Sep 6, 2011

Too Many Layers of Clothing, How Do I Get Her to Undress? Help

This is one problem I never dealt with, putting on multiple layers of clothing. However, it does happen, and it is disconcerting.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Too Many Layers of Clothing, How Do I Get Her to Undress?

I wonder, how do you change this pattern or routine? As most of you know, I advocate changing the dynamic. Replacing a pattern of behavior with a new, different, and desirable pattern of behavior.

I know this from experience, it is very difficult to "reason" with a person living with dementia.

If the person is putting on multiple layers of clothing all they time, they must have a reason. For example, are they cold? Do they think its cold outside? Are they going somewhere?

Our reader asks?

Showers have been a big issue. Having figured out the "carrot," i.e. going out, so let's take a shower, I still have the most trouble getting her to undress.

She often greets me at the door wearing two or even three pairs of pants, a shirt or two, and a sweater.

When it's time for the shower, we often go through unzipping pants, then pulling them up and zipping them again, often several times. "I don't know what you want me to do?" "I have pants on already."

What words should I use? How do I get her to undress, to take clothes off and put clothes on?

How do I get her to undress; to change her clothes? Help.

If you have experience with this problem, insight, or advice, please use the Add New Comment box below to share your thoughts with our reader.

One thing to keep in mind. This person is not living with this women. She is a dear friend, and s/he is providing help.

My first thought on this by the way was to put all clothing away in closets and drawers. Out of site out of mind. Dotty will put on yesterdays cloths if I leave them laying around. However, I don't know if that is a possible solution in this case. I doubt it.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room