To the Editor:
One problem of clothing for female nursing home residents - especially those who are incontinent and nonambulatory - is appropriate undergarments. Concerns expressed by nursing staffs included the need for garments that provided some support, extra warmth and ease in dressing so that substitution of nightwear, often left on from the previous night, can be avoided.
This came to the attention of clothing researchers at the University of Arizona during the summer of 1982. We designed and tested a special slip design with unique features to resolve these problems. The design included a high back wrap with generous overlap and back Velcro closures at neck and waist. This aided in dressing the seated person, provided warmth to the upper back and reduced soiling by allowing the skirt to be pulled to each side for ease of changing incontinence pads.
The slip had a U-shaped neckline front bodice, built in wide shoulder straps, cut in one with the bodice, a midrif bias yoke insert and a slightly gathered skirt on a waistline seam. These features provided bust support, reduced the need for a bra, and allowed fitting adjustments for the seated figure.
The design, made of 65% polyester and 35% cotton batiste was wear-tested by 20 residents in a pilot study and later by 152 residents in a larger clothing study. It was found to be suitable and acceptable by the nursing staff as well as the wearers in terms of easier dressing, meeting figure needs and providing adequate support and comfort. As a result, the design was submitted to Techni-Flair, P.O. Box 40, Cotter, Arkansas, 72626, which has incorporated the style into their catalog of clothing for special needs. Persons interested in this and other suitable clothing designs can write for their catalog.
Please address letters to:
Journal of Gerontological Nursing
6900 Grove Road
Thorofare, NJ 08086