Dressing and Grooming

dressing-groomingFor 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.