Giving Care: Senior & Disabled Caregiver Resource Blog

5 Tips to Take the Stress Out of Dressing

Dressing a senior loved one
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Easy dressing solutions such as adaptive clothing is designed to make life easier. Adaptive clothing is designed with the dressing needs of seniors, the elderly, and the disabled in mind. With functional features such as open back tops and side open pants, adaptive clothing can bring relief and comfort to someone who is struggling to get dressed.

Who can benefit from adaptive clothing? Individuals who have been dressing on their own due to limited hand dexterity, advanced arthritis or sensory issues will find adaptive clothing as the perfect substitute for conventional clothing. If you are a caregiver who dresses their senior loved one every day and finds it challenging and physically tiring, adaptive clothing can provide the right solution.

Here are some tips to take the stress out of dressing a senior loved one:

Shop with them

These days it is very easy to shop online. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or any other health condition, try to make shopping a pleasant experience. When you are looking at the options get their input and let them choose their favorite color, material, or style. Helping them select the right attire might just help them feel encouraged and appreciated. Letting them choose will also help make the clothes appear familiar. If your senior loved one still appears disconnected or difficult to dress, try to create a story of the shopping experience and remind them that they chose the color or style.

Find simple outfits

Some of the most common diseases that can be relived by adaptive clothing include arthritis, incontinence, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, spinal cord injury, among others. Caregivers and family members can help their senior loved ones choose clothing that is easy to get on and off. Adaptive clothing includes elastic waist pants, wheelchair pants, open back tops, and easy closure shoes which help in minimizing struggles while getting dressed.

Are you giving them choices?

If your elderly family member or loved one has dementia, they may have trouble making decisions or choosing from a wide array of choices. If there are too many choices of clothing available, narrow them down to a few and make it easier for them to choose. To avoid an unpleasant scenario where your loved one may get angry, difficult, or frustrated, give them fewer choices so they can select what appeals to them. If it is easy to do, lay out the color choices and let them choose. If the clothing is online, enlarge the image so they can see and decide easily.

Be patient

When your senior loved one feels frustrated due to a health condition or illness, the best gift you can give them at that time is patience. Try to be positive, open, and encouraging so they feel happy. If they choose a piece of clothing that is not ideal for the situation or weather, let them wear it for a little while and compliment them so they feel encouraged and supported. If something is not dangerous or harmful for the elderly, support their decision, and then help them see your perspective.

Establish a routine

Routines can help a senior establish a sense of comfort. For caregivers who are pressed for time, having a routine can help provide coherence to the day and schedule. With so many things that need to get done, caregivers and seniors can both benefit from timelines and scheduling.

If your senior loved one prefers to get dressed at a specific time every morning, help them, or assist them in getting dressed so you can complete other chores as a family caregiver. Establishing a routine can also reduce stress and anxiety because seniors will know exactly what will be happening and who will be helping them out. This could also promote a sense of security, comfort, and safety.

Do you have other tips that you would like to share with us? Please leave a comment and share with us!

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