I was reminded when speaking to one of our board members whose Mum is living with dementia about the challenges something as simple as getting dressed can have on family carers.

It’s particularly difficult for husbands caring for their wife with dementia, but can also be difficult for everybody, including sons and daughters supporting their families.

So, I thought I would share some tips that I found helped my Mum and Mother in Law and things I have learnt from MindforYou guests.

For me the key thing is to make it as easy as possible for the person living with dementia, so here are my top 10 tips:

1. Buy trousers or skirts that are all the same colour that is easy to match with anything. I bought all black trousers and skirts for my mum.
2. Buy lots of the same clothes if somebody likes a particular outfit and simply replace the dirty clothes with clean clothes when they have gone to sleep or are in the bathroom
3. Pick the clothes they want the night before and hang them up or lay them out somewhere so they are all ready for them to put on themselves in the morning, saves making a decision in the morning when there are lots to make and things can become stressful.
4. Consider cutting the size labels out of clothes if the person doesn’t think they are their clothes because they are a size 16 rather than the size 10 they used to wear. I had to do this with my Mum and then helped a guest buying clothes for his wife on holiday and covered the size when she tried things on and asked the shop assistant to cut the label off after we bought them
5. Remove stress of getting to the toilet quickly by introducing elasticated trousers or skirts
6. Remove the difficulty of putting tights on and taking them off by introducing pop socks or switch to wearing trousers
7. Switch to velcro fasteners for shoes and coats if fastening shoes and coats is getting difficult
8. Buy socks and pants that are all the same colour so it eliminates the need for another decision
9. Be flexible, if it’s the middle of summer and your loved one with dementia feels the cold, don’t worry if they still need to go out with their fur hat on. This was my Mum! We knew it was summer when she didn’t wear her scarf, but she always had her fur hat on
10. Give them compliments on how nice they look, remember self-confidence is something people living with dementia need boosted. After all, we all like it when somebody says how nice we look, even if it’s that one outfit that they love wearing day after day.

For those of you who know me well, my love of bright colours and patterns and my desire to make them match/clash in my own special way is going to be a challenge for my husband, it’s just as well my daughter has inherited the same style and will be able to help my husband pick out the outfits, I will feel confident and happy in when I look in the mirror! Plus he actually has pretty good taste himself 🙂