when bowel or bladder incontinence is a problem. Even pants can be changed from a sitting position without standing. Adaptive clothing is not only comfortable, but presented in modern styles that allow the stroke patient to feel inconspicuous. This is important to help maintain the dignity of stroke patients who do not want to be caught wearing hospital gowns or special attention-grabbing clothing.
Adaptive clothing is comparable in price to regular clothing and can be purchased from several websites. Two of these online sites are Silverts.com and BuckandBuck.com. The Silvert website (based in Ontario, Canada) offers a catalog with clothing recommendations for stroke patients as well as dressing tips for use with the Silvert line of adaptive clothing. Buck & Buck has been manufacturing adaptive apparel for over 33 years and is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. If you are a stroke patient who has problems getting dressed every day or a caregiver is having difficulty helping a loved one get dressed, it is worth your time to examine adaptive clothing.