Older adults with dementia often exhibit behaviors that don’t make sense to their caregivers. Dressing can be one aspect of daily care that can be especially difficult. Sometimes people with dementia refuse to change their clothes—and that can go on for days at a time, until their clothing is dirty and smells bad. They may also insist on wearing the same outfit every day or choose clothes that don’t match. But, what can you do when your aging relative resists your requests to change? Below are six suggestions for dressing that may help circumvent challenging behaviors.
#1: Buy Multiples
If the older adult insists on wearing articles of clothing each day, try purchasing those items in multiples. For example, if the senior wants to wear the same pair of striped pajamas every night, go buy another pair or two of those same pajamas. That way, they can wear the “same” pajamas and you still have an opportunity to was them when they are dirty.
#2: Limit Clothing Choices
Dressing may be an issue because it is confusing and overwhelming. This can be especially true if the senior is presented with a whole closet full of clothes to choose from. Instead of opening the closet and asking them to choose, place a couple of outfits on the bed and ask them which one they want to wear. This allows the senior to still make choices while also allowing you to control what they wear, ensuring they match and are dressed appropriately for the weather.
#3: Put Away Out of Season Clothing
You can prevent your family member from wearing clothes that aren’t appropriate for the weather by removing out of season clothing from their closet and dresser. Pack them away and store them until their season rolls around again.
#4: Choose Clothes That are Easy
Picking clothes that are easy to put on and take off can allow the senior to maintain some of their independence longer, making dressing less stressful for them. Purchase tops that pull on over the head, pants with elastic waist bands, shoes with Velcro, etc.
#5: Lay Clothes Out in Order
To make dressing less confusing, lay clothes out in the order they should be put on. For example, line the clothes up on the side of the bed with underwear first, then pants, etc.
#6: Ask Senior Care to Help
One reason your older adult may be reluctant to change is that they feel uncomfortable undressing in front of a family member. A senior care provider may be easier for them to accept help from since the person is a professional and not their adult child or other relative. Senior care agencies are often able to match the experience of their staff members with the needs of the client, so the older adult’s senior care provider will likely have experience working with dementia patients.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF SUMMERLIN. 702-800-4616.