Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ZIPPERED GARMENT PROVIDING SELECTIVE ACCESS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/161481
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A zippered garment includes an abdominal body portion having a front zipper and a rear zipper extending from a neck portion to a crotch portion of the body portion. The garment has tubular legs each having a zipper along the length thereof. All four zipper have a closure member which is at the crotch portion when the garment is closed. Advantageously, mentally ill garment wearers cannot open the garment since they are used to opening zippers which close at the top. Accordingly, such patients would not be able to access their lower abdominal or crotch region. Conversely, long-term care workers can open the garment to replace an incontinence product for example. The garment may be used with adults or children alike, and may be made in one piece or multiple pieces that mate together.

Inventors:
NAISMITH, Ruth (90 Dickson Hill Road, Markham, Ontario L3P 3J3, CA)
NAISMITH, David (90 Dickson Hill Road, Markham, Ontario L3P 3J3, CA)
Application Number:
CA2019/000024
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 19, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NAISMITH SYSTEMS INC. (90 Dickson Hill Road, Markham, Ontario L3P 3J3, CA)
International Classes:
A41D13/12; A41D1/00; A41D27/00; A44B19/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRD, Keith (McMillan LLP, Brookfield Place181 Bay Street, Suite 440, Toronto Ontario M5J 2T3, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS

1. A zippered garment, comprising: an abdominal body portion sized and shaped for encompassing the torso of a wearer, the abdominal body portion including:

an upper portion: sized and shaped for encompassing the wearer’s upper torso, having a neck opening for receiving the wearer’s neck therethrough, and having formed therein arm apertures for receiving the arms of the wearer therethrough;

a lower portion:

sized and shaped for encompassing the wearer’s pelvic region, and including a crotch portion;

a front zipper and a rear zipper each: extending from below the neck opening to the crotch portion, having a closure member slidable therealong,

being in a closed mode when the closure member is at the crotch portion, and

being in an open mode when the closure member is away from the crotch portion; and two tubular leg portions: connected to the lower portion of the abdominal body portion, each sized for receiving and encompassing at least a top portion of the wearer’s leg proximate to the wearer’s torso, each having a zipper extending along a length thereof and having a closure member slidable therealong, each being in a closed leg mode when the closure member thereof is at the crotch portion of the lower portion, and each being in an open leg mode when the closure member thereof is away from the crotch portion of the lower portion.

2. The zippered garment of claim 1, wherein the garment is in a fully closed mode when the front and rear zippers are in the closed mode thereof and the tubular leg portion zippers are in the closed leg mode thereof.

3. The zippered garment of claim 2, wherein the closure members of each of the front zipper, the rear zipper and the leg zippers all meet at the crotch portion when the garment is in the fully closed mode. 4. The zippered garment of claim 1 , wherein the tubular leg portions each has a lower end, and wherein the tubular leg portions are in a fully open leg mode when the closure members of the leg zippers are near the lower ends.

5. The zippered garment of claim 4, wherein the garment is in fully open mode when the tubular leg portions are in the fully open leg mode, and when the front zipper and rear zipper are each near the neck opening.

6. The zippered garment of claim 4, wherein the garment is in partly open mode when the closure members of the front and rear zippers are away from both the crotch portion and the neck opening, and wherein the closure members of the leg zippers are away from both the crotch portion and the lower ends.

7. The zippered garment of claim 1, wherein the lower portion has two apertures for letting the wearer’s legs therethrough, and wherein the right and leg tubular portions are connected to the lower portion at the apertures for receiving the wearer’s legs.

8. The zippered garment of claim 7, wherein the tubular leg portions are connected to the lower portion by sewing.

9. The zippered garment of claim 1 , wherein the tubular leg portions are integrally formed with the body portion at the lower portion thereof.

10. The zippered garment of claim 2, further comprising a flap extendable over the closure members of the front zipper, the rear zipper and the leg zippers for impeding access to the closure members when the garment is in the fully closed mode.

11. The zippered garment of claim 10, wherein the flap is diagonally extendable over the closure members.

12. The zippered garment of claim 10, wherein the flap has a first end permanently

connected to a first location on the abdominal body portion, and a second end which is releasably attachable to a second location on the abdominal body portion.

13. The zippered garment of claim 12, wherein the flap is releasably attachable to the second location by one of: a loop and hook fastener, a snap fastener, and a button.

14. The zippered garment of claim 4, wherein the tubular leg portions each includes a cuff at the lower end thereof, such that when the leg zipper closure members are in the open leg mode, the tubular leg portions are still partly held together at the lower end by the cuff.

15. The zippered garment of claim 1, wherein both the front zipper and the rear zipper extends from the neck portion to the crotch portion such that the garment can be separated into a right side garment piece and a left side garment piece.

16. The zippered garment of claim 1, wherein the front zipper extends from the neck portion to the crotch portion whereas the rear zipper extends from below the neck portion to the crotch portion such that the abdominal body portion remains connected below the rear neck region in the fully open garment mode. 17. The zippered garment of claim 1, wherein the rear zipper extends from the neck

portion to the crotch portion whereas the front zipper extends from below the neck portion to the crotch portion such that the abdominal body part remains connected below the front neck region in the fully open garment mode.

