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Hemiplegic Lower Body Dressing: Skirt, Pants, and Underwear

“Hemiplegic” (hem-ee-PLEE-jik) means that one side of the body has lost the ability to move. When you cannot move one side of your body, it is harder to dress and undress. This page tells you how to dress and undress your lower body. Follow these guidelines to put on and take off skirts, pants, and underwear.

Tips

  • Choose clothes that fit loosely.
  • Replace the buttons on your clothes with Velcro.
  • Before starting to dress, gather all of the clothes you want to put on. Place them within easy reach.
  • Sit to pull on your underwear and pants or skirt. Pull the clothes up over your knees before you stand.
  • Have your socks and shoes on before you stand.
  • Always undress your unaffected (stronger) leg first.
  • Talk to your therapist about devices that can help you dress.

How to put clothes on

  1. Lay out your underwear and skirt or pants as you normally would.
  2. Sit down. Cross your affected (weak) leg over your unaffected (stronger) leg.  
  3. Slip your garment to the floor. Pull it onto your weak leg. Pull it completely over your foot (see figure above). Then uncross your legs.
  4. Pull the garment onto your stronger leg. Pull it over your foot. Then pull the garment up over your knees (see figure to right).
  5. If you do not have your socks and shoes on yet, put them on.
  6. Stand to work the garment up over your hips (see figure below). Then fasten the garment.

How to take clothes off

  1. Stand. Unfasten the garment that you want to take off. Pull it down below your knees.
  2. Sit down. Remove the garment from your stronger leg. 
  3. Cross your weak leg over your stronger leg.
  4. Remove the garment from your weak leg. Then uncross your legs.

 

Note: Your therapist may tell you other ways to dress and undress, based on your needs.

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