For someone who has Alzheimer’s, getting dressed presents a series of challenges: choosing what to wear, getting some clothes off and other clothes on, and struggling with buttons and zippers. Minimizing the challenges may make a difference.
- Try to have the person get dressed at the same time each day so he or she will come to expect it as part of the daily routine.
- Encourage the person to dress himself or herself to whatever degree possible. Plan to allow extra time so there is no pressure or rush.
- Allow the person to choose from a limited selection of outfits. If he or she has a favorite outfit, consider buying several identical sets.
- Store some clothes in another room to reduce the number of choices. Keep only one or two outfits in the closet or dresser.
- Arrange the clothes in the order they are to be put on to help the person move through the process.
- Hand the person one item at a time or give clear, step-by-step instructions if the person needs prompting.
- Choose clothing that is comfortable, easy to get on and off, and easy to care for. Elastic waists and Velcro® enclosures minimize struggles with buttons and zippers.