18. The zippered garment of claim 1, further comprising a pair of sleeve portions

connected to the arm apertures for encompassing at least a portion of the wearer's arms proximate to the torso.

19. The zippered garment of claim 18, wherein the sleeve portions have a length such that they fully encompass the arms of the wearer down to the wrists.

20. The zippered garment of claim 1, wherein the tubular leg portions have a length such that they fully encompass the legs of the wearer down to the ankles.

21. A zippered garment, to be used by a wearer, the garment comprising:

a right garment piece having:

a right abdominal portion including:

an upper right portion forming a right neck half-opening at a top end thereof,

a lower right portion having a right crotch portion, a left-facing straight edge extending from the right neck half-opening downwardly to the right side crotch portion on both a front and a rear side thereof, and a right portion of a zipper fastener attached along the left-facing straight edge thereof on both the front and rear sides;

a right tubular leg portion:

extending downwardly from the lower right portion for receiving and encompassing the wearer’s right leg, and

having a left-facing longitudinal slit extending downwardly along a length thereof from the right crotch portion in the direction of a lower end thereof; and a right zipper fastener:

disposed along the left-facing longitudinal slit, and including a closure member sliding therealong for defining a closed right leg position when the sliding closure member is at the right crotch portion and an open right leg position when the sliding closure member is slid towards the lower end of the right tubular leg portion; and a left garment piece having:

a left abdominal portion including: an upper left portion forming a left neck half-opening at a top end thereof, a lower left portion having a left crotch portion,

a right-facing straight edge extending from the neck half-opening downwardly to the left side crotch portion on both a front and a rear side thereof, and

a left portion of a zipper fastener attached along the right-facing straight edge thereof on both the front and rear sides;

a left tubular leg portion: extending downwardly from the lower left portion for receiving and encompassing the wearer’s left leg, and having a right-facing longitudinal slit extending downwardly along a length thereof from the left crotch portion in the direction of a lower end thereof; and

a left zipper fastener: disposed along the right longitudinal slit, and

including a closure member sliding therealong for defining a closed left leg position when the closure member is at the left crotch portion and an open left leg position when the sliding closure member is slid towards the lower end of the left tubular leg portion;

wherein the right and left portions of the zipper fasteners of the left and right abdominal sections cooperate to fasten the right garment piece and left garment piece together, at both the front and rear sides of the left and right abdominal portions, to form a closed garment; and

wherein a front and a rear zipper closure members, at the front and rear of the fastened right and left abdominal portions, is each slidable between a closed garment position in which the front and rear zipper closure members are at a crotch position of the garment, and an open position in which the front and rear zipper closure members are slid away from the crotch position of the garment.

22. The zippered garment of claim 21, wherein the garment is in a partly open mode when the front and rear zipper closure members are away from both the crotch position and the right and left neck half-portions, and when the left and right zipper fastener closure members are away from both the left and right crotch portions, respectively, and the left and right zipper fastener closure members are away from the lower ends of the left and right tubular leg portions, respectively.

23. The zippered garment of claim 21, further comprising a flap extendable over the closure members of the front zipper, the rear zipper and the leg zippers for impeding access to the closure members when the garment is in the closed garment position.

24. The zippered garment of claim 23, wherein the flap is diagonally extendable over the closure members of the front zipper, rear zipper, right zipper and left zipper for impeding access to the closure members when the garment is in the fully closed mode.

25. The zippered garment of claim 23, wherein the flap has a first end permanently

connected to a first location on one of: the right garment piece and the left garment piece; and a second end, which is releasably attachable to a second location on the other one of: the right garment piece and the left garment piece.

26. The zippered garment of claim 25, wherein the flap is releasably attachable to the second location by one of: a loop and hook fastener, a snap fastener, and a button.

27. The zippered garment of claim 21, wherein the tubular leg portions each includes a cuff at the lower end thereof, such that when the leg zipper closure members are in the open leg mode, the tubular leg portions are still partly held together at the lower end by the cuff.

28. The zippered garment of claim 21, further comprising a pair of sleeve portions

connected to the arm apertures for encompassing at least a portion of the wearer's arms proximate to the torso.

29. The zippered garment of claim 28, wherein the sleeve portions have a length such that they fully encompass the arms of the wearer down to the wrists.

30. The zippered garment of claim 21, wherein the tubular leg portions have a length such that they fully encompass the legs of the wearer down to the ankles.

Description:
ZIPPERED GARMENT PROVIDING SELECTIVE

ACCESS

Field of the Invention

[0001] The present invention relates generally to garments, and more specifically to a zippered garment providing selective access.

