It was a personal experience that led us to make a pledge for FabChangeDay – one that has been echoed by hundreds of others, driving us on to make that change. Caring for my mother for three years whilst she battled with cancer made it apparent to both of us that the way she looked impacted significantly how she felt, how she saw herself, and how others saw and therefore treated her. What she wore affected her independence (ability to dress and undress unaided), her mobility (her desire and ability to leave the ward and move around), and desire to socialise (accept support from loved ones rather than isolating herself to avoid pitying looks). The clothes also impacted the time nurses and carers took to do their work – to dress and undress her, feed lines and catheters down sleeves and trouser legs, lift her increasingly immobile body to pull trousers up and down for catheter checks etc.. Her experience was not at all unique. We know because my business partners and I have worked with patient groups, doctors, and nurses to understand how clothes can work, and importantly when they don’t – functionally, but also to look and feel great, providing dignity, comfort and a sense of identity whilst simultaneously making life easier for carers and giving them vital time back. We have worked to create clothes that look and feel beautiful, for men and women, but that have discreet, functional access points to allow for treatment and examinations, and to enable independent dressing even when connected to medical devices.
Our pledge is to help patients have a FabChange of clothes – it is not superficial. It’s not about fashion, It’s about self-respect, independence, mobility, and helping to enable carers to provide the dignified support that it is clear they want to provide.
If you can help us facilitate this pledge please do get in touch – we can conduct tests, work with you, find ways forward. We really understand there are financial and logistic challenges that face the health service – if it was easy it would have been changed already!
We can help patients to #dresswell. Ill health is a part of our every day life now, with increased chronic conditions and an ageing population – we need to help patients and their carers to make it part of their every day wardrobe to improve comfort, dignity, independence and to help carers continue with their invaluable work more efficiently. You can reach us at [email protected] or find out about us at www.ingawellbeing.com.