5 Simple Wardrobe Changes That Make Managing Mild Dementia Easier

By "problem-proofing" your loved one's closet in the earliest stage of dementia, you can make dressing easier, prolong independence, and help avoid later embarrassing goofs.

Five easy ideas:

1. Conform the sock drawer.

Switch to socks that are all identical -- same style and color. No more searching for matches, or not realizing that brown and black aren't the same.

2. Go solid.

Pare down tops and sweaters so they all color-coordinate easily. Better still, eliminate prints so outfits never clash.

3. Adopt a uniform.

Some people with mild dementia choose to adopt a uniform look they're known for -- say, a white t-shirt and black cardigan with slacks, or a turtleneck a la Steve Jobs. A signature look becomes a stylish brain aid.

4. Enlarge the fasteners.

Go on a hunt for wee buttons and tiny zipper pulls. They can befuddle any pair of aging hands, but combined with the physical limitations dementia can bring, they can be utterly impossible. Best to weed them from the closet now.

5. Simplify the shoes.

Fussy buckles and challenging laces will become increasingly frustrating. Slip-on loafers, Velcro-style closures, or very simple styles are better.

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