Background of the Invention

[0002] In long-term care (LTC) centers, full-service retirement facilities, hospitals, and private homes etc. there are a large number of individuals of all ages with challenges of many descriptions, including behavioral or cognitive challenges such as dementia. Such residents usually use incontinent products (i.e. diapers), or need assistance from health care workers to use the restroom. Residents with behavioral conditions sometimes reach under their garments to remove their incontinent products and/or expose their crotch region. Once successful at removing, or at least opening, their incontinent product, or at exposing their crotch region otherwise, such residents may void all over themselves, on their bed, or on the floor. The result is discomfort for the patient, increased frustration for those including health care workers who have to clean the mess, as well as the impact on the patients themselves who have to deal with the staff frustration and/or disrupted sleep. Additionally, there are often infection control challenges, increased costs related to additional laundry, and the eventual premature replacement of soiled and smelly mattresses because of repeated voids thereon.

[0003] A number of garments have been suggested that restrict access to a wearer’s crotch, and make it difficult for a patient or a resident of a facility presenting with behaviors to take off the garment. For example, garments having a single zipper at the back thereof, or having covering flaps over zippers have been proposed. Unfortunately, such garments make it difficult for a healthcare worker to change an incontinent product quickly and with minimal disruption for someone who may be resistant to care, or to assist a user in voiding in a restroom without taking off the entire garment. As a result, changing an incontinent product has become a major burden on healthcare workers, and both uncomfortable and belabored for the wearer. For example, elderly patients may have dementia, arthritis, muscle contractures, or mobility issues. Accordingly, for those patients, moving their limbs extensively to take off a garment would be very difficult, and would make them uncomfortable or even in great pain.

[0004] It is, therefore, desirable to provide a garment that overcomes at least some of the above problems.

Summary of the Invention

[0005] In one aspect of the present invention there is provided a zippered garment, comprising an abdominal body portion and two tubular leg portions. The abdominal body portion is sized and shaped for encompassing the torso of a wearer. The abdominal body portion includes an upper portion, a lower portion, and front and rear zippers. The upper portion: is sized and shaped for encompassing the wearer’s upper torso, has a neck opening for receiving the wearer’s neck therethrough, and has formed therein arm apertures for receiving the arms of the wearer therethrough. The lower portion: is sized and shaped for encompassing the wearer’s pelvic region, and includes a crotch portion. The front zipper and rear zipper each: extends from below the neck opening to the crotch portion, has a closure member slidable therealong, is in a closed mode when the closure member is at the crotch portion, and is in an open mode when the closure member is away from the crotch portion. The two tubular leg portions are connected to the lower portion of the abdominal body portion. Each tubular leg portion is sized for receiving and encompassing at least a top portion of the wearer’s leg proximate to the wearer’s torso. Each tubular leg portion has a zipper extending along a length thereof and has a closure member slidable therealong. Each of the two tubular leg portions is in a closed leg mode when the closure member thereof is at the crotch portion of the lower portion, and is in an open leg mode when the closure member thereof is away from the crotch portion of the lower portion. [0006] In one embodiment, the garment is in a fully closed mode when the front and rear zippers are in the closed mode thereof and the tubular leg portion zippers are in the closed leg mode thereof.

[0007] In one embodiment, the closure members of each of the front zipper, the rear zipper and the leg zippers all meet at the crotch portion when the garment is in the fully closed mode.

[0008] ln one embodiment, the tubular leg portions each has a lower end and the tubular leg portions are in a fully open leg mode when the closure members of the leg zippers are near the lower ends. [0009] In one embodiment, the garment is in a fully open mode when the tubular leg portions are in the fully open leg mode, and when the front zipper and rear zipper are each near the neck opening.

[0010] In one embodiment, the garment is in a partly open mode when the closure members of the front and rear zippers are away from both the crotch portion and the neck opening, and the closure members of the leg zippers are away from both the crotch portion and the lower ends.

[0011] In one embodiment, the lower portion has two apertures for letting the wearer ' s legs therethrough, and the right and leg tubular portions are connected to the lower portion at the apertures for receiving the wearer’s legs. [0012] In one embodiment, the tubular leg portions are connected to the lower portion by sewing.

[0013] In one embodiment, the tubular leg portions are integrally formed with the body portion at the lower portion thereof. [0014] In one embodiment, the garment comprises a flap extendable over the closure members of the front zipper, the rear zipper and the leg zippers for impeding access to the closure members when the garment is in the fully closed mode.

[0015] In one embodiment, the flap is diagonally extendable over the closure members. [0016] In one embodiment, the flap has a first end permanently connected to a first location on the abdominal body portion and a second end which is releasably attachable to a second location on the abdominal body portion.

[0017] In one embodiment, the flap is releasably attachable to the second location by one of: a loop and hook fastener, a snap fastener, and a button. [0018] In one embodiment, the tubular leg portions each includes a cuff at the lower end thereof, such that when the leg zipper closure members are in the open leg mode, the tubular leg portions are still partly held together at the lower end by the cuff.

[0019] In one embodiment, both the front zipper and the rear zipper extend from the neck portion to the crotch portion such that the garment can be separated into a right side garment piece and a left side garment piece.

