Well Being

Clothing for Alzheimer’s Patients

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“Mary, we must get some back closure blouses for your mom.  She keeps unbuttoning hers and taking them off,” Pat, the head nurse on the Alzheimer's unit said.

Taking her clothes off in public was something I would never have imagined Mother would do.  However, like children, as adults regress into Alzheimer's, they simply want to get rid of uncomfortable clothing and give no thought where they are. 

So I had to change my ideas about the clothing I bought for Mother.  Pat showed me a catalog where I could order the type of clothing that would be easiest for them when they dressed Mother (she now could no longer clothe herself) and for her comfort.

The blouses and dresses closed in the back with snaps or velcro and were loose fitting.  They were attractive and came in may fabrics.  If I had wanted, I could have made these garments for Mother, but my schedule didn't allow time for sewing at that period in my life.  Then they used wrap skirts that could be loosely fitted and not tight around the waist.  If a patient wore slacks or pants, those with elastic bands and velcro usually were most comfortable and easier to get up and down.

Perhaps I could have found similar clothes in stores, but it was so much easier to order from the catalogs and have them delivered to the nursing home.  Nowadays, these clothing companies and others would have web sites for ordering clothing for nursing home and Alzheimer's residents.

When your family member balks at keeping clothes on, check to see whether they're uncomfortable or whether too hot.  Think about using back closure clothing  and elastic waists for men and women.