Dressing Tips For Seniors Receiving In Home Care
When a senior starts receiving in home care, whether it is from a loved one or a professional caregiver, there are a few new changes that seniors will need to get used to. One of the biggest changes that typically impacts seniors comes with their clothing. When seniors are no longer able to dress themselves everyday it can make them feel as though they have lost their independence.
While it may seem like a relatively small issue, it is one that many seniors struggle with, and it is one that caregivers and family members should be sympathetic to.
If your loved one is still able to pick out their own clothing, it is important to let them, even if they may struggle with issues such as dementia. Instead of overwhelming your loved one with options and a disorganized closet, organize their space by putting similar items next to one another, grouping items that match together into outfits. For example, placing grey slacks together with a matching top, then a pair of brown pants, together with a coordinating top.
When it comes to organizing these clothes and picking out new clothing items for your senior loved ones, there are a few things to keep in mind. Try to only choose items that are within the senior’s normal “style” even if you don’t agree with it. It is important that seniors are able to feel like themselves. If seniors are going to need help getting dressed and undressed, or help with going to the bathroom, make sure all of their clothing items are easy to get on and off. A clothing item shouldn’t have a lot of buttons, clasps, snaps and zippers.
Once seniors have picked out their own clothing items, helping with the actual process of putting on these clothes can be a whole other undertaking. Many seniors feel embarrassed when another person has to dress them, and while it is important to let seniors dress themselves when they can, it is also important to make sure that seniors don’t hurt themselves in the process.
If you need to help the senior dress so that they don’t hurt themselves, then make sure to take the process slowly and understand that it can be embarrassing to the senior. Try not to stare or make the senior feel as though you are looking at their body while they are getting dressed.
You should also never rush the process when helping a senior get dressed. If you hurry them through the process they can feel even more embarrassed by needing help with getting dressed. Go slow, and always let the senior know what you are going to do before you do it. For example, let them know that you are going to take their arm and put it inside a shirt. Of course, as you do this, you want to make sure that you are being careful as to not harm the senior. Many seniors are susceptible to bruising and can bruise just from having someone help them get dressed.
Being aware of how delicate this topic is and how difficult it can be for seniors to need help getting dressed can only help any senior caregiver provide the assistance they need to their senior loved one.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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