[0020] In one embodiment, the front zipper extends from the neck portion to the crotch portion whereas the rear zipper extends from below the neck portion to the crotch portion such that the abdominal body portion remains connected below the rear neck region in the fully open garment mode. [0021] In one embodiment, the rear zipper extends from the neck portion to the crotch portion whereas the front zipper extends from below the neck portion to the crotch portion such that the abdominal body part remains connected below the front neck region in the fully open garment mode. [0022] In one embodiment, the garment further comprises a pair of sleeve portions connected to the arm apertures for encompassing at least a portion of the wearer ' s arms proximate to the torso.

[0023] In one embodiment, the sleeve portions have a length such that they fully encompass the arms of the wearer down to the wrists.

[0024] In one embodiment, the tubular leg portions have a length such that they fully encompass the legs of the wearer down to the ankles.

[0025] In another aspect there is provided a zippered garment, to be used by a wearer, the garment comprising: a right garment piece and a left garment piece. [0026] The right garment piece has a right abdominal portion, a right tubular leg portion, and a right zipper fastener.

[0027] The right abdominal portion includes: an upper right portion forming a right neck half-opening at a top end thereof, a lower right portion having a right crotch portion, a left-facing straight edge extending from the right neck half-opening downwardly to the right side crotch portion on both a front and a rear side thereof, and a right portion of a zipper fastener attached along the left-facing straight edge thereof on both the front and rear sides.

[0028] The right tubular leg portion extends downwardly from the lower right portion for receiving and encompassing the wearer’s right leg, and has a left-facing longitudinal slit extending downwardly along a length thereof from the right crotch portion in the direction of a lower end thereof.

]0029] The right zipper fastener is disposed along the left-facing longitudinal slit, and includes a closure member sliding therealong for defining a closed right leg position when the sliding closure member is at the right crotch portion and an open right leg position when the sliding closure member is slid towards the lower end of the right tubular leg portion. [0030] The left garment piece has a left abdominal portion, a left tubular leg portion, and a left zipper fastener.

[0031] The left abdominal portion includes: an upper left portion forming a left neck half-opening at a top end thereof, a lower left portion having a left crotch portion, a right- facing straight edge extending from the neck half-opening downwardly to the left side crotch portion on both a front and a rear side thereof, and a left portion of a zipper fastener attached along the right-facing straight edge thereof on both the front and rear sides.

[0032] The left tubular leg portion extends downwardly from the lower left portion for receiving and encompassing the wearer’s left leg, and has a right-facing longitudinal slit extending downwardly along a length thereof from the left crotch portion in the direction of a lower end thereof.

[0033] The left zipper fastener: is disposed along the right longitudinal slit, and includes a closure member sliding therealong for defining a closed left leg position when the closure member is at the left crotch portion and an open left leg position when the sliding closure member is slid towards the lower end of the left tubular leg portion.

[0034] The right and left portions of the zipper fasteners of the left and right abdominal sections cooperate to fasten the right garment piece and left garment piece together, at both the front and rear sides of the left and right abdominal portions, to form a closed garment; and a front and a rear zipper closure members, at the front and rear of the fastened right and left abdominal portions, is each slidable between a closed garment position in which the front and rear zipper closure members are at a crotch position of the garment, and an open position in which the front and rear zipper closure members are slid away from the crotch position of the garment.

[0035] In one embodiment, the garment is in a partly open mode when the front and rear zipper closure members are away from both the crotch position and the right and left neck half-portions, and when the left and right zipper fastener closure members are away from both the left and right crotch portions, respectively, and the left and right zipper fastener closure members are away from the lower ends of the left and right tubular leg portions, respectively.

[0036] In one embodiment, the garment comprises a flap extendable over the closure members of the front zipper, the rear zipper and the leg zippers for impeding access to the closure members when the garment is in the closed garment position.

[0037] In one embodiment, the flap is diagonally extendable over the closure members of the front zipper, rear zipper, right zipper and left zipper for impeding access to the closure members when the garment is in the fully closed mode.

[0038] In one embodiment, the flap has a first end permanently connected to a first location on one of: the right garment piece and the left garment piece; and a second end which is releasably attachable to a second location on the other one of: the right garment piece and the left garment piece.

[0039] In one embodiment, the flap is releasably attachable to the second location by one of: a loop and hook fastener, a snap fastener, and a button.

[0040] In one embodiment, the tubular leg portions each includes a cuff at the lower end thereof, such that when the leg zipper closure members are in the open leg mode, the tubular leg portions are still partly held together at the lower end by the cuff.

[0041] In one embodiment, the garment further comprises a pair of sleeve portions connected to the arm apertures for encompassing at least a portion of the wearer’s arms proximate to the torso.

[0042] In one embodiment, the sleeve portions have a length such that they fully encompass the arms of the wearer down to the wrists.

