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Dementia and Sweaters

How to Help Someone With Dementia Put on a Sweater or Coat

By , Caring.com contributing editor
100% helpful

Ever consider how many different muscles and motions are involved in putting on a sweater or coat? It's a complicated maneuver! If you've noticed your loved one showing more uncertainty about getting dressed, there's a good chance it's because it's getting harder for him or her to remember how to coordinate complex movements.

Five tips that help:

  1. Hold out one arm at a time, rather than standing behind the person and holding the sweater over the shoulders. Gently guide the person's arm into each sleeve separately.

  2. Buy clothes a size larger than usual to make putting them on simple.

  3. Look for raglan-style sleeves, which are wider and looser at the top.

  4. Present new, simpler clothing items as a gift if you have a fussy dresser. Don't mention the easier off-and-on styling.

  5. Weed out any older, tighter styles in the person's wardrobe, making sure you're not observed as you do this.