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:

  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.

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