Clothing design for the physically handicapped elderly woman

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Education, Health & Human Development


The purpose of the study was to identify style features in outerwear preferred by physically handicapped females, 65 years or older. Professional staff members in local nursing homes offered suggestions concerning clothing for the elderly and physically handicapped. With these suggestions and others from previous studies, a daytime dress was designed. The following style features were selected: one-piece dress, full-length raglan sleeves, lowered neckline, elastic encased waistline, large patch pockets, long front zipper opening, and dress length extending over the knee. The design dress was tested on five elderly women with arm and/or leg disability. Two types of clothing characteristics were assessed: (1) functional features of present clothing and (2) functional features of design garment. Each woman's dressing ability greatly improved during the month she wore the design garment. A long front zipper was especially helpful.




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