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Caregiver Contest Runner Up Linda: Zippers

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
04/03/19  9:14 AM PST

Linda S. is from Highland, CA. She provided the following biography: “My husband and I have been married over 54 years and worked together as well. We have one son and one very special granddaughter. She was born with a very rare genetic disorder and is now totally blind. She is the love of our lives. As I have loved sewing for over 60 years, I have always created special adaptive clothing for her and now for my husband as well. One of our favorite pastimes is Renaissance Faires. We have been involved as participants for 30 years and as part of it, we dress up in noble clothing. When Parkinson’s Disease and adult-onset diabetes began to take its toll on my husband, I began to adapt his clothing as well. We still enjoy our life together with new modifications.” When Linda learned she was a runner up, she wrote back with: “Thank you for the great news.”

What tips do you have for care at home?

My husband must wear an external catheter and wears his bag high up on his thigh.  It’s very difficult for him to empty his bag, especially when we are out of our home.  I now take his pants and sew zippers down each side on the outside.  I take the seam out, buy a very long sturdy zipper and sew in down each side.
The zipper opening is at the pant leg opening, so he can completely unzip his pant leg, empty his bag and then rezip it.

It’s also great when a doctor needs to check his legs which tend to be infected very easily or his knees.  The doctors and nurses have commented many times about how much easier and quicker it is to check his legs and feet with his pant legs being able to be unzipped.

My husband also falls very easy and is very unsteady on his feet, so his pants can be unzipped while in his mobility chair.

The other way that I have altered certain pants of his is to open up the inside seam and sew a zipper completely around from one side to the other.  I do this with his renaissance costume pants as they are very difficult to take off.  He can then even change his diaper without having to remove his pants completely.

Click here to head to the contest home page and read more advice.

Winners were selected by a panel of independent judges: Maggie Bermudez, the Manager of Professional Training and Healthcare Services at Alzheimer’s Los Angeles; Alethea Mshar, a blogger, mom of two children with Down syndrome and a frequent contributor to Shield HealthCare’s GROW community; and Joy Hooper, a Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse and the lead instructor of the Wound Care Education Institute’s ostomy courses. Click here to learn more.


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