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What can I use instead of a bra?/Bra alternatives for seniors

If you are looking for something to wear in place of a bra you should look for camisoles or bralette, you can use bra back extenders or go braless. Later in the article, you will find more bra alternatives. In case you need to wear a bra and feel uncomfortable wearing it you have a few options to make it more comfortable.

Why do I feel uncomfortable wearing a bra?

Manufacturers produce bras in standard sizes, but unfortunately, all breasts are unique so you’ll be lucky if you find one that fits exactly.

Many women buy a specific bra size because they’ve always bought that one. They often don’t realize that their body changes as they get older. The muscles supporting the breast become weaker and less able to support themselves naturally. This results in different breast shapes and sizes as time goes on.

Therefore, you’ll continue with aches and pains from your breasts until you find a bra size that fits comfortably.

RELATED: Best bras for older women

What can I wear in place of a bra?

The simple answer is to find an alternative. So what’s available for the senior woman to wear in place of a bra? And maybe, more importantly, do they need to wear a bra at all?

Bodysuit

A bodysuit is similar to a leotard or a one-piece swimsuit. It covers mostly everything except your arms and legs. Sounds like it might be difficult to cope if you need to visit the toilet, doesn’t it? You’d be wrong. Most of them come with small fasteners at the crotch so it’s easy to release if you need to.

You can make a bodysuit from just about any type of fabric you can think of. From a pretty lace to cotton to even latex if you feel inclined.

We won’t go into too much detail regarding the styles except that around the bust area, you can enjoy a low cut or high neck. More importantly,  the upper part of a bodysuit can be tight and elasticated to hold your breasts in position without hard and uncomfortable wired cages.

Oh, and you can get them for nightwear as well as daywear, so you get the benefit all day long.

Camisoles

Camisole is almost a vest with a built-in support bra. Stretchy lycra usually forms the bra section while a looser cotton fabric makes up the remainder.  These are ideal for the women who don’t want to wear a bra but still need its support as well as the warmth of a vest.

Sports Bras

These fit snugly around the upper torso, keeping your breasts in place without uncomfortable wires. If you’re not the ‘sporty type’ don’t be put off. Sports bras keep your breasts in place and stop them from bouncing around, no matter what you’re doing.  They’re also easy to pull on and off. No fiddly hooks or fasteners. Just pull them over your head like a tee shirt.

Bralette

What’s one of these? Bralette is simply a bra without wires or molded cups. Think of it as a cross between a sports bra and a regular bra. But, made from soft and smooth fabrics such as lace, cotton, cotton blend, or microfiber. Most of all they’re designed to be lightweight.

Unlike a sports bra that’s only worn to stop breasts from jumping around, a bralette is more for style and comfort. Because these don’t give the same support as a bra, women with smaller breasts who don’t need the support usually wear them. Originally worn by young girls and teens, women of all ages now wear them.

What else can you do?

Let’s assume you’ve looked at all the alternative garments, but still prefer to wear a bra. What can you do?

How can I make my bra more comfortable?

Surprisingly, many women don’t wear a properly fitting bra. This may sound obvious but the correct size is probably the best way to be comfortable. The straps should be wide enough so they don’t dig into your shoulders.

And, ensure the cups and wires don’t cut into your breast tissue. You’ll also find that almost every brand has its own sizing criteria, so the same size bras from two companies won’t be interchangeable. Not only that, but your bra size has probably changed without you realizing it.

Go to a high-end department store or lingerie boutique and ask a professional to measure you for size. It will make all the difference.

Bra Back Extenders

Now, whoever invented these deserves a medal. How many times have you found a bra with a perfect cup size, but is too tight across your back?

A back extender is a small piece of fabric designed to connect between the hook and eyes of a standard bra strap to make the strap slightly longer. This is ideal if you find that you need a between size strap or if your strap is too tight.

Although this is a good ‘fix-it’ for the short term, it’s much better if you focus on finding a bra that actually fits rather than using an ‘add-on’. Properly, using the engineering expertise that goes into a good bra will always be better than ‘making do’.

Wearing Nothing

Many seniors choose to discard their bras completely, especially when they’re around the house or exercising. However, this may not always be possible if you have a large-sized bust or if you ‘feel naked’ without one. 

Many women enjoy using a flattering bra as it makes them feel more feminine. And in fact, a well-proportioned bust can still initially attract a potential partner at any age. So, if you want to wear some support, then do so, but if you have a build where you can go without, don’t be embarrassed.

What should I wear instead of a bra at night?

