Many of us take dressing in the morning for granted. We take a shower, put on our clothes, make sure we look presentable, and then are out the door. But what happens when getting dressed in the morning becomes a daunting task?
For your loved ones with dementia, this could be a daily difficulty. Although getting dressed independently may not be something many of us think twice about, it can be a hurdle for them. If your loved one is suffering from dementia, allowing them to be able to get dressed independently is a way to restore their dignity and grant them a sense of control over their lives. It can be a small but empowering part of their day. Here are a few tips to encourage independent dressing for dementia.
- Narrow down your loved one’s choices: For someone with memory loss, having too many choices can be overwhelming. Go through your loved one’s closets with them and put aside the things they no longer wear – you can donate these articles of clothing to your local shelter or religious center. Find their favorite pieces of clothing and ensure that they are in good shape, comfortable and presentable.
- Match clothing: Pick a few of your loved one’s favorite colors, make sure they coordinate and purchase clothes in that specific palette. That way, you’ll help them out with the aesthetic aspect of dressing.
- Be wary of patterns: For those with Alzheimer’s, patterns can be overwhelming. Keep your loved one’s wardrobe simple with solid colors or simple patterns on comfortable and easy-to-care-for fabrics.
- Easy to wear: Try and avoid fussy clothes with small, intricate buttons or difficult zippers. Opt instead for clothing with elastic waistbands, snaps, large and easy-to-handle buttons, or Velcro fasteners.
- Bear in mind the season: This ties in with keeping a minimal wardrobe to prevent your loved one from getting overwhelmed. Store seasonal items away when not in use. Put away that heavy coat in summer or that light dress in winter. Versatile pieces such as light jackets, cardigans, or anything that can be layered are good to have on hand throughout the year.
- Be patient: Don’t rush your loved one. Give them the appropriate time to dress and get ready in the morning to avoid stressing them out.
Wardrobe and Closets
- Lighting: Adding a bright light to the interior of your loved one’s wardrobe and closet can help them see their clothing options easily.
- Multi-use wardrobes: Wardrobes with well-defined sections can help you organize your loved one’s wardrobe. You can paint the separating doors in contrasting colors that help define the space.
- Ascending hanging rods: Tension rods, installed in ascending order, can help direct the flow in which your loved one should dress, providing them with a structured guide. Clothing can be arranged so that the rods present the undergarments first, followed by shirts and then pants. These rods can be adjusted to suit your loved one’s height.
Dignity for Loved Ones with Dementia
Dementia can be a daunting diagnosis that is complex to navigate. At Discovery Village At Deerwood, we understand the difficulties that dementia can bring. Our SHINE® Memory Care program and Senior Assisted Living Homes provide personal and compassionate care for those suffering from dementia. Contact us today to find out more.