Monday, August 31, 2020

Easy, breezy dressing

Whenever I'm going out it takes me a while to figure out what I'm going to wear. After trying on about three to four outfits I narrow my decision to two, and then one. Can you imagine being a person with Alzheimer's or Dementia if at the beginning of the disease it may not be so complicated to figure out what to wear, but as the disease progresses you have to make major changes in the wardrobe. For my Mom, that is exactly what happened.

 After having a closet full, and I do mean full of clothes, she had to give away at least seventy percent of her clothes. Now she is quite comfortable in jogging sets, she has them almost in every color, as she loves to match from head to toe. They are not that expensive if they get soiled they can be thrown out and easily replaced.

As the disease progresses minimize the choices to avoid any anxiety issues, preparing the clothes for them may be extremely helpful and appreciated. preparing the clothes in the order that they need to be worn is a huge advantage for the person. Let's focus on keeping this routine for as long as they are able to handle getting dressed on their own.

The time will come when they forget certain steps to getting dressed, straight forward simple instructions will help, avoid raising your voice or scolding them, remember they are struggling to figure out a task that once was second nature to them. Only give one instruction at a time. something like "please put your foot in" wait until that is done and then move on to the next step. Relax and be patient, they respond to our energy, if we are anxious, or getting irritated they will sense that, they will get anxious and the situation can turn very frustrating for both of you very quickly.

If you are going to an appointment, please allow plenty of time to be ready. Making appointments for the later part of the day always work best for my Mom. As nobody is rushing, the anxiety levels are not high, and everything flows fine.

Respect their sense of style, whatever that is, if you try to change that it may also become an issue, with not a good outcome. You may want to consider de-cluttering the closet, have a few choices on everything. the same with shoes, there will be a time when you would need to consider water shoes as their main source of footwear.

Dressing a person with memory impairments can be very challenging, please be patient, always remember to interact with them as you would want to be treated. 

We are on this bumpy road together, you are not alone!
Be Prepared, Be Informed, Be Empowered.
I send you beams of virtual good vibes. 

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