Clothing: Arthritis and Parkinsons. Geriatric Care manager insights

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Discussion Summary

In this interview summary, Care Manager Diane Loeb, LCSW, describes her observations of past clients who have had difficulty with dressing, and reveals her approach to finding garments that accommodate their needs. Vivian Tsai, student of industrial design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, conducts the interview.

"Focusing on dressing and undressing problems experienced by clients during my career as a geriatric care manager, I found that clothing affects a person's self-esteem to a great degree. Too, people would rather stay with standard clothing rather than ordering specialized garments, and they resist using gadgets to help get dressed. Currently available adaptive clothing or garments designed for disabled persons tend to be unpleasant in appearance, with patterns which are far from fashionable.

Many Clients choose to wear larger sizes of clothing to avoid the discomfort of normally sized items, in fact, a common selection was the ‘large petite’ top (from Talbot’s) with ample room for shorter frames and rounded backs. Pants tended to always be too long for the ladies, so I looked for petite sizes in pants for them. At the same time, it is also common to see that they tend to give up certain types of clothing, such as tights. Clothing should be comfortable to wear, stylish and designed for the individual to dress more easily or for the caregiver to assist." - Diane Loeb, LCSW 


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Key words: 
arthritis, dressing, undressing, garments, Fashion, adaptive clothing