Dressing up for Winter

Adaptive Clothing Can Make the Outdoors Fun

There’s no excuse for being underdressed this winter—whatever your particular needs. That’s because of the wealth of innovative entrepreneurs out there. Take Dawn Wells, for example. Who would have known as we were watching Gilligan and his crazy band of castaways marooned on a deserted island that Mary Ann would turn out to be the true savior. But it’s true! Dawn Wells may have played a scantily clad, happy-go-lucky castaway but, since then, she’s been hard at work creating Wishing Wells Collections. Inspired by her aging grandmother, this adaptive clothing collection includes innovative alternatives to typical fasteners. Many of her pieces are reversible back-to-front, with Velcro closures that provide not only a secure fit, but ease of use if dexterity is a problem.

And who would have known that my father’s solution to my mother’s cold-but-curled hands would inspire my latest venture. I’ve taken the camouflage hand muff idea from my father (yes, he purchased it in the hunting department) and am offering it in polar fleece in classic colors. And there’s more. Instead of the shifting blanket that many wheelchair users employ to keep warm, I’ve modified the U-shaped shower lap-robe by giving it a flannel lined belt (in the same polar fleece) that snaps around the users’ waist. A matching poncho with extra long zipper completes the outfit. I’m proud to design this line in conjunction with a professional, adaptive custom clothing company, Specially For You. They’re experts in taking the most difficult clothing need and finding creative, affordable solutions for each individual.

On a larger scale, Silvert’s is the “Easy Wear, Easy Care Clothing Company.” Their Web site is also “easy,” not only categorizing their lines by men’s and women’s clothing, but also by physical conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Arthritis and Scoliosis. For clothing that needs to stand up to the industrial washing machines at care facilities, Buck & Buck offers quality clothing for home health care and nursing home residents.

As Breast Cancer Awareness month wraps up, adaptive undergarments come to mind; I think of the many women struggling to maintain their dignity after surgery. Underneath It All, located in Eden Prairie, has created a line of breast forms, bras and swimsuits for mastectomy patients and others with hard-to-fit body types.

It wasn’t long after I entered the assistive equipment business that I realized why my #1, fastest-selling product is a sock aid. My debilitating conditions affect circulation, which is most noticed in the ankles and feet. Socks and shoes can be difficult to put on, but are very important to protect delicate skin tissue that, as with diabetics, cannot suffer scrapes and cuts. To ensure a proper fit, Roger at Orthotics Geriatrics will come to your home and measure your feet for diabetic shoes and inserts covered by Medicare. Bell-Horn offers a wide range of compression hose, socks and stockings. Zappos may be the Web’s most popular shoe store. Not only do they offer free standard shipping on all orders, but they also have a great selection of wide-width shoes.

From head to toe, there’s no excuse for being dressed inappropriately no matter your situation. Not with these companies that offer a such a large variety of price, style and customization.

Resource Contact Information:

Bell Horn: www.bell-horn.com

Buck & Buck: www.buckandbuck.com

Housecalls Network: www.housecalls-network.com

Orthotics Geriatrics: 952-893-9238

Silvert’s: www.silverts.com/index.cfm

Specially For You: www.speciallyforyou.net

Underneath It All: www.underneathitall.com

Wishing Wells: http://dawn-wells.com/Wishing_Wells/wishing_wells.html

Zappos.com: www.zappos.com

 

Lisa Schmidtke is the President and Founder of House-calls Network. Their Web site, www.housecalls-network.com, contains a directory of resources that can help the growing population of seniors, people with disabilities and their caregivers live independently. House-calls Network also sells aids for daily living and adaptive clothing.

Lisa Schmidtke can be reached by e-mail at lisa@housecalls-network.com or by phone at 952-221-0722. Housecalls Network does not endorse any particular provider. They assume no responsibility for transactions between the readers of this article and listed organizations.