Let’s face it, if you sleep in an underwired daytime bra, you won’t be comfortable. Not only does wearing one in bed make it difficult to breathe properly, but also doesn’t give your skin a chance to dry out sweat.

In fact, not wearing a bra in bed can reduce the chances of developing a fungal or bacterial skin infection. There are many good medical reasons why you shouldn’t wear a bra in bed, but you should look these up for yourself and talk to your doctor before deciding.

If you need the support that only wearing a bra can provide, don’t despair. There are such things as sleep bras. These are lightweight, comfortable, and completely wireless. You can then get a good night’s sleep without getting tangled up in a standard bra.

They also have an added advantage that you can use them for lounging around the house if you need the support but don’t want to dress up. They’re also made from more breathable fabric or have mesh panels to allow free air circulation to keep your skin dry.

What’s next?

I hope you found this article helpful. If you are looking for clothes for seniors you should check the best housecoats for senior ladies. You may want to check some comfortable bathing suits as well. In case you often facing problems with dressing up than you should consider dressing aids for seniors.

Best Shoes For Elderly With Balance Problems-Featuring also Velcro Shoes

Falls are common among older people and often lead to serious injuries, including bruises, broken hips, and even damage to the head. One of the most important reasons why the elderly would suffer a fall is due to insufficient sensations in the feet.

This makes it harder for the person to know when they are off-balance and increases the risk of a fall. The best shoes for the elderly with balance problems can help to improve the overall balance of the person and greatly reduce the risk of them falling and suffering an injury.

What to consider when buying shoes for the elderly with balance problems?

If you’re a senior it’s essential to have correct footwear at all times. When we become old a simple trip and fall can end up being very serious, usually caused by balance issues combined with postural problems and brittle bones.

Buying shoes for the elderly with balance problems can be difficult due to the massive variety of these products on the market. By knowing what to look for, the process becomes significantly easier. Below are a few pointers to help you know what features to consider when shopping for these shoes:

Let’s see what things we should look for, shall we?

Right Size

Although you need to have a shoe that fits so there isn’t any foot movement within the shoe, they need to be fully adjustable to accommodate foot swelling caused by diabetes and many other illnesses prevalent in seniors.

Comfort

A good shoe must be comfortable. When you exercise daily, take the dog for a walk or walk to the grocery store, you need shoes that are comfortable and don’t pinch, cause bunions or abrasions.

Adequate padding

Padding is essential if you want a comfortable shoe. Shoes often rub the ankle and cause friction blisters or abrasions. They can pinch the toes and cause aches that travel up the leg. You must have proper padding under the sole, around the toe area and ankle to make a shoe comfortable.

Removable insoles

Many seniors like to customize their shoes with removable insoles. These provide extra padding and support exactly where you need them, under the sole. You can also buy ones that deodorize the shoe and combat athletes foot and other fungal infections if you suffer from sweaty feet.

Stability

Above all, a good pair of shoes must be stable to wear and reduce the chances of the wearer falling over. The soles should be non-slip and molded to give adequate traction. Also, look for shoes with a higher back area as this helps to give your heel and ankle an extra layer of support. This may help to provide a further reduction in the risk of a fall

Low heel

This is probably one of the most important things when considering shoes for seniors. Seniors often have balance issues so high heels are a very bad idea. It’s definitely worthwhile spending the extra money on a good pair of stout walking shoes with low heels.

The heel of a shoe for the elderly should have a low profile. When the heel is too thick, it causes the foot to become unstable. This can increase the risk of falling. Try to look for a shoe with a heel that has a thickness that is less than one-inch.

Increased toe width

The width of the area at the toes is another important element to look at. When this area is too narrow, it can reduce the stability of the shoe. Look for a product with a wider region in the toe area. This helps to provide improved stability while walking.

Adequate traction

We mentioned about shoes providing adequate traction earlier in this article when we were talking about stability. It is such an important factor to consider when buying shoes, that we’ll give it a section all to itself. For a shoe to be stable when worn, it needs to be safe under any circumstances. A good tread on the sole, designed to keep traction in snow, ice, rain, and mud, is essential and must not be skimped.

Material

A good pair of shoes, must be waterproof, protect the feet from impact with the ground, allow the foot to breathe, and protect from the cold. Although many modern shoes emphasize synthetic uppers and soles, these will not usually ventilate your feet. Likewise, leather soles do not give enough traction and are certainly not non-slip. Synthetic soles for good tread, with leather or fabric uppers for adequate ventilation, are the ideal combination.

