Safer apparel introduced for Saskatchewan mental health patients

December 31, 2019

Two new pieces of apparel will make hospital stays safer for Saskatchewan mental health patients.

Pajama pants with waist drawstrings will be replaced with ones that have an elastic band, and Velcro housecoats will replace tied ones.

Both these items fit patients better, have no issues with strings getting tangled or torn, and will support the needs of mental health patients because they are much safer.

“Currently, we remove pajama drawstrings for safety reasons. This makes keeping pajama bottoms on difficult for many patients,” said Sheryn Peterson, a Manager at the Irene & Leslie Dubé Centre for Mental Health in Saskatoon.

“Elastic waist bands and Velcro housecoats are a safe alternative to ties in our environment. We are thankful 3sHealth and our linen supplier have moved to offer a more dignified clothing option for our patients.”

The new clothing will also benefit geriatric care patients.

“Feedback in our surveys told us that the drawstrings create a tripping hazard for elderly patients,” said Jacqueline Edwards, a 3sHealth Linen Lead. “These patients would forget to tie the pants tight around their waist before going for a walk. The elastic pants now fit all patients, removing the risk.”

Priority facilities will receive the new clothing first. Then, the linen supplier will phase out the current apparel in favour of the new versions at all remaining sites.

Saskatchewan health-care employees suggest ideas to improve the patient’s experience and safety. The provincial linen advisory committee, made up of health system partners and patient-family advisors, oversees patient apparel in the province’s health-care facilities.


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