Dressing yourself

Hi, just feeling a bit low, everything this throws at you, the latest being having real difficulty just getting dressed. The top half seems to be OK, I do avoid buttons, and socks are manageable. The main problem is with boxer shorts and trousers, get them on to my legs but the pulling up creates problems. If anyone has any tips for making this easier please let me know. I can’t kneel down as getting back up can take hours. I have recently become a full-time wheelchair user, and I am getting worried that I am going to lose the little independence I have left. Hope someone out there can help. Regards

Hello there, Anon,

I’m just a bit surprised that no-one else has replied, sisnce this must be a common problem at a certain level of disability.
My solution is to sit on the loo to get the boxer shorts on.

I can then get the “good” foot in, reach the floor to arrange the boxers so that there is a patch of floor visible. Then I lift the “bad” leg and place my foot in the patch of floor and I can then get the shorts up to my ankles. Now I can stand up, turn to lean my head on the wall and pull them up the rest of the way.

This assumes the ability to stand up. Trousers can be handled the same way, but take longer (a lot longer).

If you cannot stand for long enough, then I hope someone else comes up with a suggestion that we can both use.


Hi, I do the same as DoctorGeoff. I put my trousers/skirt/knickers on by sitting on the loo. I lay them out on the floor in front of me, then put my good foot in the opening first and pull the item on around it. It can sometimes take a while and be a bit of a shuffle, depending on how high I can lift my leg that particular day. Then I do my bad side. It seems easier that way. Whilst still sitting down, I pull them up my thighs so that when I stand up, I’ve not got far to go. Heather

I am relatively able but I had to sit even for knickers as they’ve caused a couple of falls! 1st leg fine, 2nd leg catches fabric forcing 1st leg to give way!!!

I find edge of bed is best, I really struggle with one leg and have to hook my leg over my elbow to hold it up to do socks etc… once over the ankles I lean back on shoulder blades and lift hips to pull to top of legs then hold top with one hand and all the way up once standing. Like Geoff says, this assumes the ability to stand, otherwise I would really need help, and I guess on the basis it would be a bit more technical than my should-blade hip-lift manouvre

I guess the choice of trousers is more difficult for guys, especially if you want anything smart?

For the girls, I have bought 3 different pairs of linen trousers from Next - they either have a clip fastening which I find ok and the ones with a button and zip also have a tie-up type belt so good if you’re struggling with the button. With a jacket these are smart enough for the office so they’ve been a great find for me (always some on the sale page of the website too so a real bonus!).

At home it’s elasticated waistbands, simple! But I’ve even managed to pull myself over with those :frowning: So I’m getting the knack of dressing more slowly and carefull, either sitting or holding something sturdy.

Yes, fiddly buttons have been trashed now, just can’t do it anymore.

On the subject tho it is definitely easier to find womens clothes that suit different occasions and are also easier to get into, it’s a far tougher job for the boys that’s for sure :frowning:

Sonia x

l have become a ‘dab’ hand with one of those gripper rods - like the ones they use for litter picking. l had to get one when l had my hip-op as you cannot lean forward for the first six weeks. l am now the proud owner of two of these gripper rods - one upstairs and one down. But great for putting on my pants trousers. Socks still a bit of a problem - there are gadgets that can help with socks. Although l find a long handled shoe horn and the gripper work well with socks. Do find l need to be sat down when pulling anything over my head - as my balance is not good.

l have two rollators - one upstairs and the other downstairs - and l keep the grippers on the rollators. Helps me pick up anything off the floor - or from a high shelf. They have a magnet on the end - so l can pick up any metal objects l have dropped - when l am a ‘screw’ loose!!

Hi all, I too get dressed on the toilet, i also use my youngest sons toilet stool to put my bad leg/foot on which means then i can lean over and drape over my foot my pants, trousers, skirts, socks or even tights (these are normally a size bigger else i cant get them on by myself). I have lost nearly 50lbs (still got about 35lbs to go)so i have now had to buy a new wardrobe. I am fed up of elasticated waist clothes and so have bought some button and zip fasterning clothes aswell, the buttons are’nt too bad as nice and big but i do have problems getting hold of the zipper, I can be there for ages trying to get it.I am determined to wear these for as long as pos, this ms has took enough away, its not having them from me yet. L i sa

When I had my hip op the nurse gave me a piece of cotton string with 2 safety pins so when putting on knickers/pants you put a pin on each end of the string and then pin each end of your. Knickers/pants place on floor while sitting on bed put. One leg in and then the other leg and pull on the string and your pants come up your legs without standing, then you only stand up for the last adjustment , very simple put effective. I also have a sock-on for putting socks/tights on very handy cost about £6 . And I use my grabber to get socks off. Hope this will be of help EileenD

When I had my hip op I was given a piece of cotton string with 2 safety pins one at each end, so when putting on knickers or pants you pin each end of your pants throw on the floor and get one leg in then the other and pull up the string and your pants will be up to your knees with not a great deal of effort, then you only have to stand up for the final pull on. Very simple and cheap

Lisa, How marvellous that you have lost all that weight. Well done. Now ‘zips’ do have a hole in the tab that you pull - and you can thread through a little bit of cord or elastic and tie into a loop - then you can pull them up easier.

Oh thanks for the tip spacejacket, i never thought of that Lisa

Hi Sorry things are getting more difficult - I think most of you can relate to your frustration. I need help to get meals, can’t clean or tidy up anymore - my home is not what it used to be - but anyway I never liked doing those things anyway, and I was never much of a cook so there are some benefits. I need help to get dressed and undressed too. I tackle this by getting clothes about two sizes too big - the problem is I’m now growing in to these - getter bigger or should I say wider. I’m in a wheelchair and soon I’m going to be as wide and I am tall so I won’t need a wheelchair as I’ll just be able to roll along. I have elasticed waist trousers and slip on shoes too, but well I’m still managing to work and I’m still enjoying life. Its all a pain but that’s how I tackle it and I hope you find a way to manage too.

((((((HUGS)))))) Mary

Hiya Mary!

You made me laff about being as wide as you are tall…same here, so we`ll both be rolling along!

Dressing/undressing is a difficult thing, but i have my carers to help…I know not everyone wants this.

luv Pollx


I have the same problem.

I found this brilliant website that sells cheap disability aids and they have lots of good ideas.

The link is http://www.betterlifehealthcare.com/

Good luck and I hope you find something that works for you.

Shazzie x