Getting Dressed with Alzheimer’s: Strategies Promoting Independence

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Many adults living with Alzheimer’s become frustrated and confused when people attempt to assist them with basic tasks such as dressing. Even well-intentioned efforts can seem intrusive. If your loved one is having trouble getting dressed, the Caledon Alzheimer’s caregivers from Home Care Assistance share several strategies for simplifying this process so that he or she can continue dressing with minimal assistance.

Limit Clothing Choices

Too many clothing options can be confusing. It may be best to clear your loved one’s closet, leaving only two or three items on hangers. If your loved one shows a preference for a specific clothing type or color, make sure to stock up on these. Buying a number of the same shirt could prove helpful if a family member insists on wearing the same garment multiple times.

Look for Comfortable Clothes that are Loose-Fitting

Style should take a backseat to comfort. Clothing should be loose-fitting and easy to pull on and off to help limit frustrations, making the process of getting dressed and undressed as easy as possible. This also applies to socks, underwear and shoes.

Replace Zippers with Velcro

Fumbling with closures is often the most frustrating part of getting dressed, however, many seniors are still reticent to request help with these efforts. Caregivers can replace zippers, buttons and other closures with velcro, and can also stock up on sweatpants and other garments that have drawstring closures.

Label Drawers Clearly

All dresser drawers should be clearly labeled for adults who are still capable of managing this process almost entirely on their own. You may even want to put up pictures of the items that each drawer contains so that confusion is minimized. Small efforts like these will allow seniors to feel confident and in control.

Coaching Your Loved One

Patience is important when helping a senior with Alzheimer’s get dressed. Any coaching that you do should be done in a clear voice and with very basic instructions. Try breaking each part of the process down into small increments. Rather than telling a loved one to put his or her shirt on, tell this person to put his or her arm into a single sleeve.

Although helping Alzheimer’s patients dress themselves can be a tricky and time-consuming endeavor, it is certainly worth the effort. This basic task will help keep your loved one stay active, engaged and able to manage a very essential part of self-care.

For more information about caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Caledon. We proudly provide home care Caledon families trust, with no long-term contracts required and a 100% satisfaction guarantee with all of our care services. Call 905-951-8885 and request your complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.