Sometimes, elderly adults have a difficult time dressing themselves. This is usually due to reduced flexibility in the arms and legs, and lower gripping ability in the hands. As the person ages, their strength and grip aren’t as strong, making it a struggle to get dressed. Because this is a task that symbolizes independence, getting dressed is a hard one to ask for help on. Family caregivers can include assisting their elderly relative in getting dressed as part of their elder care duties.
Whether an elderly person is dealing with physical limitations (such as arthritis or after a stroke) or mental challenges (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease), choosing clothes and putting them on can be frustrating. Family caregivers can first help their elderly loved one by going through their clothes with them and bagging up items that don’t fit or that are too damaged or stained to keep. Often, eliminating an overwhelming number of choices can help make the dressing process simpler and less stressful.
An elderly person that is dependent on family caregivers or elder care assistance to get dressed should have a wardrobe full of comfortable clothing that is simple in construction and design. For example, button up shirts and blouses are much easier to put on and take off than pullover sweaters. Fabrics should be soft, stretchable and a little loose to make it easier to get dressed. Sometimes buttons and snaps are too difficult for a senior to manage on their own, but zippers can be much easier. All in all, seniors and family caregivers can organize their clothing to maximize dressing success.
It’s important to give the elderly person as much choice in the matter of clothing as possible. Many caregivers find success in having the elderly person lay out the clothes they want for the day, or stand by as they choose their outfit. Seniors should also help as much as they can and the family caregiver should really be assisting. For example, an elderly person may be able to put their arms in the sleeves of their shirt but need help buttoning it up.
Seniors often like to wear the same comfortable clothing over and over again. While this is fine as long as it is clean, it can be helpful if family caregivers purchase a few duplicates of their favorites. Of course, hygiene is important for elderly adults and they should always have on clean underwear that is comfortable and fits properly. Many seniors prefer to wear several layers, such as a light jacket over a cardigan over a blouse.
Family caregivers should always make sure that the elderly person is dressed appropriately for the weather and remember that it’s harder for their body to regulate its temperature properly. Family caregivers should allow plenty of time when dressing their elderly relative, because going too fast or rushing them may trigger frustration and anxiety.
In the long run, getting dressed for the day has a big impact on an elderly person’s self-esteem. Even if they need some help, they can still do as much as they can for themselves and have some control over wardrobe choices.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME ELDER CARE IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.