Clothing Everyday Gear Nursing Home

Soothing Adjustable Slippers

old-friend.jpgMy dad’s circulatory problems are worsening, and he’s finding his shoes to be more and more uncomfortable. Severe edema in his legs means that the heels of his shoes hold his feet at an uncomfortable angle, but he still prefers wearing something shoe-like along with his compression stockings.

The adjustable slippers we gave him a couple of years ago were fine for casual wear at the time, and I’d still recommend them highly. Now, though, dad’s legs and feet need a bit more coddling: These sheepskin slippers, made by Old Friend, are just the thing. The heel makes them feel like shoes, and helps to keep them on Dad’s feet; the velcro over the top of the foot allows the slipper to be readjusted day-by-day as needed.

The wool fleece lining is light and airy, keeping pressure off Dad’s feet, and the open toes keep air circulating around his nails to minimize problems in that area.

Best of all, these slippers are cozy and luxurious, just like the traditional sheepskin slippers he used to wear and love.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it took me several days of diligent hunting to find them in Dad’s size. One shop owner told me that he’d gotten a huge number in last year but had a terrible time “getting rid of them”! My advice? Snatch them up as soon as you find them — they’re a great idea, but I don’t think many people know they exist.

I found Dad’s at Muldoon’s in Wisconsin; Zappos also carries them, but they were out of his size, and I didn’t want to wait.

Note: Old Friend recommends freshening sheepskin footwear by dusting the interior with baking soda and letting it sit over night. Shake or vacuum the soda out the next day. Fashionistas who are slaves to the ubiquitous sheepskin boot, take note!

At Home Clothing Everyday Gear Gifts

Slippers With Built-In Lights

Image of a Pair of Brightly Striped Slippers with Lights in the ToesSooner or later, just about everyone walks (or falls) into something on the way to a light switch in the middle of the night. These Bright Feet slippers are ‘bright’ in more ways than one, though, and are a marvelous way to get across a room when there are no other lights on. These are also a great alternative to a night light that is too bright or not usefully located.

Tiny, but brilliant, LED lights are embedded in the front of each slipper. There’s a sensor on one side of the slipper, which turns on the LED only when it’s dark. Batteries go in a slot on the other side of each slipper.

Image of a Pair of Pink Slippers with Lights in the Toes


Clever But Impractical Shirts for Easy Dressing

Image of a Quick Change ShirtWhen I saw this shirt from Quick Change Clothing at the Abilities Expo, I got pretty excited. It’s difficult to find adaptive clothing that is also stylish and attractive, and this blouse is something I’d gladly wear just because I like its lines. (Though this photo doesn’t do it justice.) The gimmick here, explained the designer, is that the front of the shirt zips completely off, allowing it to be replaced in a jiffy without any contortions on the part of the wearer. Zippers on all four sides mean that no part of the body need ever be exposed, so modesty is preserved, too.

As my dad’s body has begun to stiffen and his spatial sense declines, eating has become a bit untidy. Getting dressed is more difficult, too. I love the idea of a shirt front that zips off easily and can be replaced as soon as a meal is over. “It’s a matter of dignity,” said the designer. So it is — and comfort and hygiene, too, for that matter.

Clothing Everyday Gear

Easy-to-Hold Zipper Pulls

Image of a Ring-Shaped Zipper Pull with a HookZippers are the smoothest fasteners around, and they’re the quickest to do up. But they’re no fun if you can’t hold onto the tabs. Herewith, a few tools to make zippers glide with minimal fuss. Clothing is an obvious use for these, but any of them should work just as well on bags, pouches, and even shoes.

Clothing Wheelchairs

Review of Khakis for People Who Use Wheelchairs

Image of Seat of Khakis for People Who Use Wheelchairs My dad now owns a pair of khaki pants from, makers of pants for people who use wheelchairs. I’ve written about the company previously, and here’s my review of the actual product:

Clothing DIY

Bras That Open in the Front

Image of a Zip-Front BraWhile engaging in one of my least favorite activities the other day — bra shopping — a woman standing next to me began grumbling. She was having surgery next month, and her doctor — male — told her to pick up a front-opening bra. “Where am I going to find one of those?” she asked. “Any store,” he said.


Stylish Swing Coat for Women Who Use Wheelchairs

Swing CoatForget the poncho — here’s a coat for Everywoman. It can look youthful and kicky, but it also has that undefinable touch of class, too. Take it to the mall or out to dinner — add the hat, and you’ve got an ensemble that would be at home in better theaters anywhere.

Fleece, with a soft, light, high collar, rollback sleeves, and pockets, too. The back overlaps and closes with Velcro.

Jealous because you want one, but don’t use a wheelchair? Fear not, Buck and Buck also offers it as a standard coat.

At Home Clothing Nursing Home

Easy Dressing and Adaptive Clothing for Women

One-Piece JumperIt’s tempting to settle for nightgown-type dresses for women when self-dressing isn’t possible, or when buttons or zippers are difficult to manage. Seeking comfort is a laudable goal, but living in pajamas or nighties can be pretty demoralizing, unless you’re choosing to do so as a special treat.

Clothing Nursing Home

Clothing and Communication

Fleece CardiganEvery day when I visit my dad, I’m reminded again that even something as simple as clothing can be a means of stimulating communication in a nursing home. One resident in my dad’s nursing home is always dressed head-to-toe in coordinating fleece or velour. Though the clothing is simple, the pants elastic-waisted, and the jackets large-buttoned, she somehow always looks, well, elegant.

Clothing DIY Everyday Gear

Shoe Lace Replacement

Wear Ease offers a different take on the difficulties shoelaces sometimes pose. Rip the laces out and replace them with these simple hook-and-loop strips.

Wear Ease Shoe StrapsAnchored in two eyelets on either side of the tongue, the strap folds over and fastens with hook-and-loop tape. A D-ring makes grabbing and manipulating easier. One set works for shoes with 2-3 pairs of eyelets; two pair may be needed for 4-6 pair of eyelets.

Available at Elderstore in black, brown, tan and white, though the website only lets you check off tan or brown; a phone call may be in order if you want white or black.

See also:

Locking Shoelaces

Shoelaces – Tie and Wrap