Dressing a parent with dementia can be a challenging but rewarding task. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, it is important to declutter the parent's wardrobe and only keep simple, adaptive clothing that is comfortable and easy to put on. It is also important to avoid clothing with lots of buttons or zippers, as these can be difficult for a parent with dementia to manage.
By taking the time to declutter and simplify the wardrobe; fewer clothes are better than too many, you can help your loved one make the decision on what to wear easier.
Comfort should be the primary concern. With a little patience and care, you can help your parent feel dressed and ready for the day ahead. Ultimately, the goal is to provide your parent with clothes that are comfortable and stylish, without being overly burdensome. With a little trial and error, you can find a dressing routine that works for both of you.
Declutter Their Wardrobe
Remove any clothes that are no longer appropriate or that they no longer wear. This will make it easier for them to find the clothes they need and will prevent them from becoming overwhelmed by too many choices.
Next, keep their wardrobe simple. Choose adaptive clothing that is easy to put on and take off. Avoid anything with buttons or zippers, as these can be difficult for them to use.
Finally, focus on comfort. Choose clothes that are loose and comfortable, without any unnecessary details that could cause discomfort. By following these tips, you can help your parent feel more confident and comfortable when getting dressed each day.
Separate Clean Clothing From Used
Most people enjoy feeling tidy and well-dressed. However, for those with dementia, the process of choosing and maintaining clean clothes can be confusing and frustrating. To simplify things, only offer tidy clothing to your parent. Set aside a selection of clean clothes that they can choose from, and keep dirty or used clothes separate. This will help to reduce confusion and prevent your parent from becoming embarrassed.
There will be a need for a system to separate clean clothes from used, which may need your support, but by offering tidy clothing and simplifying the process, you can help your parent feel more confident and independent.
Mobility and Adaptability
When helping someone with dementia to dress, it is important to consider their mobility and ability. Can they move independently, or do they need help? If they need help, how much assistance do they require? What is the best way to help them move, considering their level of mobility and ability? Is the clothing adaptable and accessible, or will it be uncomfortable for them to wear? For example, if a shirt has buttons, can they fasten it themselves? Or would velcro be easier for them to use? By taking the time to consider these factors, you can ensure that the process of getting dressed is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for both you and the person with dementia.
It’s important to encourage choice and decision making into the everyday lives of dementia sufferers, it helps them keep that sense of self and worth that they may miss from their daily routine. It can also be an overwhelming thing to sufferers of dementia, especially when it comes to clothes.
You have already removed unnecessary options and included adaptable, appropriate clothing for dementia into the wardrobe of your loved one making it likely that the choices they make will not harm or embarrass them in any way. You could go a step further and help present limited options at the start of the day to remove any complication from the choice, lay the options on the bed and empower your loved one to pick what they feel best represents them that day. It can also help to contrast the clothing to the bedspread to remove confusion or to aid failing eyesight.
Style and Taste
When it comes to style and taste in clothing choices, people with dementia may have different considerations than they did before their diagnosis. However, it is still important for them to feel like they are expressing their personality through their clothes. Here are a few tips for maintaining style and personality while suffering from dementia:
- Let the person with dementia choose their own clothes, even if it doesn't match what you would choose for them. This will help them to feel in control and maintain their independence.
- Help the person with dementia to accessorize their outfit. This can be a fun activity that you do together and it can really help to bring an outfit to life.
- Pay attention to the care labels on clothes. garments that are easy to wash and don't need to be ironed will be much simpler for the person with dementia to manage.
- Don't be afraid to experiment. Just because someone has dementia doesn't mean that they have to stick to boring, plain clothes. They might surprise you with their fashion sense!
Check out the range of adaptive clothing for Dementia that we stock here at Caring Clothing.