Being able to easily dress and groom yourself are things that we take for granted most of the time. But after a stroke, an act as simple as buttoning or zipping a jacket can become an ordeal. Fortunately, there are many helpful stroke products that are designed to help you get dressed more easily.

But before you start to think about buying any dressing aids after your stroke, think about the types of clothes that you are going to wear most often. Some clothes are easy to put on and to take off – a t shirt, or a polo shirt that does not have any buttons. Or, consider buying pants that have an elastic waist, and no buttons or zippers. There also are some clothes available that have Velcro fasteners rather than zippers and buttons.

If you have trouble bending over after your stroke, you should consider stocking or sock aids to help you dress. You pull the clothing item over a plastic gutter, and long cotton tape is used to pull up the gutter to bring the clothing item up with it. There also are stroke supplies available to help you put on your compression stockings.

Another handy dressing aid is a dressing stick, which is a stick with a hook on the end. You can use it to push off/pull on items of clothes that are hard to reach. By having loops sewn into the clothes, it will be easier for you to use your dressing stick.

A long handled shoe horn also can help you to get your shoes on, as you do not need to bend as much.

A button hook can make buttoning up easier. This can be a problem for those who have limited use of one or both hands. A button aid is used by pulling the aid through your buttonhole to catch your button, and then pulling it back through the hole.

You also can purchase elastic laces for your shoes, which can stay tied when you are taking off or putting on your shoes. Another option is spring lace fasteners that will hold the laces together, and it can be used with one hand.

When you are dressing yourself, also keep these tips in mind:

  • Dress your weakest side first. When you undress, take the clothes off the weak side last.
  • For women, putting on a bra with one hand is very hard. You may want to buy a sports bra or over the head bra.
  • Remember that loose fitting clothing is easier to deal with after a stroke than tight clothes.
  • When it is cold, it is easier to wear mittens than gloves, if your hands are weak. Putting on and taking off gloves is hard if your hands have been affected by stroke.

While dressing can be frustrating and time consuming post-stroke, the many stroke dressing aids available make it much easier to get back into your regular routine.