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Better Ways to Dress with Dementia

People with Alzheimer’s often need more time and preparation to dress. It's important to allow the person to dress on his or her own for as long as possible. Here are some tips.

People with Alzheimer’s disease often need more time to dress. It can be hard for them to choose their clothes or they might wear the wrong clothing for the season. It’s important to allow the person to dress on their own for as long as possible.

Here is a checklist of tips that may help:


  • Lay out clothes in the order the person should put them on, such as underwear first, then pants, then a shirt, and then a sweater.
  • Hand the person one thing at a time, or give step-by-step dressing instructions.
  • Put away some clothes in another room to reduce the number of choices. Keep only one or two outfits in the closet or dresser.
  • Keep the closet locked if needed.
  • Buy three or four sets of the same clothes if the person wants to wear the same clothing every day.
  • Buy loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, such as sports bras, cotton socks and underwear, and sweat pants and shorts with elastic waistbands.
  • Avoid girdles, control-top pantyhose, knee-high nylons, high heels, and tight socks.
  • Use Velcro® tape or large zipper pulls for clothing instead of shoelaces, buttons, or buckles.
  • Try slip-on shoes that won’t slide off or shoes with Velcro® straps.


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April 5, 2019 4:51 pm

I laid Mom's clothing out on her bed – so she could get a bath first. She would ask me – what to put on first – and then I would help. The slip on shoes worked best – she had a habit of untying her tennis shoes at different times of the day (trip hazard – along with growing balance issues). I usually helped with brushing her teeth and brushing her hair ..and I used the curling iron when we planned to go out. She loved to get her hair fixed and to put on a little makeup. Sure do miss her – she passed 12/9/2017.

Athenas - bluediamondhomecare
Athenas - bluediamondhomecare
January 18, 2022 2:17 am

Another great and helpful post, thanks again.

B. Berger

B. Berger

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