July 22, 2015 | 8:55 am | By Pants Up Easy
Pulling up your pants several times each day is an inevitable part of daily life. Those with a T9 complete injury are fortunate enough to have the use of their arms and hands, as well as abdominal muscles, making the task doable. However, it still won’t be an easy feat, to say the least. Luckily, there are a few tricks to help make the process of pulling up pants for a person with a T9 complete injury somewhat more manageable.
Many people suggest never pulling your pants all the way down, as it can be very difficult to retrieve them from the floor. However, if you have pulled your pants all the way down, or you are getting dressed for the first time that day, start by pulling your pants up to your knees. This is especially important if you are redressing after visiting the restroom. Before transferring to your chair or attempting to pull your pants all the way up, get them to this point. Things will be much more manageable from this “starting” point.
If you are getting dressed for the day, consider lying in bed to put your pants on. Many find that laying back and pulling their pants up that way is easiest. If you are redressing, consider moving from the toilet to your wheelchair, which may be a more stable place to complete the maneuver. This is really personal preference, as some find that the grab bars surrounding the toilet make the process easier, while others prefer to be in the comfort of their own chair. If you do choose to move back to your chair, be sure that you have completed step one and pulled your pants up to your knees. This will ensure that your legs or ankles don’t become tangled during the transfer process.
Once you’ve found a safe place to pull up your pants, lean side to side. As you lift one side and support your body with the other, pull the pants up on the lifted side. Then switch sides and repeat. This process may take a few times of shifting back and forth before you have your pants back in place. The process is made easier by choosing clothing that is softer and more likely to slide easily versus jeans or other stiff clothing options. Many wheelchair users also have found that forgoing underwear makes the process much less frustrating, although this is obviously personal preference as well.
Once you’ve gotten your pants back in place, you simply need to zip, button, or straighten and rearrange, depending on the type of clothing you are wearing. It can be incredibly uncomfortable to sit in twisted clothing for long durations, so again, clothing options that are easy to slide back into place are always a good idea.
There are many “tools” out there to help wheelchair users in the process of pulling up their pants. Transfer boards or transfer discs can make the process of moving back and forth from toilet to chair, or chair to car, or whatever it may be, much easier for those in a wheelchair. In your own home, our product Pants Up Easy can make the process of dressing much simpler. Available in a wall mount, wall frame, or freestanding model, the Pants Up Easy product allows wheelchair users to easily pull their pants up with little hassle. By simply placing your arms out over the arm rests, putting your arms down to reach your pants as the arm rests fold to the side, and then pulling your pants back up by allowing the arm rests to support your weight, pants can be pulled up in three simple steps.
While pulling up your pants with a T9 complete injury may never be technically considered easy, it can certainly become more manageable if you follow the above tips. Since pulling up your pants is something you will do thousands of times in your life, getting the process down to a science is important. With the use of helpful products and a standard routine, pulling up your pants can go from a hassle that you dread to just another part of your day.