September 2, 2016 | 8:00 am | By Pants Up Easy
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, you don’t need me to tell you about how many lifestyle changes you’re going to need to make. Daily routines that used to be simple tasks may require revision, and it’s likely that you’ll want to make some modifications to your home, to make it easier to do the things you need to. One item, however, that most people wouldn’t even think of as an issue unless they’re paralyzed, is the clothes that you wear. In reality, it’s a fairly big concern, for a couple of reasons.
Function over Form
If you’re paralyzed, the single biggest concern about the clothes that you wear is going to be their functionality. In this case, that’s going to mean the ease with which you can get in and out of those clothes. That’s not always easy, and not all of your formerly favorite clothes are really going to fit the bill in this regard. So it’s best to find clothing made especially for people for people with mobility concerns.
Would it surprise you to learn that there is actually an entire category of clothing specifically designed for people with disabilities? It’s called “adaptive clothing”. Not all adaptive clothes are made just for folks who are paralyzed. There are other conditions which also make it difficult to dress oneself, including arthritis and host of muscular and nervous system ailments. But it all has a common aim: making it easier to change your clothes, in spite of your medical condition.
Adaptive clothes for people with paralysis may include such features as Velcro fasteners or snaps in place of buttons, for speed and ease in opening, pants with side openings, and other designs that allow one to get dressed while in a seated position. At this point, I would be remiss if I didn’t plug our own Pants Up Easy products by mentioning that they also make it easier to change clothes when you’re paralyzed.
Comfort: Not just a luxury any more
Since we’re emphasizing function, you might think that comfort is that big of a concern. But when you’re spending so much time in a wheelchair or a bed, you don’t want to be stuck in clothes that will make you even more uncomfortable, and potentially produce friction which could lead to pressure sores. Clothes made from fabric which stretches will be less likely to bunch up. Back pockets, which are common in most pants, don’t serve a function if you’re in a wheelchair, and are likely to cause discomfort after a number of hours, so look for pants without those.
Fashion is not out of the question!
As we’ve said, functionality and comfort are the most important factors to consider. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still wear fashionable clothes, just because you’re paralyzed. You don’t have to take my word for this. Look at the story of Heidi McKenzie, who was left paralzyed from the waist down after a car accident. Unable to find a nice pair of jeans that she could wear in her wheelchair, she took it upon herself to design her own line of adaptive jeans that work well for people in wheelchairs, and look great!