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Dementia Care: Tips for Dressing and Grooming

By Kevin McClarren, 10:58 pm on

From helping with meal preparation and housekeeping to driving to the doctor and running errands, a family caregiver is responsible for many tasks when caring for a loved one with dementia. However, there is one activity in particular that many caregivers find difficult to manage: personal care. The sensitive nature of the activity along with the need to ensure safety can be daunting for an inexperienced caregiver. The good news is that the Warren dementia care experts at Home Care Assistance have a few tips that can help simplify the entire process.

Assisting with Dressing

  • The first thing is to consider your loved one’s routine prior to the diagnosis. For instance, if your aging loved one always got dressed after having breakfast, the same routine should be kept. This will help reduce confusion, something that is important as the disease progresses.
  • It is good to offer choices, but not too many. Too many options will overwhelm and confuse your loved one. Asking if they would like to wear the black pants or the brown pants is a simple choice that they can make, and can being involved in the decision process can help them to maintain a sense of independence and control.
  • Go slow, and at the individual’s pace. Laying out your loved one’s clothes and doing one task at a time will reduce uncertainty and frustration. Use phrases such as “Let’s start with your shirt.” These clear phrases and simple instructions are easier to process for a senior with dementia.

Assisting with Grooming

  • As mentioned with dressing, the best place to begin is with a routine. Doing familiar activities at the same time each day will encourage cooperation and help reduce anxiety. If your elderly loved one is used to having their hair or nails groomed by a salon or barber shop, continue taking them if able to.
  • If your loved one is having a difficult time understanding what you are asking them to do, do the task yourself and allow them to copy your motions. Brushing teeth, combing hair and washing hands are good examples and easy actions to follow.

By practicing these simple tips, you can create a positive experience for the one you are caring for, and ease the overall experience for you as a caregiver. For families who are unable to provide around the clock care to their aging loved one, learn more about Warren home care. A highly trained, professional and compassionate dementia caregiver can come to your home anywhere from 4 to 24 hours a day to assist with personal care, activities of daily living, transportation and more. To learn more about our home care services, contact a Care Manager at 908.450.9400 today.