Getting dressed


Hi, well this is embarrassing, but I’ve had a flare-up of psoriatic arthritis and I’m struggling to wash my hair and put my underwear and socks on of a morning.

I had an appointment with my GP, he helpfully prescribed naproxen but he couldn’t really help or advise with regards to the washing and dressing issue. He said there is OT but the NHS would only see me if I was housebound or severely disabled.

Its not like I’m severely disabled, just can’t straighten my elbow on one arm and can’t lift my arm to any height on my other. Any ideas?



  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,628
    edited 7. Sep 2021, 12:49

    Hi @JC1978 Lovely to meet you. I see from your post that you are struggling with some aspects of your personal care.

    Don't be embarrassed many of us have similar problems here is a thread on the same subject:

    This is information about Occupational Therapists (and how to see one) - they are the people to advise us about all sorts of things which could help you remain as independent as possible:

    This is a lovely video about one person's experience and how much little 'aids to daily living' have helped her:

    I'll leave our members to share their tips now.

    Best wishes


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    I would say firstly that your GP has given you the wrong advice about an OT appointment. I have OA, live alone and use crutches around my bungalow and a wheelchair elsewhere. I have had referrals to an OT at the hospital on a few occasions but the best, and which I would recommend to you, is that you contact the Adult Social Care Department at your Council and ask for a home visit. They look at the way you interact with your home and the problems that you have performing "normal" tasks, then they recommend and/or provide aids to help. I have a riser/recliner; perch stool in the kitchen; wet room with a sit down shower, raised height WC and hand rails and numerous other aids as well; the only thing I had to buy myself was the monkey bars over my bed as the OT said that the Council determined them to be a safety hazard and would not cover their cost. So far as getting dressed is concerned I have a gadget to get my socks on; I can't do buttons so keep all shirt buttons done up so I can just pull them over my head; swap cardigans for fleece tops with zips; my trousers are several sizes too big so I can just pull them on and use braces to hold them up; I have fixed heavy duty crocodile clips to either side of a door frame to help me put on jackets and take them off, to put them on I clip the shoulders so I can back into the jacket, to take it off I clip the cuffs so I can pull my arms out. Anyway, with the help of an OT, getting advice off this forum and experience you will find loads of ways of coping. If you have specific issues just pose the question and someone will be able to help.

  • N1gel
    N1gel Member Posts: 161

    I have similar (OA) arm and elbow problems, I always get dressed sitting on the floor if that's any help. It's just easier to use the 'floordrobe' 😀

  • bosh
    bosh Member Posts: 4,052
    edited 16. Sep 2021, 17:33

    Hi , I have PsA, it’s not too bad at the moment comparatively but it was fairly bad one point roughly a year ago, Larger socks helped, men’s socks if possible, as they tend to be a bit larger than the women sizes I have found. Some people find front fastening bras easier to put on. If your hair is fairly short it makes washing it the more practical, tho of course I know hair length is a v very personal kind of thing, also helps with scalp psoriasis btw, just thought I’d mention it , in case you have this problem too, I also used to keep a lot of clothes on my bed which helped me when the backpain was really bad. I hope the pain improves a bit for you, take care.