Successful Dressingdressing hook through pants loop being pulled up over bare knees

Hi Friends,

Getting dressed with a disability is one of the most difficult parts of the job. Dressing aids can be a big help.


Dressing Aids

Sock and stocking aids expand the sock to hold it open for you; pull it the rest of the way with straps.

pantyhose aid holds pantyhose open, but it requires two hands to use. For something simpler, consider wearing stockings instead of pantyhose. Many department stores carry "thigh-highs" with elastic bands  at the top.

Oversized socks in light or heavy fabric fit over swollen feet or a cast.

Elastic shoelaces stretch so you don't ever have to tie and untie them.

trouser pull will help you pull up your trousers from a sitting or lying down position.

A pant clip clips pants to shirt and allows pants to fall into place as you sit up or stand.

long handled shoe horn being used to put on tennis shoe

Dressing sticks hold open a dress, sleeve, or pant leg for you.

Reachers grasp the fabric of your pants or hold your shoe in place while you slip it on.

Extra long shoehorns are made so you can avoid leaning forward putting on shoes.

Buttonhooks hook onto the button so you can bring it through the hole. (No fine-motor coordination required.)

A zipper pull hooks onto your zipper so you can pull it up or down.


Sewing Options

You can customize your clothes at the local dry cleaners/tailors. Simple tailoring is inexpensive. Substituting buttons and zippers for Velcro strips can really help. And colored fabric will cover typical beige medical bandages.

If you're handy with a sewing machine yourself or want to start, you might pick up this handy sewing guide, Altering Women's (or Men's) Ready-to-Wear, by Mary A. Roehr, ISBN: 0961922915, pub. 1987. The guide demonstrates practical ways to rip, sew and press the easiest to most difficult alterations. Order directly from this site

If you're not the type to adapt clothing, check out the resources page in this section for companies that carry clothing such as elastic waist pants without zippers or buttons or clothing specially designed for individuals with Down Syndrome.

Here's another resource book: Clothing for the Handicapped, the Aged, and Other People With Special Needs by Adeline Mildred Hoffman, ISBN: 0398038600, pub. 1979. Find used copies on Amazon or this location for library copies.

The Tilt'Able is an ergonomic sewing table with a base that fits under a sewing machine, tilting it slightly forward and allowing the sewer to sit with a straight neck and upper back. The needle slants slightly so it can be seen easier. You can find this item on Amazon.