Adaptive clothing

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Adaptive clothing is clothing designed for people with physical disabilities, the elderly, and the infirm who may experience difficulty dressing themselves due to an inability to manipulate closures, such as buttons and zippers, or due to a lack of a full range of motion required for self-dressing. Adaptive clothing typically offers rear-closure designs so that an individual can be dressed more easily by a carer. For example, rather than buttons and zippers, Velcro may be used for garment closures.[1] A common misconception of adaptive clothing is that it is only for wheelchair users or others that suffer from severe disabilities. Whilst these groups do benefit from the garments, adaptive clothing is for anyone that can be limited by traditional clothing. [2]

Clothing for special needs[edit]

Adaptive clothing is specialised clothing that is modified to enable easier dressing for people with a disability. The clothing is modified to help people with a high degree of disability and their carers or to assist individuals with a lower degree of disability to dress independently.[3]

Adaptive clothing can benefit people of all ages with disorders or natural ageing such as the following:

Adaptive clothing typically incorporates flat seams to reduce friction, discreet adaptations to make the clothing look as normal as possible, easy access with snaps, Velcro, or stretchy fabric, roomy design to accommodate incontinence aids, longer rise in the back to accommodate sitting in wheelchairs, elastic waist for increased comfort, and reduced effort when dressing.


Special Need Associated Problem Adaptive Clothing Solution
Alzheimer's Disease Individual disrobes at inappropriate times. Locking Clothing
Oedema Swelling of feet and legs leads to difficulty wearing conventional footwear or pants. Adaptive Shoes and pants are adjustable in size and offer non-restrictive closures.
Incontinence Reduced bladder control and urgency Clothing that can be removed easily and quickly and can accommodate incontinence aids discreetly and comfortably.
Parkinson's Disease and Arthritis Loss of fine motor skills Buttons and zippers are replaced with easy touch Velcro.
Contractures, Arthritis, MS, MDS, SCI, MD, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia Inability to bend muscles or move joints Open back clothing which allows the clothing to be put on frontwards, eliminating the need to bend or rotate muscles or joints.


  1. ^ "Adaptive Clothing – Information and Availability". Disabled World. 20 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "What is Adaptive Clothing?". CBO Baby. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "What is Adaptive Clothing -". Errine Adaptive Clothing. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.