What tips are available to make getting dressed easier with Parkinson's?
For some, getting dressed -- especially in the morning time, can be a challenge. But there are several tips and tricks that can speed up the process. Consider:
Wearing clothing that doesn't have to be put over your head - although this exercise can keep you mobile and helps with flexibility.
Buy clothing with snaps or magnetic buttons rather than buttons to help with finger dexterity.
Wear layers of cool clothing in breathable fabrics if you need to shed them while exercising and helping to regulate body temperature.
Wear smooth-soled shoes to help prevent tripping. Shoes or boots with zippers or Velcro may also be a good option for taking on and off.
Use a watch with big buttons to see the time clearly - a Velcro watchband or elastic band can help with putting it on.
Find clothing made of slippery fabrics such as satin or polyester / cotton blends to make pulling down and up easier and faster.
A dressing stick can help, especially a long shoehorn to assist with putting on shoes.
There are some companies available that provide adaptable clothing. You might consider exploring and shopping at:
Button, Hook and Zipper Aid
Persons with Parkinson's may begin to find it difficult to manage buttons whether due to decreased dexterity, hand strength, or perhaps arthritis. This aid helps with independent dressing. The device has a soft grip handle with a closed-loop wire that can be hooked around a button in order to pull it through the buttonhole. See product example at Amazon.
Compression socks help with return blood flow for anyone who has poor circulation, a not uncommon issue for persons with Parkinson's. There are many styles and types of compression socks. They come in different materials and some even have zippers that help with easy on/off dressing. A toeless style is an alternative to a full sock, which is preferred by some persons with Parkinson's. Prices vary depending on the level of compression or material.
Compression socks are not always easy to put on. That being said, a simple sock aid may be worth its investment to help with independent dressing for persons with limited mobility or stiffness. To use it, you slide your sock over the flexible plastic mode. Using the handles and adjustable rope, you then pull the mold over your foot leaving the sock in place. Average cost is $15. See example at Amazon.
Persons who have difficulty bending over to put on socks and shoes will readily see the benefit of easy on and off shoes that can be slipped on hands free with a specially constructed heel cup. There are multiple men's and women's style and colors. Available sizes include standard and wide widths. And most heel and arch supports provide cushioning options. Pricing varies. Brands that offer these style of shoes include Kizik, Sketchers Slip-Ins, and Nike Go Flyease.
For some, bending over to put on footwear is half the struggle. Consider using a long-handled shoehorn. It is good for those with stiffness. A good long shoehorn should measure approximately 16.5 inches long to make it easier to put on shoes and boots. The average cost is $6.
Disclaimer: The information contained in these Frequently Asked Questions have been sourced by reliable, research-based publications. It is to your discretion whether or not to incorporate the education and awareness as guidance into your wellness journey with Parkinson's. The Parkinson Association of Alabama cannot be held liable for the solutions you try, and you should always consult with medical experts before trying anything new or incorporating new matters into your overall wellness plan.
Marie, Lianna. Chapter 47. Page 141. Part 6. Nutrition and Exercise. The complete Guide for People with Parkinson's Disease and Their Loved Ones. Purdue University Press, 2022.