Dressing for the person with dementia presents its own particular challenges. Difficulty with buttons, snaps or zippers, recognition of dressing for seasonal changes, or remembering the order of putting on clothes, are but a few of the concerns.

Sometimes, the individual may not want to change clothes at all. Helping your care recipient dress appropriately is important to maintaining their dignity and self esteem.

Following are a few suggestions to consider:

  • For as long as possible, allow the individual to dress themselves. Empty the closet of unnecessary or impractical clothing to reduce the number of choices for the individual.
  • When self-selection becomes difficult, offer a choice between two outfits.
  • It may become necessary to assist in dressing by handing the articles of clothing, one at a time.
  • Allow enough time to dress.
  • Sneakers or crepe soled shoes can help prevent falls.
  • Velcro closings and elastic waistbands are easier to manage than buttons and zippers. Cardigans and front-buttoning shirts are preferred to pullovers.
  • For the incontinent individual, choose clothes that are easy to remove and clean.