When Elderly Adults Can’t Dress Themselves

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Posted Feb 27th, 2019 in Caregivers

When Elderly Adults Can’t Dress Themselves

Physical decline is one of the most frustrating things for many aging adults to have to live with. Dexterity and flexibility that they have taken for granted for decades slowly slips away when health conditions strike. Even something as basic as getting dressed and undressed can become a major obstacle. So, what can family caregivers do when elderly adults can’t dress themselves?

Dressing Obstacles for Seniors

So many elderly adults want to live independently, but disease, injury and the effects of old age can hinder that ability. The ability to get dressed can be influenced by any number of health conditions like arthritis, stroke, a broken bone, bad back or dementia. These and others can affect an elderly person’s hands, arms, torso or legs, preventing them from manipulating the clothing and their bodies from getting dressed or undressed.

For example, some seniors develop arthritis in their hands, which makes it difficult for them to do fine motor tasks like buttoning a shirt, buckling a belt or grabbing the ends of a sock. When seniors can’t do these basic tasks, they likely struggle with other things around the house as well, prompting family caregivers to step in and help as often as they can.

How Family Caregivers Can Help

When an elderly loved one can’t take care of themselves very well, family members usually step in to help out. However, it’s hard for family members to spend so much time throughout the day with their aging relatives, especially when they have other responsibilities like children, jobs and more. Many families hire home care providers, professional assistants that come to the home and help seniors when they need it.

Home care providers are trained to help aging adults with many tasks, including getting dressed. Not only do they help the aging adult, but they can introduce assistive dressing devices that still let seniors do as much as they can for themselves. These devices include things like button pullers, shoe horns, sock aids and long grabbers. Seniors can do a lot of the work themselves, then ask the home care provider for help.

Family caregivers can also eliminate a lot of frustration for their aging loved ones getting dressed by preparing the wardrobe and sorting out the clothing. They should get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or that is too stained or worn out. They can also invest in senior-friendly clothing, such as zip-up jackets, front-clasp bras and elastic waist pants.

Getting dressed on their own is a big self-esteem boost for aging adults who see themselves increasingly dependent on others. Family caregivers and home care providers can boost their self-esteem as much as possible by ensuring the aging adults have simple clothes, dressing aids and fast, no-nonsense help when they need it.

Learn More About In-Home Health Care & Nursing

Wherever their home may be, our caregivers can help keep your loved ones safe. Call our local Niagara office at (289) 434-4704 to learn how home care services can assist your family.


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