Many of the Hospice’s patients find it hard to dress and undress, and some need nurses or carers to help them change between daytime clothing and nightwear in the mornings and evenings.
To help increase awareness of the range of adaptive clothing available which might make dressing, undressing and also toileting easier for both patients and their carers, as well as for nurses and care assistants at hospices, hospitals and care homes, Phyllis Tuckwell’s Occupational Therapist Liz Faulkner Manning arranged for a Drop-In Day to be held at the Hospice.
A range of clothing and footwear from various companies was on show during the day, as well as devices such as elastic shoelaces, long-handled hairbrushes, grabbing sticks – which can be used for anything from picking up a dropped item to pulling up trousers or even closing the curtains - and aids which can help people to put on socks or pull up stockings.
The clothes on display ranged from shirts and trousers to nighties and underwear, and included ladies’ blouses with popper-openings along both sides, and men’s shirts with fake buttons at the front and magnetic fastenings. Also on display were ribbed socks which will stretch over swollen feet and ankles and stay up without gripping too tightly, and trousers and underwear which Velcro at the sides, to enable the front section to open downwards, for toileting purposes.
Jemma Dunn, Managing Director of adaptive clothing company Adaptawear was at the Drop-In Day, and explained how their clothing range was designed for both practicality and style.
“Our clothes are discreetly adapted, and don’t really look any different to the non-adapted clothing which everyone wears,” said Jemma, holding up a pretty blue polkadot dress. Chinos, cords and smart men’s shirts have also been designed with discreet Velcro, magnetic or popper fastenings, along with nighties which fasten at the shoulder, and bed jackets with poppered sleeves which allow easy access to the upper arm if a patient needs their blood pressure taken regularly, for example.
“We saw a 35% growth in sales last year,” continued Jemma. “Our nightwear has always been popular, but now daywear sales are increasing too.”
As well as clothing, shoes and slippers were also on display, with wider fittings and adjustable fastenings – some even made using Elastane, so that the whole top of the shoe stretches around the foot.
“We are very pleased with the success of our Adaptive Clothing Drop-In Day,” said Occupational Therapist Liz Faulkner Manning. “It’s important to let people know that these items are available, and that they really can make life so much easier, not to mention more comfortable.”
Phyllis Tuckwell provides specialist end of life care to patients and their families facing a terminal illness, across West Surrey and North East Hampshire. As well as the medical and clinical care which it provides, it also offers a range of therapies, including Occupational Therapy, which can help patients to manage their symptoms, cope with everyday life and retain their independence for longer.
For over 40 years Phyllis Tuckwell has been supporting and caring for patients and families who have been given the worst possible news in West Surrey & North East Hampshire. We rely on the support of...