Giving Care: Senior & Disabled Caregiver Resource Blog

Why Do Dementia Patients Take Their Clothes Off?

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Anti Strip Advice For Senior With Alzheimer’s Or Dementia

A common symptom for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia is the tendency to try to remove their clothes. As with many Alzheimer’s symptoms, it can be difficult to explain the phenomenon, especially as the brain deteriorates more and more over time. Oftentimes, there is no way to rationalize why an elderly person inappropriately disrobes; their logic is simply ceasing to exist.

However, it is undoubtedly useful for any family member and caregiver to understand a senior loved one’s actions, in order to offer support as best they can and ensure senior safety. If you are struggling with a parent, grandparent, or patient in assisted living or senior care who frequently attempts to undress, here are our tips to cope with the situation:

Analyze Their Behavior

Every time your senior loved one begins to fuss with their clothing or get out of them, examine the senior’s behavior objectively before any action. Take note of the situation (time, environment, circumstance) and their body language as this takes place. Hopefully, you will notice a pattern. Perhaps they’re trying to communicate something. Ask yourself: Are their needs being met? Did a certain time, place, or person trigger this?

Gain Perspective

After having learned a senior’s definitive behaviors and triggers, theorizing why they’re stripping is an insight that can be used as a tool to help the problem. Some reasons your loved one or dementia patient may disrobe are:

  • Discomfort: Their clothes may be too tight or itchy. They may feel as though they are too hot or cannot breathe or move. They may have the urge to use a bathroom, and think they are in one.
  • Hallucination: Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not actually there happens often in later stages of dementia. An elderly person may think they must undress, due to hallucinations as simple as believing it’s bedtime or as bizarre as bugs crawling on their skin.
  • Sexual Reasons: Sometimes, a senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia may take off their clothing to fondle themselves. If they are in public, they are likely unaware or unbothered that it is an unfit time for sexual behavior.

Validation and Offering Solutions

It is important with any dementia behavior to avoid outwardly correcting or intervening a parent, grandparent, or patient. Overreacting and demonstrating you are upset or embarrassed about their actions implies that you are putting them in the wrong and may escalate the situation. Instead, validate their feelings and gently offer them a solution, bringing them to privacy or covering them up. Language like “I know it’s hot right now, but it’s not appropriate to remove your clothes here. I will take you somewhere private. Would you like to change into lighter clothing?” or “I see that you’re uncomfortable being dressed, but we are in public right now, which is why I am placing a blanket on your body” is firm but not demeaning.

Dealing with Potential Embarrassment

Navigating embarrassing situations as a caregiver when dementia patients undress can be quite challenging. It’s essential to remember that the dementia patient’s behavior is a result of their condition, and not a reflection of your caregiving skills. In such moments, focus on maintaining your own composure, even when feeling uncomfortable. Gently guide the patient to a private area and provide them with suitable clothing options. Seek support from other caregivers, professionals, or support groups to share your experiences and learn how to cope with the embarrassment. Remember that you are doing your best, and these situations are a part of the caregiving journey when dealing with dementia patients.

Specially Designed Clothing

Silverts carries the most vast array of adaptive products designed specifically for an elderly needs. The section of clothing for Alzheimer’s sufferers are great products for elderly people and have anti-strip jumpsuits for men and women that resemble a 2-piece outfit or can be worn as onesies underneath regular styles. They are designed with closures along the back of the garment, so that it is difficult for your parent, grandparent, or patient to undo them on their own.

Let Silverts and the Giving Care team help you make the best clothing decisions for you and your elderly loved one.

Call us at 1-800-387-7088 to speak with an experienced customer service representative.


  • Rhianfa Riel says:

    My situation is the opposite. My mother with Lewy body dementia will not change into nightwear at bedtime and most nights goes to bed with bra, panties, pants and several T-shirts. We have the heat up for her, she has many thick blankets and we’ve bought her multiple nightgowns that cover everything. It’s not even that she refuses to undress. – she does take off her T-shirt’s from the day, but she just puts two or three clean ones on instead of a nightgown and removing the other clothes. She only has moderate dementia at this point but point blank refuses to listen when we talk about skin integrity and circulation. It’s super frustrating because she used to be an RN in an extended care facility where she faces these same issues as a carer. She knows that it’s better if she sleeps in loose clothing but will not budge. I am not fighting her on it, I let it go although I don’t understand it, but I would love any insight into why it’s happening and if I should be concerned

  • Jolynn Fullerton says:

    Our family is caring for late stage Alzheimer’s parent at home. We need bed clothing that could immobilize hands. She gets hands into feces and creates a major cleanup and Otis happening more often and even during the night. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • ally says:

    i am caring for my husband who is in the middle stage of Alzheimer.. Recently he starts throwing objects, sheets, clothing…etc in the toilet.. I am eager to hear any advice on how to deal with this difficult problem. Thanks

  • […] your loved one with dementia have problems with disrobing? Check out “How to stop disrobing: Anti-Strip Suits” to see a solution to disrobing […]

  • Philippa Moss says:

    My mum keeps undressing at random times of the day and coming downstairs naked (in front of windows).
    She also removes her underwear, but replaces her trousers, when visiting the bathroom – causing extra washing.
    Any advice, please?

  • Iris says:

    Does anyone make pants with zipper in the back, the one piece jumpsuits are too hard for the aides to take off from my mother.
    We would like a one piece with a zipper that she could not undo. It can’t have elastic since she would just pull it down.
    My mother has very arthritic hands but she manages with her thumb and index finger to unbutton pajama top and pull down pajama bottom and depends. She can do it multiple times a day. Thank you

    • That does sound complicated and totally understand the difficulties you are facing. At this time we do not have pants with a back zipper, but will definitely share this feedback with our design team and hopefully we can have a product to be created for these needs.

      • Nancy says:

        Mother in-law will not keep her diaper on and she never wore underwear.She doesn’t use the bathroom instead uses trash can or whatever in her room. We just found and ordered toilet like device . Still needs to wear diaper. She gets out of clothes now takes diaper off puts clothes back on which gets clothes soiled along with anything she uses to wipe..Zipper in the back or some type of locking Zipper
        It’s crazy how she puts clothes back on because she can’t dress herself any other timem

  • LuDu says:

    Same here my uncle takes all his clothes off as well. I decided to stop putting pants on him.

  • So many people are mixing up Dementia with Alzheimer’s, while they are not the same.
    Dementia is the title we give to some symptoms regarding memory problems, reasoning, and many other thinking failures.

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