As dementia progresses, basic tasks like dressing become more and more difficult. Your parent may forget how to work buttons or zippers or not remember where to find articles of clothing. Sometimes people with dementia make unusual clothing choices, like wearing shorts in the winter, or put clothing on backwards. If your parent has begun to have trouble dressing, there are some techniques that can help family caregivers and elderly care providers manage the task of dressing your parent while maintaining dignity and avoiding confrontation.
Making the right kinds of clothing available to your parent can greatly simplify the task. Take your parent shopping with you to purchase clothes they like and will be comfortable in. Pick clothing that is easy for your parent to put on and take off. Avoid complicated fasteners. Choose shoes that close using Velcro instead of shoelaces. If your parent is prone to wearing the same outfit more than one day in a row, you may want to purchase multiple pieces of your parent’s favorite clothes. This way your parent can wear their favorite outfit, but still be clean. Purchasing multiple copies of a favorite outfit can also prevent arguments between your parent and their family caregivers and elderly care providers.
When it is time to dress, set out a couple of outfits for your parent to choose between. Sometimes asking open-ended questions can be confusing to people with dementia. Instead, ask yes or no questions, such as, “Do you want to wear the red shirt today?” Lay clothing out for your parent in the order they will put them on. For example, line clothing up on a bed or countertop with undergarments first, then shirt, then pants, so that your parent can simply move down the line and put on whatever comes next.
Organizing Closets and Dressers
Go through your parent’s closet and remove clothing that they no longer wear, such as items that have become too difficult to put on. You may also want to remove clothing that is not currently in season. Paring the closet down to a limited number of choices can make it easier for your parent to pick an appropriate outfit. Put pictures on the outside of closets and drawers that show what is inside of them. This can help your parent remember where to find things.
There will be times when your parent will make unusual clothing choices, such as mismatched outfits or wearing several layers. Rather than focusing on such mistakes, accept their choices and offer praise and encouragement for the accomplishment of getting dressed. In the end, if your parent is happy, comfortable, and safe, what they wear doesn’t really matter.
If you’re struggling with assisting your parent to do daily tasks while also meeting your other responsibilities, hiring a professional elderly care provider can help free up some of your time and relieve the pressure of being a family caregiver. Elderly care providers who come into your parent’s home to provide assistance can help your parent to remain safely in their home for longer.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Professional Elderly Care in Boynton Beach, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at 561-829-3080 Today.
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