[0043] In one embodiment, the tubular leg portions have a length such that they fully encompass the legs of the wearer down to the ankles. [0044] Advantageously, having a zippered garment where the zippers close in an unconventional manner, at the crotch portion instead of at the top, prevents people with mental illness from figuring out how to operate the zippers, opening the garment, and gaining access to their lower abdominal region. Brief description of the drawings

[0045] FIG. 1 is a perspective view taken from the front of a zippered garment, in a fully closed mode, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

[0046] FIG. 2 is a perspective view taken from the front of the garment of FIG. 1 in a partly open mode;

[0047] FIG. 3 is a perspective view taken from the front of the garment of FIG. 1 in a fully open and detached mode;

[0048] FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the garment of FIG. 1, in the fully closed mode, shown with an adult wearer;

[0049] FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of the garment of FIG. 1, in the fully closed mode, shown with a child wearer;

[0050] FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the garment of FIG. 1 in the fully closed mode;

]0051] FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of the garment of FIG. 1 in the fully closed mode;

[0052] FIG. 8 is a right side elevation view of the garment of FIG. 1;

[0053] FIG. 9 is a left side elevation view of the garment of FIG. 1;

[0054] FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of the garment of FIG. 1 in the fully closed mode;

[0055] FIG. 11 is a rear elevation view of the garment of FIG. 1 in the fully closed mode;

[0056] FIG. 12 is a perspective view taken from the front of variant of the garment of FIG. 1 but featuring cuffs portions at a bottom end of tubular leg portions thereof, in fully closed mode, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

[0057] FIG. 13 is a perspective view taken from the front of a zippered garment, in fully closed mode, in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention; [0058] FIG. 14 is a rear elevation view of the garment of FIG. 13;

[0059] FIG. 15 is a perspective view taken from the front of a variant of the garment of

FIG. 1, featuring a flap, in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention;

[0060] FIG. 16 is the garment of the embodiment of FIG. 15 wherein the flap is in fully closed mode;

[0061] FIG. 17 is a front elevation view of a variant of the garment of FIG. 1, having short sleeve portions , shown in fully closed mode;

[0062] FIG. 18 is a rear elevation view of the garment of FIG. 17 in the fully closed mode;

[0063] FIG. 19 is a front elevation view of a variant of the garment of FIG. 1, having short sleeve portions and short tubular leg portions, shown in fully closed mode; and

[0064] FIG. 20 is a rear elevation view of the garment of FIG. 19 in the fully closed mode. Detailed Description of the Embodiment

[0065] Embodiments of the present invention will now be presented by way of example only and not limitation, with reference to the attached figures.

[0066] First with reference to FIGS. 13-14, there is provided a zippered garment 1000 comprising an abdominal body portion 1010, and tubular leg portions 230 and 330. Abdominal body portion 1010 is sized and shaped to encompass the torso of a wearer. The abdominal body portion 1010 includes an upper portion 1012, a lower portion 1016, arm apertures, a front zipper 1022, and a rear zipper 1122. The upper portion 1012 of abdominal body portion 1010 is sized and shaped for encompassing the upper torso of the wearer, includes a neck opening 1014 for receiving the wearer’s neck therethrough, and has formed therein two arm apertures for receiving the arms of wearer therethrough. In one embodiment, a pair of sleeve portions, such as right sleeve 400 and left sleeve 500 may be connected to the arm apertures for receiving and encompassing at least a portion of the wearer’s arms proximate to the torso. The lower portion 1016 of abdominal body 1010 portion is sized and shaped for encompassing the pelvic region of the wearer, and includes a crotch portion 1018. A front zipper 1022 and a rear zipper 1122 each extends from below the neck opening 1014 to the crotch portion 1018. Front zipper 1022 has a closure member 1024, while rear zipper 1122 has a closure member 1124. Each of front zipper 1022 and rear zipper 1122 is in a closed mode when the corresponding closure member is at the crotch portion 1018 as seen in FIG. 13. Conversely, the front zipper 1012 and rear zipper 1122 are in an open mode when the corresponding closure member is away from the crotch portion. One or both of the zippers 1022 and 1122 may be in a fully open mode in which case the zipper closure members 1024 and 1124, respectively, are at a top position near neck opening 1014. Alternatively, the zippers 1022 and 1122 are in a partly open mode in which case the zipper closure members 1024 and 1124 are away from both the crotch portion 1018 and the neck portion 1014.

[0067] Right tubular leg portion 230 and left tubular leg portion 330 are connected to the lower portion 1016 of abdominal body portion 1010, and each is sized for receiving and encompassing at least a top portion of the wearer’s legs proximate to the wearer’s torso. In one embodiment (not shown), the lower portion 1016 has leg apertures for letting a wearer’s legs therethrough, and the right and left tubular leg portions are connected to the lower portion 1016 at the apertures for receiving the wearer’s legs. In another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, right tubular leg portion 230 and left tubular leg portion 330 are both integrally formed with the abdominal body portion 1010. Each of the tubular legs 230 and

