Devices to Help With Dressing and Grooming
For some, daily dressing and grooming may seem like an exhausting obstacle. Physical and mental challenges can make self-care tasks difficult. The importance of daily grooming and dressing, however, is clear; it not only boosts self-esteem and mood, but helps to establish a daily routine, which can help with memory and alertness, and provides a natural form of exercise, which can help to maintain strength and decrease muscle and joint stiffness. For those struggling to continue dressing and grooming themselves, technology can provide some helpful solutions.
Hands Free Hair Dryer Stand
Drying hair after a bath or shower can be a challenge. Hair dryers can feel heavy after several minutes, and hair can be difficult to reach. But a Hands Free Hair Dryer Stand can relieve much of the strain associated with grooming. Without having to hold the hair dryer, drying hair becomes a far easier process for those with weakness in the arms. $25, arthritissupplies.com
Weighted Razor Cuff
While older adults may want to shave themselves, this task might be made difficult by shaky hands. The Weighted Razor Cuff has a pocket that holds a disposable razor, as well as a comfortable strap that keeps it secure in hand, while hidden weights help to steady unwanted shaking for shaving. $33, thewrightstuff.com
DressEZ Dressing Stick
If limited mobility and flexibility are causing difficulty with getting dressed, a dressing stick may be the solution. While there are a number of these on the market, the long stick, comfortable grip, and s-hook end on the DressEZ Dressing Stick make it useful for those struggling with socks and shoes, as well as other aspects of dressing. Starting at $36, rehab-store.com
Some of the most interesting and useful technology for helping older adults get dressed may be in the clothes themselves. Adaptive clothing helps those with mobility issues by incorporating magnetic closures, adjusted hems and openings, and mindful design. While adaptive clothing used to be limited to a few brands that focused solely on creating clothes for the elderly and disabled, mainstream brands have more recently risen to the challenge of making adaptive clothing stylish. Tommy Hilfiger now carries the Tommy Adaptive line, while the UGG Universal collection includes boots that are easy to get on and off, ensuring that older adults needn’t sacrifice style for simplicity.
While dressing and grooming may be difficult, advances in assistive technology ensure that older adults can maintain their independence longer. Challenges with mobility and flexibility do not have to be obstacles to independence and aging in place. These tools and others can help older adults continue living a fulfilling and inspiring life.
By Vanessa Hutchison