Easy To Wear

A good pair of shoes must be comfortable to wear just about everywhere and in most conditions, off and on-road, and during hot or cold weather. Also, they must have a long lifespan, because good shoes aren’t cheap.

Lace-free closures

Many seniors have problems handling things due to arthritis and have problems keeping balance. We need both these abilities when fiddling with shoelaces. The ideal alternatives are either to have slip-on shoes or lace-free closures such as Velcro or buckles. If you have problems with swelling feet then don’t choose slip-on as the elastic section might put too much constriction on your feet.

Easy maintenance

Shoes must be easy to maintain. Wash mud from the soles and a quick wipe on the uppers should be all that’s needed.  If you choose leather uppers, you’ll have to waterproof the leather with polish to keep them in good condition.

Don’t forget to maintain the inside as well. Make sure the shoes are well ventilated and the inside is antibacterial.

Best Shoes For Elderly With Balance Problems

Now that you know what to look for when buying shoes for better stability lets take a look at the top options that you can choose from.

New Balance Men’s

Older men should consider the New Balance Men’s MW577 Hook and Loop Walking Shoe. This is definitely an expensive option, but the company behind the product ensures it gives better support and adds more stability to each step you will take. These shoes are available in three colors, including black, white, and bone.

You can select between various sizes, ranging from seven up to 15. A wide and X-wide model is also available with each size, giving you better stability in the toe area. This New Balance shoe is made from leather and does not feature any laces, which helps to provide a further improvement in safety while walking and moving around. Cushioning is provided through a polyurethane midsole installed in the shoe.

New Balance Women’s

Women can opt for the New Balance Women’s WW813 Hook and Loop Walking Shoe if they need a quality product that is able to give them the right amount of support. These shoes come in three great color options, including black, grey, and white. They do not use laces in order to reduce the need for bending down, while also preventing falls caused by loose laces.

These shoes are made from 100% leather and feature a rubber sole. The internal area is padded with moisture-wicking material, while also being resistant to odors. The color, hele, and tongue features extra padding, along with a cushioned insole. Sizes range from five to 13. The shoe comes in a standard, wide, and X-wide option.

Propet Women’s

The Propet Women’s Stability Walker Sneaker combines excellent support with a great design. The product does feature laces, which is something you do need to consider when looking to buy it.

There is a speed-lacing closure system, however, which reduces these risks. The sneaker design may be more appropriate compared to some of the “rugged” designs that these often yield.

A large variety of color options are available, including black, white, Berry Suede, grey, Navy Nubuck, and more. The shoes are made from leather as the primary material. There is rubber sole to help provide a non-slip surface, while also providing better support underneath your feet.

Sizes range from five up to 13. You are able to choose between a narrow or wide option. Some sizes come in an XX-wide option.

Skechers Women’s

The Skechers Women’s D’Lites Memory Foam Lace-up Sneaker focuses on providing a great product for those older individuals who still tries to remain active during the day.

The product is designed like a running shoe for improved aesthetics, while also featuring elements that make it more functional for day-to-day usage.

There is a massive selection of styles and designs to choose from, with colors like black, white, Taupe, gold, and even a multi-colored option. There is a one-inch rubber sole installed underneath the shoe, which adds support without affecting stability in a negative way.

A lace-up vamp is added to provide better support. The major issue with these shoes is the fact that it does use a lace system. This can be an inconvenience and even a risk factor for some people.

On the inside, there is memory foam padding as an insole. The padding provides a cushioning effect that supports your feet during movement.

Skechers Men’s

Men looking for an affordable option that is still made from leather can benefit from the Skechers Men’s Afterburn M. Fit Strike On. These shoes do not use a lace system, but rather Velcro-fitted straps.

This makes it safer for those who fear falling over laces and elderly people who suffer from pain that makes it harder to bend down. The shoes are available in black and white color options. A darker black option is also available.

These shoes use a padded tongue, along with a collar, for better support. Internal padding also helps to make your feet more comfortable while wearing the shoes. A synthetic rubber sole is used that is not too thick, but still adds stability underneath the product.

What’s next?

I hope you find this post helpful. I will try to open more topics in case you have more questions. Check this useful post about fall prevention. If you often have difficulties with putting on shoes be sure to check dressing aids.

Choose your outdoor shoes properly. In case you have an active lifestyle you should consider buying running shoes for seniors. For indoor use check nonslip slippers appropriate for seniors.

Assistive devices for dressing and adaptive clothing for elderly

In case you are searching assistive devices for dressing you should consider buttonhooks and zippers tabs. Stocking Slider is also a great tool for pulling socks on and off. Or, you might need to learn to dress using a different method.

