Sign in

Adaptive Clothing Guide

Senior or Elderly Clothing Needs -

We all get older and as we do, our physical changes often require adjustments to our wardrobe.

Common physical changes include less activity, loss of strength and flexibility, weight and circulatory problems. Clothing that is soft, comfortable and affordable is always appreciated by our senior customers.

** All of our Adaptive apparel is made in the USA.

**As we advance through life and get older our bodies often take the brunt of it.

Alzheimers - Specially designed apparel that's designed to discourage a Loved One's undressing actions

Inappropriate behavior such as undressing in public or "digging"  is often times related to the later stages of the disease and creates a challenge that has to be dealt with. We're here to help you find the best clothing solutions for you and your loved ones.

This is a typical example of a fairly common message many family members hear so often. 

"Janice, we must get some special clothing for your mother. She keeps unbuttoning her clothes and taking them off!" Dora at in the Alzheimer’s Care Center said.

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease can get increasingly difficult and becomes a real challenge when in their confusion they have desires to undress themselves. Sometimes this urge to fulfill an "undressing desire" repeats itself too frequently and at inopportune times. (Usually with innocent motivations) Sometimes it's just a thought that it's time to take off my clothes and shower, time to go to bed, time to use the bathroom, etc.

Unfortunately, when it happens in a Home Care Facility or Nursing Home it has the potential of embarrassing exposure to other residents, and caregivers that can be very disturbing to all.

At this stage of Alzheimer's disease, finding the clothes necessary to help maintain their dignity becomes a bit more difficult and unusual. Our customers have found that the back opening jumpsuit design functions well as a deterrent to the behavior.

WHY A JUMPSUIT? The adaptive jumpsuit works for a very simple reason. It increases the difficulty of undressing just enough that the thought or urge often passes before the person can undress.

Although we have several pleasing versions of adaptive jumpsuits for both men and women, they all function for the same reason.

Throughout this message you'll see terms like: "Gentle Un-dresser", "Moderate Un-dresser" and "Aggressive or Stronger Un-dresser". The terms are pretty self explanatory and we have jumpsuits that are appropriate for them all.

Our adaptive jumpsuits come in a variety of materials that range from soft stretchy knit material, Cotton/Poly blends, warm fleece, twill and even a Supplex rip stop material. Some designs open down the back with snaps while others have a "22" zipper.

Here are some suggestions on what type of special jumpsuit may help solve your problem...

 Both the "Gentle" and "Moderate Undressers" may have a tendency to undress or dig in their diapers. They often fuss or tug at their clothing but give up fairly quickly. Most people fall into these two categories.

If they wake up at night with a "need" to take off their clothes, a good choice might be the soft knit jumpsuit with a single back opening zipper. Its comfortable, stretchy knit material is easy for the caregiver to dress them and can also be worn under their "favorite” sleeping clothes to help add to, and maintain their own personal feeling of appropriate dignity.

Your loved one may be more alert and active throughout the day, thus learning how to undo the adaptive clothes with back zipper openings like those mentioned above. To help discourage that tendency and learning, we offer the same styling in a heavier cotton poly blend that also comes with two small "plastic buckles" , one near the neck line and the second near the waistline. Adding these extra security features to the clothing works well at discouraging the Alzheimer's residents undressing urge by increasing the difficulty.

Sometimes an Alzheimer patient (or someone suffering from advanced dementia ) may progress through a phase where they are what is considered an "Aggressive Undresser". The term is meant to describe a man or woman who may actually rip or tear their clothing off in frustration. Patients in this stage require a stronger deterrent which usually means a jumpsuit constructed of a stronger material and even the addition of additional plastic buckles in the back.  (They don't call it a "Houdini suit" for nothing!)

JUST A QUICK NOTE HERE... We have had some  clients (very few) who managed to tear off or shred our toughest suits. Please be advised that nobody makes a truly indestructible suit. The good news is that our selections of suits work well for most of the people most of the time!

A word of caution...Please remember that the function of these suits is to make undressing difficult. It will also make using the bathroom more difficult as well and the Alzheimer patient may require your assistance.

Suggested styles for him and her:

  • Gentle to moderate behaviors issues - Soft knit, polyester blends or fleece jumpsuit

  • Moderate to aggressive behavior  -  Poly cotton blends with 1 -2 security buckles

  • Aggressive to strong  behavior -  Poly blends or Supplex material with security buckles


It's important that you try to understand what is causing the behavior issue and see if you can find the "trigger" that causes the behavior. Its not always dementia. 
For example; if the person is "digging" it might be a simple case of physical itching.  We've all had the itch that just had to be scratched!  Wearing diapers is not a pleasant thing and if they're not changed quickly and then properly cleaned, often times it can lead to sores, rashes and burning.  

Please understand... This information is drawn from our own experiences but we're far from experts when it comes to understanding all the causes and problems that are associated with this debilitating disease.


Arthritis - This debilitating health problem causes joint pain and stiffness that can make simple everyday chores like dressing more difficult. Often times its simply a matter of having stiffness in the fingers and a loss of gripping strength. At this point you may want to consider clothing that uses less buttons, hooks, belt loops and snaps that have to be fastened.

Examples of these items to consider:

Pull over shirts or blouses Polo Shirts

Sweatsuits or Knit sets Sweatsuits & Pull on style pant

Velcro closure shoes and slippers Velcro closure shoes and slippers

Advanced stages of Arthritis - This level of limited mobility probably means that you will also need a little help getting dressed. Our adaptive line of back opening garments are designed to make dressing easier for both the wearer and caregiver by requiring less painful arm and leg movement. There are choices!

Examples of back opening garments that can help are:

Back snap dresses and dusters for her Back snap woven or polo shirts

Back snap Knit sets Side snap pants

Back snap Shirts and Blouses Adaptive Sweatsuits

Adaptive Sweatsuits

Footwear that slips on/off easily

Stroke - There are many types of clothing that may be appropriate for someone who has suffered a stroke depending on their level of disability. If there is a partial or limited paralysis in the arm or legs the person may still be able to dress themselves but just needs a little help. The key is to find clothing that is easy to put on and take off. Daily tasks like pulling up zippers, using buttons and tying your shoes can be a challenge. There are dressing aids available to help you with all these functions, but by careful selection of your clothing you simplify the whole process.

Suggestions for the Self Dresser:

Pull on pants or skirts with an elastic waist will eliminate having to hook or button the waist line

Pull over blouses and polo shirts will reduce the need for buttons

Basic Sweatsuits for physical therapy

Velcro closure footwear eliminates the need for tying laces

Add zipper pulls that are easier to grasp or use a Velcro closure when its appropriate

If you need assistance getting dressed you may want to add the following:

Back snap dress or dusters (for her)

Back snap shirts or blouses (for her) (for him)

Adaptive Sweatsuits (for her) (for him)

Slips on/off easily

Incontinence - Minor and infrequent incontinence might be avoided by making it easier to undress quickly when the need arises. Elastic waist pants and clothing without snaps and hooks to unfasten will help to maintain your dignity and keep you independent longer. If you wear an adult diaper than you will appreciate clothing that fits loosely and doesn't highlight the fact.

Clothing to consider:

Elastic waist pants and sweats (for her) (for him)

Extra underwear is always welcome (for her) (for him)

Extra socks and washable footwear (for her) (for him)

If you need assistance dressing and going to the bathroom then you will also want to consider the following items.

Side opening pants that make changing easier (for her) (for him)

Back opening dresses or dusters (for her)

Back snap Sweatsuits simplify changes and are absorbent (for her) (for him)

Cut-away items (for her)

Edema- Peripeheral edema is a buildup of excess fluid in the legs, feet and ankles that causes swelling and is a common problem among our older population. Edema has many underlying causes and your doctor will need to determine the seriousness and recommend a course of action.

A few simple causes include prolonged standing or sitting, being overweight and increased age. Minor cases of edema may be painless, but it still causes problems with your daily dressing and will require some additions to your wardrobe to adapt to occasional swelling.

Clothing Solutions that will help and make you more comfortable:

  • Loose knit Edema socks that stretch without binding are much more comfortable. (for her) (for him)

  • Pants that are soft and have wide legs (no elastic cuffs)

  • Extra wide shoes and slippers that adjust with Velcro (for her) (for him)