Once the arrangements are made, and plans are underway to move your relative in to a nursing home, your mind can turn to packing. One of the most frequent questions we get at this stage is ‘what are the most suitable clothes for elderly in nursing homes?’ It’s not a question you’ve likely thought about before, so what are the problems, and how are clothing choices affected?
Importantly, we consider types of clothing you may not have considered. If your loved one is moving into a care home and they have particular care needs, such as using a stoma bag, there is special clothing which can make life easier and more comfortable for them.
If your relative is moving to a nursing home this will mean they need some specialised nursing care to help them with the tasks of daily living. The precise nature of their needs will vary from person to person. However, there are some common issues:
Comfort should be a primary consideration when choosing clothes for elderly in nursing home. Residents have limited mobility, and may be unsteady on their feet. Their clothes should be suitable for sitting for extended periods of time, and not pose trip hazards. Stretchy fabrics are ideal, in soft materials which are largely natural.
We also suggest, for comfort, that you plan clothing in terms of layers which are easy to put on and take off. Generally, care homes are warm environments, but elderly individuals with restricted mobility may feel the cold more easily. Therefore, ensure vests are packed alongside comfortable warmer layers such as cardigans.
Furthermore, care homes need to be able to cycle clothes through a more intensive washing process than in domestic environments. Clothes need to be machine-washable, and preferably non-iron. They should also be plentiful enough to allow for both choice and ample turn-around time. However, they should also fit within the wardrobes and drawers available. If in doubt, ask the nursing care home exactly what storage furniture your loved one will have.
We highly recommend labelling all items of clothing. This ensures that items are returned quickly and easily, and the washing process is more reliable.
In addition, residents should have a bathrobe and slippers. Ensuring dignity in the tasks of daily living is essential to our ethos. Many residents need to take breaks during the tasks of bathing and dressing. A bathrobe makes this possible.
Just because your relative needs help with the tasks of daily living does not mean they have to sacrifice their sense of individuality and style. In fact, for the mental wellbeing of an individual in a care home, it is essential that they do still feel ‘themselves’ as much as possible, and retain some ability to make their own choices.
Therefore, whilst clothing should be practical and plentiful, it should also reflect the individual. Favourite colours, patterns, and style can all be considered as you compile their wardrobe.
If your loved one has particular care needs – such as a colostomy bag, PEG, or breathing tube, you may find that there are extra challenges when it comes to clothing choices. The good news is that adaptive clothing is gaining momentum. Indeed, we’ve seen care home clothing change considerably in the last decade. We’ve seen the introduction of adaptive clothing ranges, but now those ranges are increasingly stylish and discrete. This means that your loved one can feel comfortable and stylish, whatever their unique needs.
Take a look at the wonderful range of clothing for men and women available from The Able Label, just for example.
If your loved one uses a colostomy bag, you need to choose underwear that is high-waisted with no pressure on the bag. There are options for specific stoma bag underwear which makes things comfortable and easier to manage.
Unfortunately, ensuring your elderly relative has all of the clothes they need for life in a nursing home is rarely a completed task. Whilst the task should never take as long as the first packing, you will need to update their wardrobe from time to time, much like you do for yourself. Elderly individuals typically lose weight with ageing, and needs change over time. However, a good nursing home should seek to communicate with you regularly about your loved one’s needs, including their clothes!
If this all sounds like a tricky set of criteria, that’s understandable. The good news is that there are many retailers catering for clothing for the elderly and care home individuals. You may like to start your shopping expedition at one of a number of specialist online retailers such as: Clouds Clothing; Rival Clothing; and, the Classic Clothing Shop.
If you’re ready to get shopping and get packing, then don’t forget these 5 must-have care home clothing items:
If you’re at all in doubt about the clothes for elderly in nursing homes need, then please give us a call on 01769 573166.