Sunday, 29 April 2018

INGA Wellbeing: comfortable and dignified patient clothing


"INGA Wellbeing's award-winning collection of meticulously designed, luxuriously soft and unashamedly stylish men's and women's wear is indispensable clothing for ill health: providing in and out patients with dignity, comfort, confidence and independence."

Having spent 3 weeks in hospital this year, one thing I very quickly got tired of was my clothing getting in the way when I needed injections, blood tests, blood pressure checks or while I was wearing an IV. I found I was having to wear short sleeved t shirts or vests and then I was getting cold, but if I put anything long sleeved on, it simply didn't fit over the cannula or it just as quickly needed to be removed again. Not only was this annoying for me, but it also held the nurses up while I was trying to remove the clothing so they could get access. It's not something you really think about until you have to spend a lot of time in hospital... But INGA Wellbeing have thought of it!

INGA Wellbeing are an award winning company, specialising in comfortable and attractive clothing, enabling patients to keep their dignity, independence and comfort while receiving hospital treatment.

INGA Wellbeing is named after co-founder Nikla Lancksweert's mother, Inga, and also inspired by Claire Robinson's mother, Diana, both of whom struggled with what to wear during their treatment for cancer.

Inga and Diana both found they were embarrassed and diminished by the limited and limiting clothing options available to them while hooked up to IV lines, drains and monitors. As a result, they walked less, ate less and saw fewer visitors during their frequent, and sometimes long, hospitalisations. This made them weaker and left them feeling helpless.

Having supported their mothers and friends through medical treatments, and, as a result of Nikla's own experiences as an in-patient, they were convinced that clothing adapted to the realities of medical devices and frequent examinations could boost patients mental and physical health.

Nikla and Claire joined forces with Fiona McGreal, a fashion designer, and Christine Berckmans, and their mission became clear: ensuring patients can wear comfortable clothing that is fit for purpose and beneficial to their physical wellbeing, as well as looking great.


You can view more videos on Inga Wellbeing's YouTube channel.


Inga Wellbeing's clothes have been created by a fashion designer with expert guidance from nurses, so they not only work really well in a medical setting, but look normal and are comfortable to wear. The discreet poppered openings provide easy access to the body and the clothes are all made using natural, soft, stretchy jersey for maximum comfort as well as pockets for drains, medical devices and personal items.

Patients
:: are empowered to dress themselves and can therefore maintain their independence
:: feel comfortable as IV lines and drains do not tug and the fabric helps regulate body temperature and odour
:: feel dignified, as they can remain well-covered for most examinations and many treatments
:: feel equal to their caregivers and self-confident, and thus more in control of their own treatment


INGA Wellbeing's clothes are not condition specific. They have taken great care in providing comfort and practical dressing solutions no matter how an illness evolves and what additional medical interventions a patient may require. Their clothing is made with soft and stretchy fabrics that will accommodate changing body shapes and sizes.

Features include
:: clothes look entirely normal
:: discreet openings for IV lines, drains, monitors, examinations, treatments and massages
:: full arm opening enables independent dressing and undressing (for many) even with IV lines in place
:: exterior pockets
:: soft, gently elasticated fabric
:: wrap design and/or poppers to adjust size
:: made from natural fibres, washable at 40 degrees C
:: contrast poppers/snap tape and red guide lines provided
:: no metal parts

I was kindly sent an item to review by INGA Wellbeing as part of the Chronic Illness Blogger Network.


I chose the women's long-sleeved t-shirt top in dusky pink (also available in navy blue) because I thought it would be a little more versatile. You could wear this item with other items from the INGA Wellbeing catalogue, or with normal pyjama bottoms. You could also pair it with normal everyday trousers if you have to go to the hospital for some sort of IV treatment.


Although the top gives full access to the arms, sides and back with the help of the discreet popper openings, it also keeps you fully covered. The poppers mean you can wear it as open as you wish and you can also roll up the sleeves.

The top is made with a cotton/viscose mix and feels really soft on the skin. Viscose (also known as rayon) is made from wood pulp and is very soft, breathable, drapes well, is highly absorbent and does not trap body heat.

The sizing is just about spot on. I'm a size 12 and went for the Medium (a UK size 10-12) and it was a comfortable fit and wasn't pulling across the bust. You can find a size guide here.

The poppers run down both sides, the front, and both arms (from shoulder to wrist). It also has a pocket inside and a pocket to the chest.

You can wash INGA Wellbeing's clothing as you would do your other clothes - just make sure you keep any poppers done up as it will keep the item in shape.

I'm really pleased with this top! It's really good quality, feels lovely on and I'm almost feeling excited to try it out in hospital!... Although not so excited for the hospital part!


If you would like to try INGA Wellbeing's clothes for yourself, you can find a full range of their products on their website, where they also offer free worldwide shipping. Their products are also available through a range of stockists.

If you would like more information on Inga Wellbeing, you can follow their blog or you can find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

INGA Wellbeing have recently launched their #IFeelBetterWhenI campaign which you can read more about here. In conjunction with this campaign, they are also running a competition via their Facebook and Twitter pages where you can win your choice of a free top, trousers or dress from their adapted patient clothing collection. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is share their #IFeelBetterWhenI post on either Facebook or Twitter and comment with what takes the edge off a bad day for you.

You can also get 50% off the Midnight Blue range in their end of line sale, but be quick as this offer is only on until 8th May (while stocks last)!

S.
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