Monday, September 2, 2013

Adaptive Clothing and Equipment - Update.

My joining a Google+ community, Special Needs Clothing - Dress with Ease started me thinking about how it sometimes was hard to find mom something to wear when she started dialysis. She started with a chest port so we needed some type of blouse that would open low enough to allow access yet modest enough to wear around the men who were there. Sometimes buttons would work, other times no. When she changed to a fistual in the arm, (especially in the wintertime) we needed something that would be warm (they kept it cold in the center for the machines plus she was always cold being on blood thinners) like long sleeves yet would give access to her arm. Most times, she would dress in layers - sweater jackets over short sleeve shirts or t-shirts, or sweatshirts with loose arms. Then we would throw a blanket in her bag that went back and forth because the nurses would wrap that around her as she laid in the chair. As a caregiver, you may be shaking your head, yes - been there, done that!!
Anyway this started me looking a specialized clothing for seniors with special needs; these could even be used by special needs young adults. I have not tried anything from these places so I have no first hand knowledge of the quality or wear. BUT they do seem to offer a nice variety of items: it ranges from clothing to shoes to socks to equipment. In fact the shoes I have seen here are similar to the shoes Willie wears. I get his at Walmart. I use to buy Walmart's brand but have started buying Dr. Scholl's brand that they sell, only because I feel they wear better on Willie; they last longer.

Let me list and go through some of the websites I have found with clothing, etc.
Etsy.com: Men's and women's clothing which, according to the site info, are made when the order is received, with openings in the back, at the shoulders, at the hips, etc. (picture from Etsy.com)

eSpecialNeeds is a source for equipment for adults and children You can shop by brands, products, diagnosis. It seems they offer financing as well.

BHMedwear
not only shows adaptive clothing, shoes, socks, ponchos and raingear for patients but sells products for those in the medical field like scrubs, lab coats, uniforms, etc. They house linen and laundry items, incontinence care goods, diagnostic and medical equipment, bathing items to name some categories.

Wardrobe Wagon offers men's and women's clothing, undergarments,
sleepwear, hosiery and footwear, even a cape to wear if sitting in a wheelchair. There is a section - Young at Heart - which seems to show clothing for people who are NOT disabled ( I could not find anything in the description stating an unusual way to put the article of clothing on).

Adaptive Apparel shows a variety of goods from clothing to scrubs
to bed pads to masks, etc. It looks like they sell in bulk to offer a lower price. There is also a 'Solution Center' for any questions you may have regarding the benefits of diabetic socks, the convenience of velcro footwear, information on hospital gown fabrics.

Adaptive Mall has a variety of items, where you can even shop by whatever your need is. They offer choices in bicycles, strollers, bathing, items for the classroom. There is even a spot where you can submit a question to a therapist who will return with an answer within 1 business day for your special item and any measuring necessary.

I hope this may help some people who are looking for specialized clothing -- if nothing else, just to give you places to compare or maybe can help you locate that 'hard to find' item. Good Luck!!!

** According to disability scoop, if you live near West Allis, Wisconsin, you may now visit a store catering to those people who need some type of adaptive wear. Sept 20th, Accessible Wear will open offering clothing for those who are physically challenged. They also will do alterations. Check them out and good luck to the Neil Sherman and Lisa Brodacz!!

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