4 Easy Ways to help the person with dementia get dressed
- Don’t Rush them. Keep things calm. The less stress the better.
You can forget it! They will sit on the side of the bed and do nothing. The person with dementia will have forgotten the instructions by the time you’re finished speaking.
Or, if you give a general order without specifics: “You need to get dressed this morning we’re going to the doctor,” the person with middle stage Alzheimer’s dementia may have no idea what you want him to do.
- Use short, simple sentences and allow the person time to respond.
Speak slowly and suggest one article of clothing at a time. A task that seems simple to you can be quite complicated for the person with dementia. If the person’s response seems slow, do not rush to take over the task and dress him yourself. This will only embarrass a loved one or the person you are trying to help and serve to make him feel like a child. Allow the person time to think about your words and then respond.
- Offer assistance if it appears they do not remember how to complete the task.
It is not unusual for someone with middle stage Alzheimer’s to forget how to fasten a button, close a zipper, etc. If their response to your order is a look of confusion, you might expect that they’ve forgotten how to complete the task. Don’t insist that they remember, “You remember how to do it, you did it before……..” In all likelihood they don’t remember. And saying they Should remember only serves to make the patient feel inadequate and agitated.
- Purchase easy to manage clothing.
Velcro closures are better than shoe strings, snaps, buttons, and even zippers. You can substitute velcro for almost any fastener. Purchase clothing that closes in the front, buy pull-on pants and shirts. Purchase slip-on shoes or those with velcro closures. Trying to tie a shoe can be a daunting task for someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Remember that Alzheimer’s and Dementia is a progressive disease; they may be able to button their shirt today, but not tomorrow. Try to be kind and generous with your time. I remember that it isn’t always easy to be even tempered.
Helping my mom get dressed was one of the most frustrating things I did all day. And, I must admit–I allowed her to wear the same clothing for a couple days more than once. Sometimes you have to “choose your battles.” If Mom and I were both out of patience–changing clothes could wait for another day.
Be good to your patient–and be good to yourself, too
Skechers Men’s Energy Fix Up Oxford,White Navy,9 M USGrasshoppers Women’s Highview Slip-On Loafer,Stone Canvas,7 S USHush Puppies Men’s Gil Slip-On,Tan,9.5 WW USNon Skid/Slip Socks – Hospital Socks – Slipper Socks for Women and MenSleepwear – Ladies Adaptive Clothes Open Back Flannelette Nursing Home NightgownMens Full Elastic Waist Pull-On Pants-Velcro Fly (S (30Alfred Dunner Classics Petite Elastic Waist Pants Black 14p M