Scott Finley

Believe it or not, there is every reason to hope that we’ll be entering into more traditional fall weather in Texas soon.   Monday Sept. 23 is actually the “official” date, but of course, it’s Texas, so who knows?

 Cooler weather also brings about a change of wardrobe.  As we all know, your physical appearance contributes to your sense of self-esteem.  But – for a person with moderate or severe Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, changing a wardrobe can be frustrating. They may be overwhelmed with choices or the task itself, or even not remember how to dress.

 Fortunately, there are things you can do to help, but first you need to step back and pay attention to what’s happening.

 Physical Problems

Does the person remember how to dress - how to put clothes on and in what sequence?

 Environment Issues

Is the person troubled by lack of privacy, a cold room, poor lighting or loud noises?

 Other Concerns

Is the person receiving clear step-by-step instructions on how to dress or does the task seem too complicated?

Once you’ve made these observations, the next thing to do is:

 Simplify Choices

Lay out clothes for the person.

Choose Comfortable and Simple Clothing

Select comfortable and loose-fitting clothing that’s easy to put on and remove.

 Organize the Dressing Process

Lay out clothes in the order each item goes on.

 Finally - Be Flexible

If the person wants to wear the same outfit repeatedly, try getting a duplicate of it or have similar options available.

It’s ok if the person wants to wear several layers of clothing, just make sure he or she doesn’t get overheated.

It’s ok if clothing is mismatched.

If you have questions, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 for more information

— Scott Finley, Manager of Media Relations - Alzheimer’s Association: Dallas and Northeast Chapter


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