Arthritis Sufferers: Struggling with Clothing?

By:  Sylvia Stein   |  Posted: October 14, 2014   |  Updated: April 5, 2023


As part of our FreedomWear Circle project, we have been looking for good solutions for clothing for arthritis sufferers.

It turns out there are a number of arthritis clothing solutions out there, ranging from various special shoes for arthritis to a special type of arthritis bra. These products and more seem to be lumped together into the category of “adaptive clothing“.

This article uses videos from around the web to demonstrate some of those solutions, and we add our comments and questions.

We would love your comments and feedback about these solutions, and others you may have found.


Arthritis makes dressing and undressing challenging

We have heard a lot from older adults about the difficulty in finding attractive and comfortable clothes that they can easily put on and take off by themselves. Mobility and dexterity limitations can make this everyday process a nightmare. We’ve been told that it sometimes feel like the arthritis sufferer is a prisoner in their own clothes.  Others have told us that this obstacle is often reason older adults need to move to assisted living situations.


Adaptive Clothing that works(?) for arthritis sufferers

When we investigated this topic, we found that there are quite a few Adaptive Clothing solutions being marketed today on sites such as Silverts, and  Buck & Buck.  In addition to the material on the websites of those companies, we found the videos below to be particularly relevant to arthritis sufferers in search of better clothing options.

Here are some videos that demonstrate some of the Adaptive Clothing innovations that have been developed to make dressing and undressing easier.  Under each video we have noted some issues and questions for that solution. Please feel free to add your issues, comments or questions to the comment section at the end of this article.


An arthritis bra

Our comments:

While this seems like a clever solution, we heard from many women that bras were uncomfortable, or rather that it was impossible to find bras that fit properly with the right amount of support. In addition many report that bras pinch and add pressure to sensitive joints or other areas.


Velcro pants for seniors. Really?

Our comments:

While velcro seems to be the easy ‘go to’ solution that many manufacturers gravitate to when designing clothes for people with arthritis, we also heard that for many it is not always the perfect solution.  Some find Velcro difficult to pull open, while others report that the Velcro gets stuck on other materials, or that it is difficult to connect the correct Velcro patches. Finally the Velcro strips are usually ether white or black, and can be unattractive / unsightly.

Tips for getting dressed with arthritis

Our comments:

This third video demonstrates some useful tools and techniques for getting dressed with arthritis. Are there other products or tips that you have discovered or invented? Please feel free to share your work-arounds in the comment section below.


More tips for arthritis and getting dressed

Our comments:

Yet another video with more tips and suggestions for getting dressed / undressed with arthritis.  Are they leaving out something that you struggle with every day?

Tools to help arthritis sufferers with activities of daily living

Our comments:

This final video demonstrates additional ADL (Activities of Daily Living) tools that are useful for people with arthritis. Are these the right ones? Do they really work? Are there tools or aides that you are looking for but cannot find?


What do you think?

We are looking forward to hearing from you about your experience getting dressed / undressed with arthritis. Feel free to use the comment section below to add your voice and share your experiences and frustrations getting dressed and undressed with arthritis.


Learn More: Clothing and Older Adults

See more about our explorations into clothing for older adults that is both functional and stylish at our Topic Hub: Clothing and Older Adults.





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