When we think about the physical challenges people face as we get older, most of us immediately focus on major mobility tasks: Will I be able to walk? Can I still drive a car? Will I need help moving things or doing home repairs? All of these concerns are valid, and most of us are aware of the fairly straightforward solutions available.
What we often overlook is the effect that loss of mobility and dexterity can have on formerly-simple tasks like getting dressed. If you have arthritis, you know how hard it can be to button a shirt or pants, especially in the morning when your muscles and joints are extra stiff. Anyone with muscle weakness or loss of use of an arm knows how trying it can be to put on a jacket or pull up a zipper. And if you have balance issues or difficulty bending, putting on socks and shoes is always a challenge.
Problems getting dressed can stand in the way of getting out and enjoying your life. Comfortable clothes have come a long way, and pull-on pants or slip-on shoes can help, but not everyone chooses to or is able to wear them every day. That’s why we’ve developed simple tools that make it a lot easier to get dressed.
A dressing stick helps you remain comfortably seated and eases your way through several daily dressing tasks. A dressing stick features a large hook at one end, which can be used to help pull clothes on or push them off without bending or stretching, and can also be used to pick up clothing or accessories that fall to the floor. Drive makes both an 18” and a 24” dressing stick. The 18” wooden dressing stick has a small C-shaped hook at the other end, perfect for pulling up zippers on pants and jackets. The 24” dressing stick features a padded handle with a shoe horn on the other end, for all-in-one convenience.
Stocking aids and extra-long shoe horns
If bending over is difficult, putting on shoes and socks can become quite a struggle. A stocking aid is a curved plastic form that’s wider than a person’s foot and has flexible handles attached. To use it, you place the sock on the form, which keeps the sock open and ready for your foot. Hold onto the handles, lower the Stocking Aid to the floor, and simply slip your foot in—no bending or tugging required. Once your foot is all the way into the sock, pull on the handles and remove the Stocking Aid, leaving your foot inside the sock. Drive makes both a molded plastic and a flexible stocking aid.
The extra-long shoe horn is exactly what it sounds like—a standard shoe horn with a nice long handle so there’s no bending necessary. Drive makes both a metal and a plastic model, so the choice is yours.
One-handed buttoning aid
Even people without dexterity issues can have a hard time with buttons, so adding in arthritis or weakness in the hands can make fastening shirt cuffs and collars nearly impossible without help. Using the One handed buttoning aid is a simple way to avoid the fumbling and hassle when putting on dress shirts and jackets.
Take some time to explore these options and consider how they can make you or your loved ones’ days start more smoothly and independently.