Adaptive Clothing - Definition of Adaptive Clothing  Apparel Search
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Adaptive clothing refers to clothing designed for people with physical disabilities, the elderly, and the infirm who may experience difficulty dressing themselves due to an inability to manipulate closures, such as buttons and zippers, or due to a lack of a full range of motion required for self-dressing. Adaptive clothing typically offers rear-closure designs so that an individual can be dressed more easily by a caretaker. Rather than buttons and zippers, velcro is a more often used for garment closures.

Special Needs Adaptive clothing often addresses such problems as edema, incontinence and inappropriate behavior issues associated with Alzheimer's disease. Different styles of adaptive clothing are best suited to an individual with disabilities based on the nature of the wear's ailment. For example, a person who is unable to lift his arms above shoulder level would need a different clothing solution than a person suffering from incontinence.

Alzheimer's Disease

Dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease often causes patients to disrobe at inappropriate times. Adaptive clothing for Alzheimer's patients usually features rear closures for the purpose of making it difficult to remove articles of clothing without the assistance of a care giver.


Edema is a swelling of the feet and legs, which can lead to difficulty and discomfort when wearing conventional footwear. Adaptive shoes are loose fitting, adjustable in size, and offer non-restrictive velcro closures.


Individuals suffering from incontinence require clothing that can withstand rigorous and repeated washing. Shoes for incontinent individuals are designed to be washable and to not readily absorb moisture.


Stroke frequently causes varying degrees of paralysis, leading to an inability to operate buttons and zippers. Adaptive clothing for stroke patients will use velcro, as it can be manipulated more easily with one hand.

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ( ).  Modified by Apparel Search 8/4/05 & Updated 7/20/07

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