Best Theraband Dressing Techniques

Theraband Dressing Techniques

Theraband Dressing Techniques:

One quick occupational therapy tip is to use theraband (or any other resistance bands!) to simulate dressing with your patients when actually completing the occupation of dressing is not an option. In this post, we will be going though how to use this to practice putting on a button shirt, pants and a bra.

Occupation based tasks are always top priority, but sometimes this cannot be done, so replication of a task (purposeful activity in the occupational therapy world) is a close second! This can come up in a number of scenarios such as:

  • the patient is resistant to get dressed/undressed since they are already dressed for the day
  • cultural and religious considerations
  • limitations on time
  • no privacy in workplace/gym area

Using resistance bands to practice dressing in OT | #geratricOT #occupationaltherapy #occupationaltherapist #occupationaltherapyassistant

Using these theraband dressing techniques can focus on range of motion, problem solving, dynamic sitting balance, safety, ADL task components, etc of donning a shirt, pants and bra.

I also make sure I have some theraband in the basket that I carry around from room to room when working with patients that have had a stroke. This eliminates running back and forth for items and it is just so versatile! In addition, this technique is also highlighted in this ADL treatment guide by the Note Ninjas.

ADL Treatment Guide is broken down by type of ADL (dressing, toileting, self-feeding, etc). Then under each category they list skills required and preparatory treatment ideas, so you can improve your skilled treatment and documentation with ADL's.

Before we get started on each specific technique, just keep in mind that there are a lot of theraband colors. It doesn’t matter what color you choose, just know that different colors mean different resistances and some colors will be less or more “stretchy” than others.

Working on Donning + Doffing a Button Up Shirt With a Theraband

  1. First tie the resistance band’s ends together to make a big circle
  2. Take the middle of the band and ties a knot, resulting in 2 loops
  3. Feed one loop on the opposite arm so it is up on the shoulder
  4. Have them reach back (internal rotation) to grab the other loop behind them
  5. Pull it up so it is up on both shoulders

Working on Donning + Doffing Pants

  1. First tie the resistance band’s ends together to make a big circle
  2. Double it if it is too big, making sure it is the size that the waistband would be on a pair of pants
  3. Practice pulling up and down/taking off as you would with regular pants
  4. Utilize adaptive equipment such as a reacher, if appropriate

Working on Donning + Doffing a Bra

  1. First tie the resistance band’s ends together to make a big circle
  2. Wrap the band around the mid part of the patient’s rib cage (where the base of the bra would be)
  3. Tie the band in the front so it is secured to their body
  4. Practice rotating band around rib cage so the tie is in the back

Bonus Theraband Dressing Techniques:

It might be helpful to use a little bit of baby powder on the band if you are finding it is sticking too much to the patient’s clothes.

Videos of exact techniques! Using theraband to work on dressing in OT | #geratricOT #occupationaltherapy #occupationaltherapist #occupationaltherapyassistant

Do you have any other ideas to work on dressing without actually dressing? Comment below!


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