One of the challenges many family caregivers to seniors with dementia encounter is the senior’s refusal to change their clothing. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, if it persists, it can lead to hygiene problems. This can be unhealthy for the older adult and make them unpleasant to be around for other people. If your older family member is refusing to change clothes or giving you trouble during dressing, here are some tips to help.
Determine if Clothes Really Need to Be Changed
It is most people’s habit to change their clothes every day and to put on pajamas at night. However, it may not be necessary to do so. When the senior is particularly opposed to changing, you may be able to just let them stay in the clothes they are in. Consider that most people wear an article of clothing a few times before washing it anyway. So, if the senior isn’t dirty, it may be best to avoid the argument altogether and just let them stay in the clothes they are in, even for sleeping. It may be easier to get them to change at another time.
Purchase Duplicate Outfits
If your aging relative has an outfit they tend to gravitate toward, it might be best to buy duplicate items. The senior isn’t likely to know the difference, so they will think it’s the same outfit. This way, you can wash one outfit while they wear the other.
Offer Clothing Choices
One of the reasons your aging relative may resist changing is because it is something they can control. Dementia can make seniors feel like they have very little control over their lives, so they may refuse to dress simply because it is something they can be in control of. One way to make dressing easier if this is the case is to give the older adult clothing choices. For example, get two shirts from their closet and ask which they want to wear. Continue to do this until they are dressed.
It’s okay for caregivers to be a little sneaky with their aging relative’s clothing. For example, if you know they are going to want to put the same outfit on in the morning, wait for them to fall asleep and remove it from their room. If they don’t see the clothes in the morning, they probably won’t remember them. Or, while the senior is bathing, remove the clothes from the bathroom.
Home care services providers are able to help seniors with dementia to change clothes as often as needed to keep them clean and healthy. Because home care services providers are trained and experienced, they often have tricks of their own that they have discovered are successful with other seniors. In addition, a home care services provider knows how to preserve the older adult’s dignity and may be able to take much of the difficulty out of dressing.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Arlington Heights IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.