There are a few simple ideas that can be used to adapt existing clothing to make them easier to use for a personal with ALS (PALS).
For women, skirts or dresses will make it easier to go to the bathroom. But, if you prefer to wear pants, you can have the side seam adapted with Velcro, zipper, or snap closure to make them easier to take on/off.
There are pants that are especially designed for those who spend a majority of time sitting. They have extra room in the back that helps the pants to not cut along the front.
For some PALS, it may be difficult to operate zippers and/or buttons. Pants, boxer shorts, and other items of clothing can be adapted to have a Velcro closure as shown below:
Another idea is to have button down shirts adapted so that it is held closed with Velcro only:
In the underwear department, front closing braziers are a good option for women. Also, loose fitting underwear, or underwear that is adapted with Velcro, a zipper, or snap side seams is a good idea. For men, wearing one size larger briefs or boxer shorts can make going to the bathroom easier.
There are a lot of devices to help with putting on jewelry. Magnetic clasps can replace regular necklace or bracelet clasps. Look for items designed for arthritis patients for easy to use products. A lot of items can be found in the medical isle of large drug store chains.
A web search for "adaptive clothing" will result in a host of websites. Here are a few specific resources:
Adaptive Clothing Showroom - 877-222-1055
American Health Care Apparel - 1-800-252-0584
Easy Access Clothing - 1-800-775-5536
Buck and Buck - 1-800-458-0600
Wardrobe Waggon - 1-800-992-2737
AG Apparel - 609-661-0195
Ask The Expert! Do you have any assistive technology related questions? Email Ben Lieman, our Assistive Technology Specialist at BLieman@als-ny.org or call the office at (212) 720-3057.