My idea is to implement clothes for the elderly with hidden protectors that don't mess up with their happiness, daily routine and comfort. Would you like to wear a sad-looking medical pant every day, with lateral visible cushions under your favourite clothes that now don't fit anymore because of the extra-volume? Me neither. We have special clothes for babies, for big sizes, for pregnant women: it's time we design special clothes for the elderly. They have to be as protective and useful as much as comfortable and beautiful. This is a possible mission: starting from the medical devices, an expert tailor is capable of adding shapes that hide and smoothens the parts without affecting the protective effects. In addition to the hip protections, some other attention could be used in other parts of the clothing for the elders to make them easy to wear, like using Velcro instead of buttons. It's time for a special line of clothes that keeps old people safe, comfortable and happy.
During the hot season wearing and extra-layer of clothes would be very uncomfortable, even more for the elderly people who are more inclined to dehydration. Plus, the extra-layer given by the classical hip-protector makes the people's clothes too tight and uncomfortable, so that they have to be changed anyway. Trousers, skirts and pijamas that include hip protections are just one layer as the usual clothes, can be transformed in something fashionable, comfortable and respectful of the quality of life: aesthetics are often kept separated from prosthetics and it's wrong: uncomfortable, ugly prothetics designs are often the main reason for poor acceptance and poor adherence.
Also, adding an unpleasant step in the daily routine that may be also be forgotten or difficult to be carried out due to reduced ability, doesn't promote the use of the classical hip-protector. The process of getting dressed instead, is a normal routine and can be also pleasant if the clothes are likeable and comfortable. Therefore an elderly person can be safe and protected without any changing in her/his routine, if the clothes themselves are protective.
The reasons for low compliance by older people are (1) unaccustomed to use, (2) discomfort, (3) wearing only during the daytime, (4) lack of assistance from family caregivers. All this can be solved integrating protections in a special line of clothes for the elderly people.
There is more evidence of a very low adherence to the use of such protections in people with Parkinson, arthritis, dizziness, wheelchair, walking aid and incontinence.
From: "Facilitators of and Barriers to Hip Protector Acceptance andAdherence in Long-term Care Facilities: A Systematic Review" (J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2015 Mar;16(3):185-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2014.12.004.):
Barriers to the compliance of hip protectors:
Negative perceptions of hip protectors. Lack of acceptability often arose from concerns about hygiene, cost-effectiveness, maintaining the dignity of residents, the development of unwanted side effects (ie, pressure damage, redness of the skin), and most often, the amount of effort required when helping residents to don and doff hip protectors. In 1 study, nightshift respondents were more likely to rate a hip protector policy as time-consuming (50% vs 13.7%; P ¼ .021) and stressful (75% vs24.1%; P ¼ .006) compared with day-time caregivers, even though nearly all (97.3%) considered a hip protector policy in LTC as feasible. Fatalism and depression. In another 4 studies, a fatalistic view of end of life, depression, or other mood symptoms associated negatively with acceptance and/or adherence. Persistent urinary and bowel incontinencewere identified as a potential barrier to acceptance and adherence. A deterioration of health resulting in nonambulatory status was encountered as a reason for noncompliance in 3 studies. Relative complexity: Identified in 10 studies, another common resident-level barrier to adherence related to difficulty donning and doffing hip protectors independently, sometimes leading to the incorrect placement of hip protectors. The most prevalent hip protector-level barrier of both acceptance and adherence was discomfort, named in 16 studies. Distaste: Issues with style or appearance of hip protectors were also identified as potential barriers to acceptance and adherence: 28% terminated their use because of distaste with their appearance. Doherty et al. (2004) reported that female residents, in particular, were offended by the masculine appearance of hip protector pants, which made them look bulky and unattractive. Laundering: issues surrounding the laundering of hip protectors were identified as system-related barriers to adherence in 2 studies. The residents with incontinence were particularly affected, as their garments required frequent laundering.
Facilitators of the compliance of the hip protectors:
Clinical risk factors for falls and fragility fractures. Recognition of the need for hip protection. Peer and family advocacy. Color steadfastness: In 1 study, color steadfastness was considered ahip protector-level facilitator of acceptance and adherence. Soft shell hip protectors: type of hip protector (ie, soft pad, hardshell) has also been shown to influence adherence, especially during the night.
All these data show all the unheard necessities of the elderly people that can be solved designing a special line of protective, easy-to-wear clothes, with a good appearance and comfort.