Dr. Kristine Goulet, D.C., President of Monarch, mother lived with Alzheimer’s for the last 5 years of her life, much of that time confined to a wheelchair. As a caregiver, Kristine had the honor of accompanying her along this journey. Regardless of the challenges, she is grateful to have spent the time together, sharing in daily activities like dressing, eating, bathing or just being quiet and comforting.
On one of Kristine's regular visits to her long-term care home, she noticed that her mother seemed a bit out of sorts, so she leaned forward to give mother her usual hug. As Kristine wrapped my arms around her mother she was shocked to feel her mother's bare back. Her mother's adaptive garments were spread wide open with the fabric pushed to the sides of her back. Her mother's exposed skin was red and irritated. There were areas where she had been leaning on the bunched-up fabric had raised welts, threatening to turn into pressure sores.
Kristine had never previously been inclined to bend her mother forward to check the back of her clothes. But from that day on, she routinely checked and adjusted her mother's clothing. Kristine would strain to bend her mother forward in her wheelchair while at the same time smoothing the garment’s fabric layers along her back. This was a challenging task, especially without assistance.
In trying to solve this recurring issue, Kristine modified a shirt hoping to provide her mother coverage, comfort, less pain during dressing and the dignity she deserved. Kristine presented her mother with what was unbeknownst to her, of many prototypes of a redefined adaptive garment. It wasn’t as successful as Kristine would have liked, but she knew that her mother could see she was trying to help.
Sadly, Kristine's mother passed away in the spring of 2016 before she had solved the dressing challenge.
Kristine's first reaction following her mother’s death was to leave that home, that dreaded disease and the emotional roller coaster of caregiving and seeing her mother suffer. She had enough. However, two weeks later Kristine found herself working on improving the clothing concept. She came to the conclusion that she could and should help others who are struggling, as Kristine and her mother did.
Kristine also realized something very significant: caregivers needed better solutions to provide dressing assistance. The garments available at the time were difficult to put on properly, often included Velcro which easily damages the skin, and the designs did not work with the mobility limitations of those confined to a wheelchair or who are bedridden.
As a former caregiver, Kristine is immensely proud of the result of approximately 3 years of designing, prototyping, and testing to present a dressing solution that is comfortable, easy-to-use, easy-to-wear and respects that everyone wants to feel good by dressing in fashionable clothes. They truly believe their Monarch’s clothes are revolutionary. They consider the mechanics of dressing, an ailing body’s need for comfort and respect that timeless desire for being stylish – even in a wheelchair or a bed.
The Monarch Collection has provided Kristine an incredible opportunity to honor her mother and help others who are traveling this journey. Kristine's mother was a proud and generous person and a brilliant seamstress with an entrepreneurial mind. Kristine's mother would be happy to know she has inspired our mission of providing beauty and comfort.
Easy to wear. Easier to care.