Learn how to help a person with dementia get dressed. This could be because they are unable to remember to get dressed, wear inappropriate clothing or because they keep undressing themselves.
You as the carer may need to help the individual because of their choice of clothing is inappropriate(wanting to wear night wear such as pajamas to the local shops or warm clothing when it is cold outside ). It might be because they are physically unable to put on and take off their clothes due to the late stages of dementia.
Always remember – Allow the person as much independence as possible when dressing themselves.
In many instances a person is able to dress themselves and you should always encourage this. This helps the person keep their independence and dignity. It also helps to use the thinking processes of the brain that remembers.
It may help you as the carer to take the person to the toilet first or maybe try dressing after breakfast. These methods could hep because it takes away the frustration and agitation of being hungry or needing the toilet if the person finds it difficult to communicate.
But there are instances where the person who suffers some degree of dementia will need to be assisted with their dressing.
Five steps on how to help a person with dementia get dressed
Allow the person time to get dressed. Never rush a person into dressing as they may get the feeling that they are being forced into something they don’t want to do, which can make a situation far worse.
Allowing time also stops you from getting stressed if you are helping the person. Explain what is happening and the reasons why they need to be dressed in the clothes they are wearing.
Always show respect to the person you are trying to help get dressed. Remember this is a person.
Always speak calmly and politely even if the person seems unco-operative.
Lay out the clothes in the order they should put on the clothes. This stops confusion and embarrassment if the person makes a mistake. ie, if they forget to put their underwear on first.
If you give the person a choice of clothing then try to limit choices of clothing to two. If the person prefers a particular type of clothing over another why not consider buying the same type of clothing three or four times.
Easy wear clothing such as elasticized clothes such as trousers are great if leaving the house.
Routine and simple methods mean everything. Try to keep to a regular time for morning and bedtime dressing.
Always tell the person what is happening at all times and never raise your voice. Talk slowly and have patience if something goes wrong or the person is refusing to co-operate.
We have products in our dementia shop that could help you as the carer here
If you can help or have any tips on how to help a person with dementia get dressed we would love to hear them. Please let us know below.