330 has a zipper extending along the length thereof and having a closure member slidable along the zipper. For example, right tubular leg portion 230 has a zipper 240 with a zipper closure member 242 slidable therealong. Similarly, left tubular leg portion 330 has a zipper 340 with a zipper closure member 342 slidable therealong. The tubular leg zipper 240 or 340 is in a fully closed mode when its respective closure member 242 or 342, respectively, is at the crotch portion 1018 of the lower body portion 1016. The tubular leg zipper 240 or 340 is in an open mode when its respective closure member 242 or 342, respectively, is away from the crotch portion of the lower portion. The open mode may be a fully open leg mode or a partly open leg mode. The tubular leg zipper 240 or 340 is in a fully open mode when its respective closure member 242 or 342, respectively, is at lower end 232 or 332, respectively. The tubular leg zippers 240 or 340 is each in partly open mode when its respective closure member 242 or 342 is away from both the crotch portion 1018 and the lower end 232 or 332, respectively. [0068] The zippered garment 1000 is in a fully closed mode when all four zippers 1022,

1122, 240 and 340 are closed, which is the case when zipper closure members 1024, 1124, 242, and 342 are at the crotch region as shown in FIG. 13. The garment 1000 is in a partly open mode when zipper closure members 1024, 1124, 242, and 342 are away from the crotch region, but the front and rear zipper closure members 1024 and 1124 are also away from the neck portion 1014, and the leg zipper closure members 242 and 342 are also away from both the crotch portion 1018 and the lower ends 232 and 332. The garment 1000 is in a fully open position when the front and rear zipper closure members are at the neck region 1014, and the leg zipper closure members 242 and 342 are at the lower ends 232 and 332, respectively. [0069] In another embodiment, featured in FIGS. 1-11, a zippered garment 100 is provided. Garment 100 is comprised of a right garment piece 200, and a left garment piece 300. Right garment piece 200 has a right abdominal portion 210 including an upper right portion 212 forming a right neck half-opening 214 at a top end thereof for receiving a portion of a wearer’s neck. Right abdominal portion 210 also includes a lower right portion 216 having a right crotch portion 218, and a left-facing edge 220 extending from the right neck half-opening 214 to the right crotch portion 218 on both a front and a rear side of the right abdominal portion 210.

[0070] A right portion of a zipper fastener 222 is attached along the left-facing edge 220 of the right abdominal body portion 210 on both the front and rear sides thereof. [0071] A right tubular leg portion 230 sized for receiving and encompassing at least a top portion of a wearer’s leg proximal to the torso, is extending downwardly from the lower right abdominal portion 216. The right tubular leg portion 230 has a left-facing longitudinal slit extending downwardly along a length thereof from the right side crotch portion 218 in the direction of a lower end 232 of the right tubular leg portion 230.

[0072] A right zipper fastener 240, including a sliding closure member 242 is disposed along the left-facing longitudinal slit of the right tubular leg portion 230, for defining a closed right leg mode and an open right leg mode. When the sliding closure member 242 of the right leg zipper fastener 240 is at the right crotch portion 218, the right tubular leg portion 230 is in a closed right leg mode. Conversely, when the sliding closure member 242 of the right leg zipper fastener 240 is slid towards the lower end 232 of the right tubular leg portion 230, the right tubular leg portion 230 is in an open right leg mode. Additionally when the sliding closure member 242 of the right leg zipper 240 is away from both the lower end 232 and from the right crotch portion 218, the right tubular leg portion is in a partly open right leg mode.

[0073] The left garment piece 300 has a similar, but opposite, structure as that of the right garment piece 200. Left garment piece 300 has a left abdominal portion 310 including an upper left portion 312 forming a left neck half-opening 314 at a top end thereof for receiving a portion of the wearer’s neck. Left abdominal portion 310 also includes a lower left portion 316 having a left crotch portion 318, and a right-facing edge 320 extending from the left neck half-opening 314 to the left crotch portion 318 on both the front and the rear sides of the left abdominal portion 310. A left portion of a zipper fastener 322 is attached along the right-facing edge 320 of the left abdominal portion 310 on both the front and rear sides thereof.

