July 27, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy
Pulling up your pants is an activity that most of us take for granted. We learned to do it as children, and probably do it several times a day, usually without even thinking about it. But for someone with a spinal cord injury, this simple task can become quite an ordeal. It’s something that we may never consider, unless we’re in that situation, or are close with someone who is confined to a wheelchair. In fact, it was seeing how long it took his friend to get dressed after using the bathroom which prompted Pants Up Easy founder Douglas Pearson to invent his products.
If you have a spinal cord injury, here are a few steps you can follow to help pulling up your pants more efficiently:
It’s worth noting at this point that many people actually recommend never pulling your pants all the way down to the level of your feet. It’s not easy to bend over to retrieve them from the floor, so avoid that situation if you can. However, at least sometimes, like when getting dressed in the morning, that may be unavoidable. So get your pants up to the level of your knees. This will start you off in a more manageable position, before you start changing position or start struggling with pulling up your pants the rest of the way.
For the purposes of this discussion, I’m assuming that you’re somewhere where sitting is the only option. Many people find that pulling your pants up is much easier when you’re lying down, so if you’re dressing as you get up from bed in the morning, take advantage of the position you’re in, and lay back to pull your pants up. Other times, you’ll want to consider whether you’re more stable on the toilet (with grab bars to work with) or you’d be better off transferring to your wheelchair. If you are going to move, please, please make sure you follow Step 1 first. Pants tangled up around your feet will pose risk of tripping and falling, and you don’t need that.
Once you’re sure that you’re firmly situated in a stable seat, you can begin to rock from one side to the other. Leaning to one side and lifting the other, start pulling up your pants on the side that’s lifted. Repeat on the other side, and continue the cycle as many times as it takes to get your pants all the way up.
When you’ve succeeded in pulling your pants up all the way, the only thing that remains is to fasten any buttons, zippers, belts, and so on to complete the process.
While it’s not impossible to dress yourself in the way I just described, it can be a slow process, and often a frustrating one. Why not look into our Pants Up Easy products, which simplify the process even further. Whether you choose to invest in the wall-mounted or freestanding models, the use is the same: The unique design of the arm rests allows you to lift yourself while leaving your arms free to pull your pants up. This can be a great saver of time and frustration, and grant you more independence with an activity that you need to do several times a day.