The benefits of superfine merino wool garments for people in late stage dementia.
Posted on 08 September 2017
As the dementia progresses, often, it becomes more difficult for the person with dementia to express their needs and discomforts. They may, for instance, be unable to tell you if they are too hot or cold or if a fabric is itchy. Merino wool has natural properties that mean the wearer is more likely to be comfortable than in synthetic fabrics.
Read on to find out the many reasons why merino can be a good choice for someone with dementia:
Natural Breathability and Temperature Regulator -
The New Zealand Merino sheep lives in the extreme conditions of New Zealand’s southern Alps. Their amazing fleece keeps them warm and dry in the freezing winter and cool in the hot summer. This is exactly what it does when made into garments.
Merino garments naturally regulate the flow of heat and moisture to and from the body, just as merino fleece does for the sheep. This results in your own personal air conditioner.
Merino wool fibres have a water holding interior and a water repelling exterior, and can absorb 30% of their own weight in moisture. Merino absorbs perspiration without leaving you feeling damp.
When we start to get hot the fibres pull the moisture away from the body which prevents that wet, clammy feeling you can get with synthetic fibres such as polyester. When damp merino also releases a small amount of heat which prevents chilling. So, you can go from warm to cool conditions and vice versa and still be comfortable.
Kind to delicate skin -
Wool is often linked with itch and prickle; however, the superfine merino fibres are much finer than human hair and bend when in contact with skin making it beautifully soft and comfortable and not at all itchy or prickly.
As skin gets older and more fragile it becomes prone to shear cuts and wearing merino may help keep the skin moist and less prone to these. A study about the benefits of merino wool for eczema sufferers showed that “the wool appears to keep the moisture content of the wearer’s delicate skin at the levels it should be, preventing it from becoming too dry and therefore reducing the risk of bacterial infection and the desire to scratch.”
Odour resistance -
Merino has natural anti- bacterial properties. Not only can it absorb large amounts of moisture, so resisting build-up of smelly bacteria on the skin, odour molecules are absorbed into the merino fibre, and make smells undetectable to the human nose. These odours are only released on washing. This is great if the person with dementia likes to wear the same thing day after day or refuses to get changed – at least you know they won’t smell. It also saves on washing – as it can be worn day after day, with just an airing, and won’t become smelly. This also minimises the number of pieces you would require.
Easy to care for -
The surface properties of merino fibre make it resistant to spills so they can be easily wiped away before they are absorbed to create permanent staining.
It is machine washable when needed and dries quickly or can be tumble dried at low temperatures.
The fibres have natural crimp which mean garments bounce back into shape and don’t need ironing. The crimp is also part of what gives the garment good insulation properties.
It is pill resistant.
Merino wool also has anti-static and fire resistance properties and is self-extinguishing. On top of all this, it is renewable, and bio-degradable so it’s good for the environment as well as for us.
View our stylish, colourful and easy wear range of next to the skin merino garments on the Limon Attire website.
To read more about New Zealand merino wool go to http://www.nzmerino.co.nz/