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Dressing | Management Strategies

  1. Try to find ways to make the dressing process easier. Try purchasing them clothing with elastic waist bands or velcro fasteners (without pointing out the easy-on features) and gradually introduce these handy, less complex items into their wardrobe. Not only may this reduce some of the struggle, but additionally, this may allow the person you care for to dress themselves, and may improve their feeling of independence.

  2. If the person you care for is easily overwhelmed by choices, or if they often choose inappropriate clothes (e.g. a summer coat in the middle of a snowstorm), minimize their choices by removing all nonseasonal or seldom worn items from drawers and closets, or offer only one or two choices in outfits. Explain, if asked, that missing items are "in storage" or "at the cleaners".
  3. It may help to lay out clothing in the morning in the order in which it should be put on. This will help the person know what to put on first. You also might want to make sure that the clothing is right side out. Pre-selecting the clothing can allow the person you care for to avoid inappropriate clothing combinations.

  4. A person who does not have the physical strength to dress may also be resistant to changing clothes. It might be important to investigate and address the reason for his or her lack of strength. If no other diseases or conditions are present, you may want to talk to the doctor about physiotherapy or at least an exercise routine to do at home. You could also consider an exercise program at a facility. Many adults who will not do exercises at home with the caregiver will do them in a group situation, like an adult day program.

  5. It is important to be sensitive to the person's reaction to a mirror or to any reflective surface. Some people find the reflection in mirrors frightening, as they no longer recognize themselves or others.

See Also:
Symptom Library > Everyday Activities > Bathing
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Independence
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Decision Making
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Disorientation to Time
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Inappropriate Language and Behaviour
Symptom Library > Personality Changes > Self-Awareness
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Memory
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise Program
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Exercise
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Natural Progression and Staging
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Last updated January 9, 2019
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