Functional Clothing Design for the Elderly
Authors: Yixin Fan, Xiaoping Hu
Abstract: This paper introduces a functional clothing design for the elderly. Due to the aging of the elderly body organs and tissues, joint stability and mobility are declining, bone density and strength are also declining, physical activity is not as good as before. The purpose of this paper is to determine the needs and problems of the elderly on clothing and design functional clothing in line with their physiological functions and life needs.To determine the needs and problems of the elderly for clothing, we prepared a questionnaire, and the sample was from 101 elderly people across the country. Sample data show that the elderly have a great demand for the functionality of clothing, and have varying degrees of feedback on the color, fabric, size, structure, and other aspects of clothing. In combination with the questions reflected by the elderly in the questionnaire survey, we conducted market research on the existing clothing for the elderly. The results showed that the existing clothing for the elderly did not fully consider the physiological characteristics of the elderly to carry out the targeted design, and the clothing sold by the brand was relatively simple. In addition, the questionnaire sample data also showed that more than half of the elderly related to the section of pain, that the existing clothing wearing process is very difficult. Therefore, 10 elderly people with arthritis were selected from the questionnaire for in-depth interviews. Through the interview, we found that these elderly people, due to the lack of flexibility of joints, would consume a lot of time in the process of wearing clothes, especially pants. Therefore, clothing design for the elderly should be able to facilitate their life in the way of wearing, and reduce the difficulty of the elderly to put on and take off clothes.Based on the preliminary investigation, we came up with a design plan for the elderly. First of all, from the perspective of the model we adjust it according to the physiological characteristics of the elderly with arthritis. Due to the tubular design of pants, the elderly need to put the pants on the floor and wear them leg by leg, which is inconvenient in the process of putting them on and taking off. Therefore, we tried to change the original tubular sleeve pants into open pants, so that the elderly can wear them without lifting their legs. Since the open pants need to be designed with the function of closing, it takes more time for the button to be put on and taken off, and the zipper is not easy to wear, so we choose the mother-and-child buckle in the design. At the same time, according to the clinical symptoms and protection needs of arthritis, we focused on the knees and selected warmer and more protective materials for the knee. There are also some details on the pockets, belts and legs of trousers. Add protection to pocket openings to reduce the chance that items in your pocket will fall or be lost. In the waistband leg can be added to narrow the fixed details, to prevent the elderly from obstructing activities. Finally, the elderly living alone who had been followed up were interviewed to adjust the clothes and improve the design through their trying-on experience and wearing situation.
Keywords: Clothing for the elderly, Functional design, Ergonomic design
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