How to Help a Person with Dementia Get Dressed

How to help a person with dementia get dressed

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

1. Time

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.

2. Respect

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.

3. Method

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.

4. Routine

Routine and simple methods mean everything. Try to keep to a regular time for morning and bedtime dressing.

5. Communication

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.


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One comment

  • sarah

    This is very helpful my mother has got dementia and she has started to dress inappropriately and therefore now reading your report I have started to limit the outfits that she has to choose from,this has made my life so much easier.some times I turn up and she is dressed inappropriately but if we are now going out does. It matter what she is dressed in as long as she is happy. If I have tried to change her this only upsets her and myself, so does it matter if she hasn’t got matching clothing on. In my point of view, no, leave her happy,she’s not harming anybody.also like suggested in the report it says elasticated clothing, I have found these a god send, she has now start struggling with buttons and zips, also velcro or slip on shoes as she is now finding it difficult to fasten laces on shoes and this then reduces the risk of falling,thank you for your report.

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