September 15, 2022
Your mom has Alzheimer’s. Due to the loss of cognitive skills and difficulty with fine motor skills it is hard for her to start her day. One of her biggest challenges is getting dressed. How can you help her?
Set Her Clothes Out the Night Before
Before she goes to bed, help her pick out an outfit and set it out on the bathroom counter or on her dresser. Make sure it’s easy to see. When she’s showered, she can go right to the clothing and get dressed without having to figure out what she needs for the day.
Put Away Clothing That’s All Wrong for the Season
If you’ve ever caught your mom wearing a heavy sweater on the hottest days of summer or light cotton clothing in the middle of winter, undoubtedly you can stop that from happening. Take her summer clothes and put them away once fall and winter weather arrive. Do the same in the spring with her winter clothing.
When her clothing is out of sight, she’s less likely to put on the wrong clothes. You can also help her by having a whiteboard or smart display that shows her exactly what the weather will be like each day.
Aim for Clothing That Doesn’t Have Buttons or Zippers
Buttons, zippers, and snaps are going to be hard for her to manipulate. Invest in shirts that have wide neck holes that she can pull over her head. Leggings or Yoga pants with an elastic waist will be much easier for her to pull on each day.
Get Rid of Shoes With Laces or Buckles
Slip-on sneakers and shoes are easier than traditional sneakers and dress shoes. She won’t be able to tie her laces or buckle a buckle anymore. Get rid of shoes and boots that don’t slip on.
Purchase Aids to Help Make It Easier
Buy dressing aids that can assist your mom with some of the tasks she must complete while getting dressed. A button hook aid slides through a buttonhole, grasps the button, and pulls and fastens it for her. A shoe horn holds the back of slip-on sneakers and allows her foot to slide down the back and into place without a struggle.
Explain What You’re Doing Before You Do It
When you have to help your mom get dressed. Be sure you explain what you’re about to do. If she’s insistent on wearing jeans that have a zipper and button, tell her you’re going to button or zip her pants before you do. Never just swoop in to do it without giving her a warning.
Don’t Fight Her
She’s going to get frustrated at times. She may refuse to let you help. Don’t fight her. That only adds to her agitation.
Arrange Home Care Aides to Help With Dressing
It may be better for her if you step back and let professional home care caregivers help her get dressed. You can do something else while they help her shower and dress and come to the dining room for breakfast.
Make sure your mom has the support she needs to start her day. Home care services can assist your mom with her morning shower and ensure she’s dressed in the right clothing for the weather. Call a home care agency to get started.