[0074] A left tubular leg portion 330 sized for receiving and encompassing at least a top portion of a wearer’s leg proximal to the torso, is extending downwardly from the lower left abdominal portion 316. The left tubular leg portion 330 has a right-facing longitudinal slit extending downwardly along a length thereof from the left side crotch portion 318 in the direction of a lower end 332 of the left tubular leg portion 330. [0075] A left zipper fastener 340, including a sliding closure member 342 is disposed along the right-facing longitudinal slit, of the left tubular leg portion 330, for defining a closed left leg mode, and an open left leg mode. When the sliding closure member 342 of the left leg zipper fastener 340 is slid away from the left side crotch portion 318 towards the lower end 332 of the left tubular leg portion 330, the left tubular leg portion 330 is in an open left leg mode. When the closure member 342 is at the lower end 332, the left tubular leg 330 is in a fully open mode. Additionally, when the sliding closure member 342 of the left leg zipper 340 is away from both the lower end 332 and from the left side crotch portion 318, the left tubular left portion is in a partly open left leg mode. [0076] The right garment piece 200 and left garment piece 300 mate together to form garment 100. The right zipper fastener portion 222 and the left zipper fastener portion 322 cooperate to fasten the right garment piece 200 and left garment piece 300 together, at both the front and rear sides of the right abdominal portion 210 and the left abdominal portion 310, to form a closed garment. A front and a rear zipper closure members 224, at the front and rear of the fastened right and left abdominal sections, is each slidable between a closed garment position in which the front and rear zipper closure members 224 is each at a crotch position of the garment (as shown in FIG. 1), and an open position in which the front and rear zipper closure members 224 are slid away from the crotch position of the garment. The open position may be a partly open position, in which the closure members 224 are only partly away from the crotch portions 218 and 318, but still far from the neck opening formed by neck half-openings 214 and 314. The partly open position of the garment is shown in FIG. 2. The partly open position may be useful for changing an incontinent product, such as a diaper as well as facilitating toileting in the bathroom or on a commode, etc. The open position may also be a fully open position in which the closure members 224 have both been moved all the way up to the neck half-openings 214 and 314 and the right garment piece 210 and the left garment piece 310 have been separated from one another. The fully open position is shown in FIG. 3. The fully open position may be used to change the garment, or to change an incontinent product of larger dimensions. [0077] A variant of the embodiment of FIGS. 1-11, is shown in FIG. 12. In this variant, the right and left tubular leg portions (230, 330) may each feature a cuff portion (260, 360), at a respective lower end (232, 332) thereof. Accordingly, the zipper sliding members 242 and 342 may be slid upwardly to close the zippers without the need to first wrap the tubular leg portions 230 and 330 around the wearer’s legs. Instead, the wearer’s feet need to be inserted into the cuff portions (260, 360). In yet another embodiment (not shown), for a cold environment, the tubular leg portions (230,330) may have built-in sock portions at the lower ends (232, 332) thereof for receiving and warming a wearer’s feet. In yet another embodiment (not shown), the sleeve portions (400,500) may feature built-in gloves or mittens at distal ends thereof for keeping the wearer’s hand warm and/or for protecting the wearer from harming his or herself. In a further embodiment (not shown), the garment may feature a hood portion or covering the wearer’s head.

[0078] In yet another embodiment (not shown), the garment may be similar to garment 1000 at the back, but similar to garment 100 at the front. That is the garment may be formed in one piece as garment 1000 is, but with the front zipper 1022 extending all the way up to the neck opening 1014. In this case, the abdominal portion 1010 fully opens at the front as shown in FIG. 3, but remains connected at the back at upper portion 1100 as shown in FIG. 14. A wearer may wear such garment by closing the rear zipper then putting on the garment, and finally closing the front zipper. Conversely, the garment may be connected at the front as shown in FIG. 13, but having a back zipper fully extending to the neck opening as shown in FIG. 11. In this case, a wearer may close up the front zipper and slip the garment on in the same manner as a hospital gown is worn, and then the rear zipper may be closed.

[0079] In yet another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, a flap 500 may be added to the garment to make it harder for a wearer to open the garment to access their crotch. The flap 500 may extend from a rear portion of the right abdominal crotch section 218 to a front portion of the left abdominal crotch section 318. The flap 500 may be sewn to the garment at one end 510 thereof, and may have a fastener 505 on the opposite end. In one embodiment, shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, the flap may be sewn, at end 510 to the rear portion of a right crotch portion 218, and may use a fastener 505 on the front portion of the left crotch portion 318. In another embodiment (not shown), the flap may be sewn to the front of an abdominal crotch portion, and fastened to a diagonally opposing rear abdominal crotch portion. The flap 500 thus extends diagonally over the point where all four zipper closure members 224, 242 and 342 meet when in the closed position, thus concealing the closure members 224, 242, and 342. Advantageously, concealing the closure members of the zippers makes it more challenging for the wearer to open the garment and gain access to their incontinent product and/or genital organs. The fastener used to secure the flap to the garment, may be a button, a snap, a hook and loop fastener, or any other appropriate fastener. For example, in FIG. 15, 505 is the hook part of a hook and loop fastener, while 515 is the loop part. In yet another embodiment (not shown) two flaps may be used for added security, and to further make crotch access more challenging for patients who may eventually figure out how to operate the zippers. In this case, the two flaps are both diagonally positioned on the garment to form an“X” arrangement.

[0080] While the flap 500 was shown in conjunction with the garment 100, it is equally applicable to the garment 1000 as well.

[0081] In one embodiment, the garment 100 may also feature sleeves 400 and 500. Alternatively, in another embodiment (not shown) the garment may just feature armholes in the upper abdominal sections 212 and 312, for receiving a wearer’s arms.

