Dressing after a Stroke

Dressing difficulties after stroke can be common and can be due to vision impairments, sensory impairments or loss of function in one side.

Equipment suggestions:

Socks and Tights: Sock aids such as the sock aid easy or the ezy-on compression stocking aid assist in placing on and off socks or tights for those with limited function.

Bras: Bra assists such as the Bra angel or Buckingham bra caddy assist with placing on and off a bra for those who have use of one hand. Bra’s with poppers at the front such as the comfi bra are beneficial for those with limited dexterity as well as limited arm function.

Shirts: Shirts such as the magnaready magnetic shirt are beneficial for those with limited fine motor skills and are therefore unable to manage buttons. Button hooks can also be used to help fasten buttons for those with limited dexterity.

Tie: Elasticated or clip on ties allow for easy removal and placement of a tie for those with reduced coordination or limited use of one arm.

Zips: Tabs can be placed on zips to make grasping zips easier

General: Dressing stick and long handed aids such as trouser aids, long handed shoe horns can improve independence when getting dressed.

Elastic bands on skirts, trousers and shorts are beneficial to avoid fastenings

Velcro or elasticated shoes avoid the need to tie shoelaces

Tips to dress one handed

Clothes should be laid out in the same way every day to help jog the memory and to establish a routine which will help sequence tasks during dressing

Dress in front of a mirror particularly if you have issues with inattention to one side of your body

Placing on a shirt, jacket or dress

Always ensure the weak arm is placed into the sleeve first

Spread the garment over your lap, the inside of the clothes item facing down

Using your stronger arm place your weaker arm into the sleeve and pull it up towards your shoulder

One the garment is over the weaker sides shoulder it should be accessible to reach with your stronger side. When you are able to reach this side place in your strong arm

To take off the item you may want to consider undoing a few buttons at the top of the garment then with your stronger arm pulling the garment over your head

Overhead Garment

Always ensure the weak arm is placed into the sleeve first

Pull the neck opening over your head with your stronger side

Place stronger arm in the sleeve

To remove the garment using your stronger side pull it over your head by holding onto the opening of the garment at the back of your neck.

Putting on trousers

Sit down on bed to complete

Always ensure the weaker leg is placed in the trouser leg first

Place your weak leg over your strong leg, use your stronger arm to assist

Place your weaker leg in the trouser leg and roll the trousers up past the ankle as much as possible

Place the weaker leg with trouser on, on the floor

Place your stronger leg into the trouser. If you struggle to bend down you may consider using a dressing stick or long handed grabber to assist

If your balance is good lean against the bed to support yourself and lift up the trousers

If your balance is poor lie on the bed and if able lift your hips to place the trousers over your hips

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