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Topic of the Month: Adaptive Clothing

UPDATE June, 2014
Since this article was written,  there is a new Winnipeg company that sells adaptive clothing,
Reliable Home Care at 1320 Portage Avenue. Easy Living on Lilac St. has closed. 

Diapers and Dignity

Consider the story of Laura and her mother, Irene. Irene has dementia and has lived in a personal care home for 3 years. A year ago, she began stripping and removing her diapers, a frustrating situation for both Laura and the PCH staff.
""If my mother knew she'd end up like this she'd be mortified. She was always spotless and well-dressed."
Irene constantly complained that the diapers were uncomfortable and the problem became even worse when she began digging into her diaper and removing feces, spreading it onto her clothing, furniture, telephone etc.

Different types of diapers supplied by the home were tried with no apparent difference.

One evening two months ago Laura was approached by a health care aid who asked if she would please buy overall style pajamas for her mother. "You can buy ones that zip up the back and she won't be able to take them off. I don't know exactly what they are called or where to get them, but I've seen them in other homes."

The next day Laura asked at the nursing station where she could buy these pajamas but no one had heard of them. It was suggested that she try Golden Wear clothing. It turned out that Golden Wear had closed 2 years before. An internet search revealed that this type of clothing is called anti-strip clothing and a phone call to Easy Living resulted in "Sorry, we don't carry anti-strip pajamas but we do carry anti-strip day clothing".

Laura discovered that the online company Silvert's did carry the pajamas and ordered 2 pair at $60 each. The pajamas arrived with a catalogue that showed an underwear product similar to a baby's onesie - a one piece cotton suit with snaps between the legs. Discussion with staff ensued. Could this be worn over the diaper and under her day clothes and prevent access to her diapers. "It's worth a try."

The onesie's were ordered but Irene could still get at the diaper through the open legs. "Perhaps if you could find long-legged panties like bloomers to put under the onesie?" A search for bloomers ensued - Walmart - no, the Bay - no but Easy Living had them. A trip to Easy Living resulted in ordering 4 size mediums.

The day after the bloomers arrived, Laura on a hunch decided to do a Google search for incontinence products. Up popped a company that sold not only adult diapers but also body stockings to be worn over top. Guess where West Care Health Products is located? That's right... Winnipeg!

Adaptive and Anti-Strip Clothing - Sources

I am going to break one of my rules and recommend some retail companies that supply adaptive and anti-strip clothing.
Tax Breaks: With a doctor's prescription adaptive clothing can be claimed as an eligible medical tax exemption.  It is also exempt from GST so purchasers can apply for  a refund of this tax as well.

This month's link

If you want to know how many Manitobans are waiting for placement in personal care homes, look here.

Weekly Statistics for Personal Care Home Placement


  1. Thanks for this article. We are working with a client currently who definitely needs some adaptive clothing. The family will be happy to learn about the body stocking- a respectful and dignified solution. Thanks!

  2. Heart touching story,by writer. Actually home care agencies play very big supportive role to elders.

    1. I agree. In fact I hire private home care when I travel because there is no provincial home care support in our personal care homes. I feel more secure when I replace myself, the caregiver, when I'm away.

  3. Anonymous6:27 AM

    personal care
    -:very good content and nice information....