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Getting dressed

We know that getting dressed is very important and is something that many people struggle with. Getting dressed gets you up and moving, it makes you feel better in yourself, changes your mindset, increases daily productivity and simply, makes you feel better in yourself. Good habits, and small steps that can make a big difference every day.

Sports injury, during pregnancy, as a result of a fall or back problems may just be some of the reasons. As we get older, arthritis, illness or surgery may start to restrict our function and make it difficult for us to do what we always used to be able to do.

Do you find maintaining balance a challenge? You may be recovering from an injury or have a concern because you are not as steady on your feet as you used to be.
How about trying these:

  • Sit down when getting dressed

Choose a chair with firm support and arms. Sitting on the edge of the bed can be a little unsteady.

You may have a footstool to sit on or put your clothes on to avoid bending down to pick up.

  • Hold on to something sturdy for support when standing to pull up pants.

Many of us find it easy to get off balance doing this move.

  • When standing up, your legs are your base of support – try to keep them hip width apart as this will give you more stability.
  • Remember fall prevention means injury prevention too.

Reduced function on one side restrict your ability to bend, stretch, change position?
Have you thought about:

Altering your existing clothing to make easier to get on and off. Change smaller buttons to shaped buttons that are easier to hold. You can replace buttons with velcro. Not all buttons need to be undown to get clothes on and off.

  • Refreshing your wardrobe, it is much easier today to find clothing with elastic waistbands. Quick and easy to pull on without fiddly zippers or buttons. Avoid back fastening and tight-fitting garments. Be aware of too loose or long trailing clothes that might catch on door handles or trip you up.

Have you seen the lovely clothing range available from Able 2 Wear. Searching online, try ‘adaptive clothing’, ‘clothing for dementia’ (or another health condition) or ‘dressing aids’ and you will likely find a wide variety of products that can help with dressing challenges.

  • If one arm or leg has more stiffness, lead with this limb first, using your stronger side to help getting dressed. Getting undressed, simply reverse, starting with your stronger side.
  • Well fitted and supportive shoes are so important to help you walk and there are many different types and styles of footwear. Slip-on shoes and trainers with no fastenings. Your favourite leather shoes can be converted by changing laces to those that are elasticated, you do not need to buy new.

Socks may be comfortable but they do present a slip risk. Avoid walking on slippery floors in socks or tights. If shoes are uncomfortable to wear all the time, look out for non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet.

• Recovering from a stroke, you may be getting dressed with just one hand. We’ve put together a collection of helpful products for you, click here.

Do you have a loved one or carer who comes in to help you get dressed?
Here’s a few ideas:

  • Prepare together your clothes ready for getting dressed – for example, doing up some of the buttons of a blouse or cardigan so you can slip over your head.
  • We all like to have a choice in what we wear. In the evening,  ask them to lay out your clothes for the next day and in the order you will get dressed, making sure they are all the right side out.

Allow yourselves plenty of time – hurrying can be painful and confusing. Light it right – so you can see what you are both doing.

Falling as we get older is quite common, and although most falls don’t cause serious injury they can leave us feeling quite distressed. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to stay steady on your feet – for more information, ready our helpful guide avoiding falls.

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