Of the many Regency hallmarks which give me cause for pride, I am immensely proud of how we maintain and promote the dignity of each of our patients and residents.
This commitment is evident in our focus to ensure that every resident be properly clothed during the course of the day.
Walk into the inferior “nursing homes” and you will unfortunately find residents sitting in common areas clothed in their night pajamas in middle of the day!
This not only has a deleterious impact on their sense of dignity, it also cultivates a general sense of indifference and neglect.
You will NEVER find such a thing at any of our magnificent, world class Regency Nursing and Postacute Centers.
Our places resemble the comfortable and elegant hotels you are familiar with, in part because our residents are happy, active and fully clothed!
This may sound like a simple and common sense issue. If it only were, you wouldn’t find an unfortunate plethora of nursing facilities that allow their residents to remain in their pj’s all day, feeling sorry, morose and depressed.
Families will often ask me what type of clothing to bring for Mom or Dad while they are here and my response is always the same, whatever makes them feel comfortable and ‘at home.’
Indeed, we are a home to many and in every sense of the word.
In fact, we even have annual clothing sales for our residents, where outside vendors will come in to sell tasteful elder wear and accoutrements. This is designed once again to ensure our residents maintain a healthy sense of autonomy and dignity, with the knowledge that they could use their own funds (PNA) for discretionary purchases.
Speaking of clothing and clothing sales..
From the 1900s to 1950s, American consumers spent approximately 12-14% of their annual income on clothing. Today, we spend about 3%. But our closets are actually bigger.
The average American house has doubled in size since the 1950s and closet space has increased, too, particularly with the advent of the walk-in closet in the 1980s. We likely have more than five times as many clothing items as we did in the first part of the 20th century. The move of clothing production overseas where labor costs are low has made it possible for us to have large quantities of items without paying much for them. But this could be changing.
Much like several other consumer product categories, the price of clothing is looking to go up, yet the quality we currently see will remain the same. Forecasts continue to predict rising costs of production, increased compliance costs, and not many options for meeting quality standards beyond China and other countries that currently produce clothing. Raw materials will cost more, wages for workers will go up, and the infrastructure needed to produce items at the right quality standards will be costly—all of which will be passed on to the consumer.
At this point, the primary concern for manufacturers and retailers are rising labor costs. In China, manufacturing wages have increased by 71% since 2008 and are projected to rise by 10% this year. Manufacturers are searching for other production locations with cheaper labor, but wages are rising in those countries as well. For instance, the minimum wage is Bangladesh has risen by 77% as a result of much debate following the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse on April 24, 2013, and Indonesian unions recently staged a strike in demand of a 30% wage increase.
As reported by the Sourcing Journal Online, clothing costs will rise in the coming years, maybe not dramatically but the upward trajectory is eminent.
While low-cost “fast fashion” appeals to the consumer wallet, more consumers now associate low-cost clothing with the ethical issues of low wages, poor working conditions, and excessive environmental waste. Some retailers are trying debunk these negative associations. H&M, which is known for being a low-price fast fashion retailer, is increasing its focus on sustainability, per consumer interest. As reported on The Business of Fashion, H&M is considering production in sub-Saharan Africa, plans to source more sustainable raw materials, and in the coming months will feature a denim collection made from recycled materials and organic cotton. These sound like good ideas but will they actually work or simply assuage the minds of worried consumers?
So what should shoppers do when faced with rising costs and the ethical dilemmas of cheap clothing?
I honestly have no ideas!
You figure it out.