Saturday, 23 March 2013

Clothing for the Disabled. Rollimoden. Continence Aids. Manfred-Sauer Foundation.Sir Ludwig Guttmann

There are 10 million disabled people, including 770,00 children under the age of 16 in the UK with full or partial loss of mobility. 

It is important psychologically that the disabled wear clothes that they like and find comfortable. Clothes must be adapted so they can be put on and removed as easily as possible.

Velcro or magnetic fastenings have taken the place of difficult and fiddly buttons, catches and zips. Shirts and blouses appear to have buttons but concealed velcro from behind does the job. Larger armholes are essential for people with restricted shoulder and arm movements. Stretch materials do not crease, are gentler on the skin and facilitate the removal and replacement of catheters. Footwear should be broad-fitting with wide openings for swollen feet and legs: normal shoes are out of the question. Socks that are not too tight are easier to put on and should not rub against sensitive skin; soft toes and heels avoid pressure sores. Trousers cut longer at the back mean clothes remain tucked in; coats and jackets should not be voluminous, otherwise they get in the way of the wheelchair.

Front-fastening bra from Google Images
Front-fastening bra from M&S £12
Men's underpants with longer flies and horizontal openings facilitate the use of portable urine containers for men, or Uribags, the invention of Manfred Sauer from north Germany. Front-fastening bras are easier for women to put on, and crotchless pants, tights and trousers with pull-down flaps are good for women in wheelchairs using portable urinals or Urifem, the female version made by Sauer. 
Manfred Sauer 
Manfred Sauer was born in 1944, and became tetraplegic in 1963 after a diving accident in the UK. He was sent to Stoke Mandeville for rehabilitation under Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the distinguished German neurologist who founded the Paralympic Games. In 1965 Sauer started to manufacture and sell continence aids; he founded Manfred Sauer GmbH. in Lobbach, North Germany, Twenty years later he went on to found a subsidiary company, Rollimoden to make clothes for the disabled. Both companies export an amazing selection of quality products all over the world, the catalogues for both are awesome. Rollimoden has changing rooms and even beds for customers who come to the elegant store. Some clothes have special zip attachments that make them easy  to open or close. Rollimoden is "Fashion which fits when you sit", according to the website. 

In 2001, this amazing philanthropist founded the charity Manfred-Sauer Foundation in Lobbach for paraplegics, but the website makes clear that the Foundation and its facilities are open to everyone. Manfred Sauer’s philosophy is clearly influenced by Ludwig Guttman, and sport for the disabled is a major feature of the Foundation. Basketball, rugby, badminton, table tennis, archery, dancing, swimming pools, health centre, gym, physiotherapy, saunas, a steam bath. creative workshops, wheelchair training, computer courses and many other facilities are available. There is also a restaurant and hotel with conference rooms and 80 bedrooms which are all wheelchair accessible.

Hotel  Manfred-Sauer Foundation

Manfred Sauer was deservedly made a Freeman of the city of Lobbach in 2007 for services to the community.

Disability Living Foundation: