For people with disabilities and issues such as less flexibility in their fingers, everyday tasks such as getting dressed and undressed can become challenging.

Useful products and equipment

In the first instance, many aspects of getting dressed can simply be made easier by choosing certain clothes and footwear. For example, zips and Velcro are both easier to fasten than small buttons or shoelaces; easier still are clothes that don’t require fastening. A range of products are also available to help with getting dressed. Your relative may like to consider:

  • a long-handled shoehorn to help with putting on shoes
  • a grabber stick (or pick-up stick): not only useful for picking items up off the floor, this can also be used to help pull trousers or underwear over the feet
  • a dressing stick: a wooden stick with a rubber tip at one end and a double wire hook at the other, used to pull on or push off garments, such as socks, that cannot be reached easily
  • a button hook: a comfortable plastic handle attached to a metal loop, helping to fasten buttons on clothes such as cardigans.

Finding and reaching clothes

  • For clothes stored in a wardrobe, consider having a light fitted to provide more illumination.
  • Place clothes at a convenient height – items that are too high up or low down may be hard to reach. Similarly, use a shoe rack for footwear.
  • If you are buying new bedroom furniture for your relative, choose a wardrobe, cupboard or a chest of drawers with doors and drawers that are easy to open, and handles that are easy to grip. Wardrobes with sliding doors are often the easiest type to open, particularly if your relative uses a walking aid. You could also consider having a custom-made storage unit.

More information

Page last reviewed: March 2015
Next review due: November 2016