As per the World Health Organization's recent survey, there are about approximately 1 billion people or 15% of the world population suffering from some of the other kind of disability, whether total or partial. Disability can be anything, it can be physical disability like temporary or permanent damage to your limbs, muscles, etc. affecting your mobility, or it can be a sensory disability like vision impairment, hearing aid, etc.

In case of such unfortunate population suffering disabilities, clothing becomes a very difficult issue in day to day life, especially in case of physical disabilities. Because very rarely do industry players produce clothing segment specifically dedicated to the disabled population.

Same is the case with older adults. Their body starts to change in shape as and when they cross 60-65 years of age. They get a bent posture, fallen neck position, uneven abdominal mass, disproportionate limbs structure, etc. And all these structural problems directly affect their clothing woes.

What is Adaptive Clothing?

Adaptive Clothing is a form of clothing specifically aimed at resolving the clothing woes of disabled people who have limited motion abilities. Disabled as well as older adults struggle to get a full range of motion to perform certain activities like raising arms to put them in sleeves, or fitting into a T-shirt and bags , tying buttons, zipping or unzipping clothes with a zip, etc.

So what adaptive clothes do is they eliminate all of the factors mentioned above limiting the clothing abilities of the elderly and the disabled. Instead, adaptive clothing consists of special features like Velcro attachment option, magnetic belts, etc. There are emerging companies which provide you with such exclusive options in adaptive clothing. If you want to explore a number of options in adaptive clothing,, is your go-to site for the best options.

How it Solve the Clothing Woes of The Disabled & the Elderly?

Seniors struggle with complex clothing factors like Buttoning, zipping, etc. either due to the subsided motor sensory coordination or due to some form of disability like Alzheimer's, Epilepsy, Dementia, etc. Furthermore, there are also non-elderly people who can have difficulties in clothing due to different disabilities like down syndrome, accidental damage to limbs, polio, etc. So, for such elderly and disabled people, adaptive clothing has proven to be a blessing. The following are some of the Disabilities and older adults’ problems solved by Adaptive Clothing:

  • Adaptive Clothing in Alzheimer's Disease/ Epilepsy / Dementia in Old Age:In the conditions like Alzheimer’s or Epilepsy, the person concerned forgets to button or zip his clothes or often unties his clothes at inappropriate timings due to lack of ability to remember. In such conditions, there are two solutions under adaptive clothing:
  • Use of Locking Clothing
  • Mousetraps on clothing

Locking clothing refers to an adaptive clothing variant which has only one tying/untying location present on the side inaccessible to the person in question. These are one-piece clothes aka jumpsuits, covering both top and bottom part of the body, and the fastening is usually in the form of zip at the back side of the jumpsuit. 

While Mousetrap means an enclosure of all the tying/untying options on the adaptive clothes so that the user cannot untie the clothes at inappropriate timings. Mousetraps include enclosed buttons, enclosed zips, etc.

  • Adaptive Clothing for Edema causing abnormalities in legs:Edema is a medical condition experienced by seniors due to long term sedentary lifestyle. Under this condition there is an unusually high level of fluid retention in the body, especially in the legs and feet, causing swelling in them. This makes it difficult for seniors suffering Edema, to wear footwear or pants.

So as a solution for such older adults, adaptive clothing includes flexible pants and adaptive shoes which take the size of your legs as they swell.


  • Adaptive Clothing for Parkinson’s disease at Old Age:Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease which mainly affects the elderly person's motor sensory system. The early stage shows slow movements, shaking of limbs while movement, tremors on hands, legs, etc. While at later stages, the motion ability of the person is completely restricted.

In such conditions, it is obvious that fastening of buttons, zips, etc. is impossible. So to assist people struggling with Parkinson's disease, there are options in adaptive clothing like Velcro fastening, magnetic closures, etc. Velcro is a two-way locking option to tie your clothes, while magnetic closure is a newly developed modern means of tying your clothing without much movement.


  • Adaptive Clothing for Spinal Injuries Arthritis, Osteoporosis, etc.: Accidents or postural defects can cause serious irreparable damage to the spine especially in old age. Besides spinal injuries, bone and joint related issues like Arthritis, Osteoporosis, etc. lead to many structural inabilities, like the inability to bend. When there are all such motion related issues, especially bending problems, it makes clothing extremely difficult for elderly people.

So, to resolve these clothing problems, adaptive clothing has some promising solutions in the form of open back clothing. Open back clothing includes jumpsuits which can be tied using zips or elastic stripes.


  • Adaptive Clothing for Fecal and Urinary Incontinence in Old Age:Fecal Incontinence refers to the loss of control on bowel movements, while Urinary Incontinence refers to the loss of control on the Urinary Bladder. So resultantly, either of these disorders in old age can cause problems in older people’s clothing since they need to remove and wear their clothes way too often.

To solve this problem, adaptive clothing has a solution in clothes easy to tie and untie, such as Velcro or magnetic closure clothing. Also, there’s an amazing solution on fecal incontinence in wheelchair prone persons in Adaptive clothing in the form of hipless pants, where the seating area is cut out for easy toilet process.



Clothing in elderly and disabled people is near to impossible using the regular store-bought clothes having standard measurements. Because the body dimensions of the elderly and disabled are rarely the same as the standard measurements used in the industry produced clothing. To resolve their clothing problems, adaptive clothing was developed. It is aimed at providing maximum ease and ability to the disabled and elderly in their clothing. It involves the use of simpler fastening options like Velcro, Magnetic Closures, etc. instead of buttons, zips, etc.

Author's Bio: 

Lucy Jones is a freelance content writer and blogger, she writes on law or immigration. She loves to spend our free time with family.