[0082] With reference to FIGS. 1-15, sleeve portions 400 and 500 are shown as long sleeves. However, in another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, the sleeve portions 400 and 500 are partial sleeves encompassing only a portion of the wearer’s arms proximate to their torso. In yet another embodiment, shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, sleeve portions 400 and 500 are similar to the sleeve portions of FIGS. 19 and 20 feature tubular leg portions 230 and 330, which are short and thus encompass only a top portion of the wearer’s leg proximate to the torso. Such garments with short sleeves and/or legs may be suitable for warm days. [0083] In one embodiment (not shown), in the closed position, the four zipper sliding closing member 224, 242 and 342 may be positioned at a rear part of the crotch of garment 100. In this case, the lower abdominal sections 216 and 316 are longer at the front and shorter at the rear. Similarly, the leg zippers 240 and 340 are located in the rear portion of the tubular leg portions 230 and 330. Accordingly, the four zipper sliding closing members 224, 242, and 342 are located a few inches above the crotch region on the rear side of the garment 100, thus making it even more challenging for patients with intellectual disorders for example to reach for and open the zippers to gain access to their private parts.

[0084] In yet another embodiment, a fastener may connect the four zipper closure members at the crotch thereby making it difficult for user to unzip the zippers. For example, the closure members may all have apertures and a locking ring may be used to lock all closure members together. This configuration may be used with or without the flap 500.

[0085] A patient is typically assisted when putting the garment on. In one embodiment, the right garment piece 200, and the left garment piece 300 are initially joined together before the patient wears the garment. For example, the right garment piece 200 and the left garment piece 300 may be joined at the rear side using two half zipper fasteners 222 and 322, and rear zipper closure member 224. In another example, the right garment piece 200 and the left garment piece 300 may be initially joined at the front side using two half zipper fasteners 222 and 322, and front zipper closure member 224. In yet another example, the right 200 and left garment 300 pieces are joined as the patient is wearing them. In one embodiment, the patient puts on the garment first by inserting the right arm into right sleeve 400. The right abdominal portion 210 is then fitted around the right side of the wearer ' s abdomen, and the right tubular leg portion 230 is wrapped around the wearer’s right leg. At this point the sliding closing member 242 may be slid up zipper 240, up to, or proximal to, the crotch end 218, to secure the tubular leg portion 230 around the wearer’s leg. The same steps may be repeated for the left side. For example, the left arm is inserted into left sleeve 500, the left abdominal portion 310 is fitted around the left side of the wearer’s abdomen, and the left tubular leg portion 330 is wrapped around the wearer’s right leg. At this point, the sliding closing member 342 may be slid up zipper 340, up to, or proximal to, the crotch end 318, to secure the tubular leg portion 330 around the wearer’s left leg. Next, the right zipper fastener portion 222, and the left zipper fastener portion 322 are mated together and the sliding closing member 224 is slid down from the neck region (214, 314) down towards the crotch region (218, 318), at the front side, at the rear side, or at both sides to fully close the garment. The fully closed position of the garment is shown, for example, in FIG. 1. All four zipper sliding closing members 224, 242, and 342 are at the crotch region, in the closed position.

[0086] Advantageously, the above-described garments 100 and 1000 are each provide selective access in that they permit access to a wearer’s crotch by select people such as health care workers, but denies access by the wearer who may be a behavioral patient, for example. A behavioral patient who is used to opening a zipper by sliding down the zipper’s closing member to open their garment and reach for their private parts would not be able to open the garment. This is owing to the fact that the front and rear zippers described close towards the crotch and therefore the zipper closing member is at the crotch when the garment is in fully closed mode. A lifetime of muscle memory is familiar with undoing zippers on garments from the top down. With decreased neuroplasticity as related to dementia and other behaviors, this maneuver is contrary to a lifetime of learning and reinforcement. Specifically, such patient would expect the zipper closing members for the abdominal section to be at the neck region or even around the navel. And if there they would attempt to pull it down thinking that would cause the garment to open, the patient would not expect the closing member to be at the crotch, and that it would open by being slid in the upwards direction.

[0087] A healthcare worker attempting to change an incontinent product, may do so by partially opening the garment enough to access fastening members of the incontinent product and slip it out. This is done by sliding the sliding closing members 224 (front and rear), 242 and 342 away from the crotch. This is depicted in FIG. 2. The extent to which the closing members are moved away from the crotch region depends on the incontinent product used. The same action may also be taken when assisting patients in voiding themselves at the restroom. Advantageously, the four-zipper arrangement presented herein, and the closing arrangement, wherein in the closed position the zipper sliding locking members are at the crotch region, both provide for a zippered garment allowing selective access to the wearer’s crotch or lower abdominal region. The garment cannot be opened by patients with mental illnesses/challenges who cannot leam a new way of operating zippers that close in the reverse direction to the direction of conventional zippers, or cannot maneuver a fastener connecting the zippers or the flap system. The garment can also be easily opened, as needed, to access the crotch region, or the entire lower abdominal region, with ease, or can be simply unzipped from bottom to top at the front or back for easy garment changes.

[0088] While the examples provided were designed with mainly elderly patients or residents of LTC facilities in mind, the invention is equally applicable all individuals of all ages. For example, infants or children may use the garment, as shown in FIG. 5. Alternatively, the garment may be used by adults as shown in FIG. 4.

[0089] The above-described embodiments are intended to be examples of the present invention and alterations and modifications may be effected thereto, by those of skill in the art, without departing from the scope of the invention, which is defined solely by the claims appended hereto.