For many people, a stroke means suffering from partial paralysis or losing range of motion in arms and legs. Dressing after a stroke can be a challenging feat that can leave you feeling frustrated and tired.
If you have weakness on a specific side of your body or have lost significant range of motion, you may find the following tips useful:
Dressing with weakness on one side
- Let your “good arm” do the work.
- Use the arm that is still mobile to put on clothing, starting with the affected side first. To undress, start by taking off your clothes from the unaffected side.
- Choose roomy clothes and slippery or silky fabrics.
- Make sure your clothes are loose enough so you have room to maneuver. Breathable fabrics that easily slide on your skin will make it a lot easier to dress.
- Prepare your outfit before dressing.
- Always look to minimize stress wherever possible – preparing your outfit beforehand will allow you more time to dress.
- At the beginning of your recovery, dress while sitting.
- Balance can be tricky at the beginning, so make sure you find a comfortable place to sit – chair, bed, sofa, or wherever you can have both feet on the floor (balance) and have enough room to move around while putting on clothes.
Below are also some quick tips with common challenges:
Shirts and jackets
- Choose slippery or non-iron fabrics.
- Use down time to practice buttoning and unbuttoning on a button up shirt.
- Put your affected arm in the sleeve first.
- Start buttoning from the bottom part and work your way up.
Socks and shoes
- Sit down. Put your foot on an elevated surface.
- At the beginning use slip-on shoes. Make sure these make you feel safe and balanced.
- Use Velcro closures in place of shoelaces to make it easier to dress.
Jewelry and accessories
- Wear bracelets that can be slipped onto your arm.
- Clip-on earrings are easier.
- Use gadgets or tricks to make it easier to put on clothes, like attaching a string to a zipper.
- If you can adapt your clothing, velcro is a great alternative to buttons and shoelaces.
- Clip-on ties are easier to put on and take off.
- A front-closure bra will be easier to use than regular or pullover ones.