Getting Dressed in All Stages of Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by toxic changes in the brain. Therefore, it largely impairs memory and judgment, although motor skills may also be affected when brain signals meant to control muscles are damaged.
Getting dressed can become a struggle for both patients and their caregivers. With the changes of mobility, usually more limited, daily dressing can become exhausting for the patient. This usually ends with a caregiver needed to aid them in getting dressed during their daily routine. Though the disease affects everyone differently, we will address symptoms typical to each stage of Alzheimer’s ranging from mild, moderate, and severe. We will also offer dressing solutions to provide you and your senior loved ones with comfort, dignity, and peace of mind.
In the early phase of Alzheimer’s, you may start noticing mild changes in behaviour. This can include difficulty performing ordinary activities such as doing up zippers, buttons, or shoelaces because they have forgotten to (and/or how to) do so.
In this stage, products with uncomplicated closures can help the elderly clothe themselves, in turn preserving independence and self sufficiency. Side-open pants, are pants that have two adjustable fastenings on both sides of the pants. This eliminates hard buttons or zippers. The adjustable openings also allow for easy access to putting on and taking off the pants. Magnetic button tops, are an incredible way to continue to look snazzy but without the ordeal of having to do up all of those small buttons. A magnetic shirt replaces all buttons with magnets, even the buttons on the cuffs! VELCRO® shoes are invaluable pieces of clothing, having shoes, slippers or some sort of slip resistant sole on at all times is incredibly important as a person begins to become confused, to avoid trips and falls. But footwear can be a huge deterrent with laces and small openings, making it difficult to put on and take off. With an adjustable strap, it allows the wear to open the shoes and slippers wider and makes it easier and faster for them to do up.
Moderate Alzheimer’s disease is typically the longest lasting stage, where patients need the help of a caregiver. Poor memory, impaired judgment, and inability to make decisions are heightened in this phase. They may get frustrated or irritable when performing routine tasks such as getting dressed. They may even have trouble selecting the proper clothing for the season or occasion.
Garments designed for assisted dressing make it much more manageable for your loved one and his or her caregiver. Adaptive wear like open-back tops and wheelchair pants are practical updates to the wardrobe — they make dressing an Alzheimer’s patient hassle-free. These types of adaptations are extremely helpful with assisted dressing. With open back tops, the benefits are extreme. Alzheimer’s patients no longer have to struggle with putting anything over their heads. This is important, in some cases putting something over their eyes can cause panic for seniors, as well as the struggle of a small neck hole can confused and scare someone with Alzheimer’s. They no longer have to struggle with fitting both arms into the sleeves at once, each arm can be put on easily and efficiently. This is safer for the wearer and easier for the caregiver. Open back pants have many of the same benefits. The wearer no longer has to stand to put pants on! They can remain in a seated or lying down position while being dressed. Open back pants are simply drawn up to the legs and then wrapped around the waist. Simple, fast and easy for both the person and caregiver.
In the final phase of Alzheimer’s disease, individuals can no longer respond to their environments or properly control their movements. Extensive assistance from a caregiver is necessary. Your patient or loved one is likely to experience problems including incontinence and disrobing.
Anti-strip jumpsuits eliminate the issue of disrobing. With a zipper in the back, these jumpsuits make it impossible for a resident or person to disrobe. This video demonstrates how an anti-strip suit is put on and the great benefit of them:
Silvert’s anti-strip suits keeps your loved one dignified and safe.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which is why we call them stages. But seniors with Alzheimer’s can have good days and bad days. So the important part is to find clothing that will put them most at ease and make them the most comfortable. These clothing options are all ways to make dressing less confusing and easier for them. In later stages these clothes are also used to speed up the process of dressing, this will allow more time to do things they enjoy.
Let Silvert’s and the Giving Care team help you make the best clothing decisions for you and your elderly loved one. Call us at 1-800-387-7088 to speak with an experienced customer service representative.
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- Giving Care Team