Many seniors have problems getting dressed. This is mainly because they can’t hold buttons or zippers or can’t reach to pull clothes on or off. Read further to find adaptive clothing.

Assistive devices for dressing

Everyone’s needs are different so the solution must be planned depending on your requirements. You can use dressing aids or it may be that all you need is to change to elasticated clothing rather than use buttons and laces.

Buttonhooks

These are simple devices. Push the hook through a buttonhole, loop it around the button and pull back through the buttonhole. It works every time. Even if you are fairly nimble in all other ways, there are always some buttons that cause problems so use a buttonhook.

If you have problems with gripping, you can buy buttonhooks with large diameter handles.

Zippers

Zipper tabs are usually too small to handle if you have problems grasping things. This is especially true of trouser fly zippers.

  • Fit a larger diameter ring (such as a key ring) to the zipper tab.
  • Use a dressing stick to connect to a zipper ring if you can’t reach it normally.
  • Replace all your zippers with Velcro. This is probably the best solution for trouser flies.

Stocking Slider

Pulling on socks, stockings, and pantyhose is very difficult to do if you have problems bending, stretching and grasping. You can, however, buy special mechanical aids to do this job for you. They are usually made of plastic bent into a curve. First, roll the sock or stocking onto the plastic. Hold onto the cotton tapes while the aid and sock are lowered to the floor.

Slide the foot into the aid and pull the tapes. The sock slides onto the foot, then you remove the plastic aid.

You can also try to reach your feet while sitting down and crossing your legs. Rest the calf of one leg on the knee of the other so you can reach your foot and put on the sock. Check for more hints on how to put on socks.

Long-handled Shoe horn

Adaptive clothing for elderly

Bras

Bras often have fastenings at the back. If that is too difficult, consider buying a front fastening version. Hook and eye fastenings are often very small and difficult to grasp. Get your bra altered to have a front opening with Velcro and a D ring as a fastener.

You can buy a bra with no fastenings at all. Putting it on involves either pulling over your head or stepping into it and pulling it up into place.

There are aids that allow the wearer to put on their bra one-handed. If that is you, then seriously consider it.

Once again, identify your needs and see what is available to provide a solution. Check this buyer’s guide to bras for older ladies.

Shoes

We mentioned earlier about long-handled shoehorns being really useful when slipping your shoes on. They eliminate the need to bend down and when used in conjunction with a gripper, can pull socks up too.

Shoelaces are often very difficult to manage as they require both hands at the shoe. Something not always possible. As an alternative, consider using elastic laces and just slip the shoes on and off.

A good way to handle shoe fastening is to use cord and barrel locks.

Another way to handle shoelaces is to use Ortholace. The Velcro attachment easily fits your existing shoes and allows for one-handed operation.

Probably the best way to overcome problems with laces is to avoid them completely and buy slip-on shoes or ones with Velcro fasteners.

Removing shoes and boots is always a problem so a Boot Jack will probably be a good thing to have. A Boot Jack has a curved cutout to take the heel of one boot while the other foot presses on the other end of the Jack to hold it stable. You can then easily pull off each boot in turn.

Once you are indoors, it’s always a good idea to wear slippers as they are far more comfortable to wear and easier to put on or take off. Various medical versions are available with a wide Velcro fastener. Some styles even fold completely flat and then fasten over the top of the foot and around the heel. Always remember to choose slippers with non-slip rubber soles to avoid falling over.

What else can you do to make dressing easier?

Change dressing techniques

If you have one weak hand or maybe one side paralyzed, there are alternative dressing methods you can learn. Your shoulders may be weak so putting on a coat might be really difficult. If this sounds familiar, then it’s probably best to seek advice from your doctor, who can put you in touch with a specialist.

Adapt your clothing

  • Wear skirts and trousers that have elastic waistbands. They are easier to use than those with fasteners or a belt.
  • If you must use fasteners, then use Velcro. It is so much easier to use with one hand.
  • You can wear a shirt fastened with Velcro but with buttons sewn on the outside to maintain the appearance of a proper shirt.
  • Use clothing without fasteners like tee shirts, jogging bottoms, and sweaters.
  • You can buy adapted clothing from specialist companies or find someone local who can alter your existing clothing.

What’s next?

I hope that you find this post helpful. If you have more questions I will try to outline more topics. Check bathing suits appropriate for older ladies. To stay independent check these products. In case you are facing swelling feet check compression socks for seniors. If you are feeling uncomfortable wearing a bra, check bra alternatives for seniors.