Nursing Home Clothing

Wardrobe Tips for Nursing Home Clothing

Putting together a clothing wardrobe for a loved one in a nursing facility is a task that requires proper planning and preparation.  Here are some general guidelines in maintaining and putting together a clothing wardrobe for residents in healthcare facilities.

Several points to keep in mind are:

Amount: Don’t overdo it! Closet space is limited and most facilities do launder items pretty frequently. If you will be laundering the clothing yourself take that into consideration. A week’s supply should be ample however a frequent change of clothing due to soiling,  should be taken into account. Do ask the nurses or social worker for their input.

 Style: Choose practical, comfortable, loose fitting clothes that have enough stretch and room in them so as not to make someone feel restricted i.e. no tight waistbands, tight fitting armholes, very straight skirts, stiff fabrics etc. Another important consideration is modesty. Cut-out seats or shoulder wrap clothing is only suitable for those who spend their time in a bed, chair or wheelchair; not for those walking around. Skirts & dresses should be long enough to easily drape over knees. Those who are easily chilled should wear long sleeved dresses and tops with an ample supply of sweaters or lap throws. Keep in mind the mobility of the one putting on the clothes. They should be easy to put on and take off with easy closures.

 Fabrics: All clothes should be washable. It is best to choose clothing that is polyester or cotton/poly. Don’t consider silk, wool, hand or cold water washables. Institutional washers use high temperatures to launder clothing to keep germs under control. Try to choose clothing that will not need to be ironed and that will look neat and crisp. Therefore quality and durability should be a strong consideration. Zippers, snaps or buttons are a better option to Velcro. Velcro doesn't hold up as well when exposed to high temperatures and it does get clogged with dryer lint.

 Footwear: Keep in mind that many facilities have bare floors that are easy to keep clean. They can be slippery! Shoes, slippers and slipper-socks should have a non-skid sole to cut the risk of slipping. Also consider that feet swell as the day goes by; therefore choose Velcro style closures on shoes or slippers which are comfortable as well as easy to put on. If incontinence is an issue, select washable footwear.

 Labels: With much thought and planning you have put together a wardrobe. You would not want any item to be missing! Unfortunately that is something that often occurs in nursing or rehabilitation centers. You can certainly minimize those occurrences by making sure all items are clearly marked with a name label.