Dressing with Alzheimers

Challenges With Daily Activities: Dressing

Individuals living with dementia and Alzheimers disease often start to struggle with completing their daily activities. For caregivers of individuals with Alzheimers disease, helping these individuals with those daily activities is part of the job. For many caregivers this means helping their loved one with dressing. This can be frustrating on both the caregiver and the individual with dementia, but with some additional insight on tackling this daily task, dressing can be easier on everyone involved.

Common Problems with Dressing

There are a number of issues that tend to accompany the dressing process with Alzheimers patients. Knowing these common obstacles beforehand can help you be more successful.

- Many times the loss of proper communication skills and issues with memory loss can make understanding the dressing process and working together with a caregiver while dressing difficult. - Many individuals with Alzheimers lose their coordination skills, making dressing and undressing physically challenging. - When an individual with Alzheimers is presented with too many choices regarding their clothing; it can be both frustrating and confusing. - Many individuals will get overwhelmed or start to develop low self-esteem when they realize that they are unable to complete this task alone or when they have a caregiver seeing them undress.

Tips on Successful Dressing

Here are some helpful tips to consider that may help in the dressing process.

- Approach the individual from the front, so that you do not alarm them. Begin by speaking to them in a calm and comforting voice and explaining to them what you are going to be doing. - Encourage the individual to dress themselves as much as they can and only intervene with their attempts are not working. - Start to develop a routine so that you are dressing at the same time every day and in the same order. - Give the individual a choice in outfits but limit the choice to just two or three options and outfits that are already pre-matched, to make it easier. - Be prepared to meet some resistance and reassure the individual whenever they are expressing concern over receiving assistance. - Make sure that you have invested in loose and comfortable clothing and clothes with elastic waistbands and those that are easy to put on and that are comfortable.

With these easy tips in mind you may find that the process of dressing an individual with Alzheimers disease can be easier on everyone involved.


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