FlowersChallenging Behaviors for the Caregiver

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Dressing and Grooming
By Elisabeth A Hinman-Smith M.S.W. & Lisa P. Gwyther M.S.W.

"My wife insisted in wearing the same clothes every day for days on end. We had to take them to wash them only on the nights we could get her into her nightgown."

* Allow the person to dress themselves as long as they can, even if it takes more time than it would with your help.

* In the person needs help, give step-by-step instructions and take one task at a time. Or, you might try arranging clothes by laying them out in order they are to be put on.

* Encourage the person to choose their own clothes, but make the choice easier by avoiding a large selection from which to choose. Keep only seasonal clothes in the closet. If the person insists on wearing the same outfit everyday, try duplicating so they may be rotated.

* Clothing should be comfortable, but attractive. Watch for changing size needs (weight gain or loss)

* As the person becomes more impaired, try easy-care clothing like sweatsuits in attractive colors, slip on shoes or those with velcro closings, and pants or skirts with elastic waistbands.

* Keep the room warm and well-lit while the person dresses. Draw blinds or close doors for more privacy.

* Try to conduct dressing at a regular time - part of the day's routine.

(c) copyright 1996


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