Dementia and Sweaters

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

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:

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.

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

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

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

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

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio