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Above and beyond physical or cognitive loss

Above and beyond physical or cognitive loss

We usually talk about grieving when we lose a loved one, when a romantic relationship ends, when we lose a pet or when a job we loved comes to an end. We also talk about grieving when it comes to loss of autonomy whether related to physical limitations or cognitive losses.

The dictionary defines grief as something that causes distress, suffering. It is the internal meaning we give to the experience of loss, whether it be someone, or something. It is a necessary part of a change process that will eventually allow us to reinvest these feelings, this energy somewhere else. But it takes time to get there, and sometimes, we don’t have much time, at least not as much as we would like to go at our own pace. 

When a loved one experiences a loss of physical or cognitive autonomy, a myriad of grieving processes take place both on their part as well as by those that surround them. The most obvious grief has to do with the physical or cognitive changes the person affected will have to go through as well as the impact these changes will have on our interactions with them. Whether it is not being able to walk due to paralysis, no longer having all of your motor skills following a stroke, having difficulty performing some daily tasks due to arthritis or Parkinson’s disease which limits the fluidity of joint movements or cognitive loss brought on by Alzheimer’s or dementia, each new stage of the disease that means we are no longer able to function as we did before marks a new step in our grieving process. 


Taking time to grieve, also goes for clothes

What about the grief that we are less used to hearing about? The growing demand for adaptive clothing by care facilities has brought to light another type of grieving; grieving the ability to wear our usual clothes. Grieving shopping in the places where we are used to buying the top that will soon become our favorite top, the dress we will wear to our granddaughter’s graduation, the new shirt we will wear at the family dinner or even the sleepwear that we will want to lounge in a little longer before dressing for the day ahead. 

Rest assured, everyone pretty much feels the same way, it is very rare that people choose to wear adaptive clothes right off the bat. However, they do take a liking to them after having tried them because although their primary objective is to facilitate dressing people with reduced mobility or cognitive loss, we have to admit they are designed with carefully selected fabrics that respect their style and personality. So why deprive yourself of tops, shirts, dresses and sleepwear that have complete back openings that require limited physical effort as you only have to slightly extend your arms forward to put them on rather than have to go through the sometimes complex gymnastics of putting them over your head and somehow slide your arms into the tighter tops. And what about pants with side openings or with back panels that allow you to put them on while sitting or lying down? They may not quite look like ‘regular’ pants in terms of their design, but once they are properly fitted, you will forget that they are adaptive clothing.  


At Ovidis, we understand that wearing adaptive clothes may take a little getting used to, and that there is some type of grief associated with them. As such, we will be happy to discuss with you and explain how each of the adjustments made to the clothes greatly help facilitate the task of dressing for you or your loved ones.

Alzheimer’s disease at the center of Ovidis’ mission

Alzheimer’s disease at the center of Ovidis’ mission

This year, the Alzheimer Disease International (ADI) organization marks the tenth anniversary of World Alzheimer’s month on a global scale. This international federation is that of Alzheimer’s and dementia associations around the world and they are also in official relations with the World Health Organisation (WHO).  Their vision aims to reduce risk, ensure timely diagnosis, care and inclusion for today and find a cure for the future. The 2021 edition focuses on the warning signs of this form of dementia and invites people to seek out information, advice and support with their local organizations.


Some facts about Alzheimer in Canada

  • Alzheimer is the most common form of dementia
  • 70% of cases affect people aged 60 and over
  • 65% of diagnostics affect women aged 65 and over
  • More than 565,000 Canadians suffer from Alzheimer’s and it is estimated that this number will rise to 912,000 by 2030
  • 1 out of 5 people looks after, or has looked after, a loved one that suffers from Alzheimer’s.


Alzheimer: warning signs and stages

The areas of the brain that controls our thoughts, memory and language are affected and cause the disease to usually start with mild memory loss and progresses until people suffering from it are unable to have a conversation and respond to stimuli that are in their environment.


Common warning signs include:

  • Memory loss that affects daily life; we sometimes repeat the same things, or the same questions, we get lost or feel disoriented in places we know
  • Difficulty carrying out daily tasks such as paying the bills, taking the bus
  • Difficulty finding things, remembering what we recently did
  • Changes in mood, personality and behaviour


Alzheimer’s disease has 7 stages that resume themselves to 3 larger stages; early, mild or moderate, and light or severe.  When broken down, the 7 stages of Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • Stage 1: Before Symptoms Appear.
  • Stage 2: Basic Forgetfulness.
  • Stage 3: Noticeable Memory Difficulties.
  • Stage 4: More Than Memory Loss – it is usually as of this stage that the person affected by Alzheimer’s disease needs greater care and assistance
  • Stage 5: Decreased Independence.
  • Stage 6: Severe Symptoms.
  • Stage 7: Lack of Physical Control.


The best thing to do if you think a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease is to see a doctor who will help determine if the symptoms you are seeing are indeed related to those of Alzheimer’s disease. If the diagnosis is positive, the doctor will be able to guide you towards the appropriate care for this condition.  The Alzheimer Society of Canada’s website www.alzheimer.ca is also a great place to learn more about the disease and to find groups and resources in your area where you can find help, respite and comfort.


Ovidis and Alzheimer’s disease

Local business Ovidis was founded by 4 women who accompanied a loved one who was becoming increasingly dependant due to a loss of autonomy brought on by Alzheimer’s disease. Their sensitivity towards the matter is unique as they all tried to dress their mother, and other members of their family, in clothes adapted to their needs and their personalities.


Alzheimers clothing 

As such, they created clothes that are discreetly adapted to simplify caregiver assisted dressing that have a transformative impact on a loved one’s mood, mental health and self esteem because they respect their personality. Ovidis adaptive clothes are made of soft and resilient fabrics that are easy to care for.


Anti-strip clothing 

They are designed to ensure anyone wearing them feels great and comfortable, day and night. Adaptive clothing for dementia patients can stop them from undressing at inopportune times : Anti-strip clothing 


Although research, discoveries, and advances are constantly being made when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, there is still a lot of work to be done to improve the daily lives of those suffering from this disease including, possibly one day, finding the cure that will eradicate the devastating effects of this disease on the brain. In the meantime, scientists from all over the world continue their research and local organizations continue to support those suffering from the disease as well as those who are close to them who care for them to make their daily lives a little easier.


Do you know Eugeria?

The mission of this dynamic team is to improve the quality of life of seniors and people with Alzheimer's or apparent illnesses and to lighten the burden on family caregivers.

Have you heard of Eugeria? 

The mission of this motivated team is to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia, and lighten the day-to-day while caring for someone with Alzheimer's. 


Eugeria is: 

  • A simple to use website, full with innovative products to improve everyday life
  • A product testing methodology unique in the market, to ensure quality of products and efficiency
  • A customer service team that have both an empathy driven approach, while combining a solution oriented mindset. Our team is trained to advise you on various stages of dementia. 

Visit their website eugeria.ca/en to find out more! 

Additional tool at the service of their occupational therapist

Additional tool at the service of their occupational therapist

What is the value of accessible clothing for disabled?

Adaptive clothing’s first and foremost concern is to take into consideration the clothing needs of people with reduced autonomy and reduced mobility.

They offer larger openings, and as such are easier to put on and take off. This is all the more convenient when the person is in a sitting position, in a wheelchair or lying down. Adaptive wear also limits restrictive movements that have to be made or those that may be more difficult to do such as raising your arms in the air to put on a blouse or a shirt.

Canada (CAD $)
Canada (CAD $)