Five Tips for Making it Easier for Your Senior to Get Dressed
By Kevin Edwards, President
At some point you may find yourself helping your elderly family member to get dressed on a daily basis. If you handle this the wrong way, you’re both likely to get frustrated and say things you don’t mean. So it’s important to go about this the right way from the start.
Give Her Some Choices
Choices make a big difference in most situations for your elderly family member, but especially with something as personal as dressing. If she feels as if you’re just forcing her into one outfit, she’s probably going to resist. Make sure she has options and honor those options.
Don’t Rush Dressing
There are always going to be times when you’re unexpectedly in a rush. But whenever you can, make sure that you leave plenty of time for your senior to get dressed. This shows her a level of respect and dignity that make the entire process of you helping her get dressed much more bearable.
Lay out Clothing in an Order that Makes Sense
If she’s still able to do most things on her own, you might want to help by laying out her clothing for her. Doing so with an order that makes sense helps. For instance, leave outerwear at the bottom of the stack and put undergarments on top. That way as she works her way through, she’s ready for the next step.
Adjust Her Wardrobe
Your elderly family member may still be able to dress herself for the most part if you adjust her wardrobe. Opting for clothing that pulls on rather than clothing that uses tiny buttons is a big difference. Take your senior’s challenges into account and determine what might help her to experience greater success with dressing.
Get Some Outside Help
Some aging adults just don’t like having family members helping them to get dressed. If it’s making your senior uncomfortable, hiring senior care providers can be an important step. Senior care providers can help her to get dressed while maintaining her dignity and she may feel less annoyed with the process. That allows you and your senior to have friendlier interactions instead of fighting over getting dressed.
Remember to pay attention to how dressing goes for your senior. Small changes can take time to add up for your senior, but if you’re looking for issues you can often put solutions in place quickly. Remember that if you’re patient with the dressing process, your senior may be able to keep her patience, too.