What to Do When Your Loved One Wears the Same Clothes Over and Over

You may cringe to see your loved one in the same brown sweater or blue top day after day, but let it go -- as long as the clothes are clean, that is. Many people with moderate-stage dementia cling to the same outfit day after day because that's what's easy and secure. What's more, they can't remember having worn it only yesterday, and the day before.

How to deal?

  • Don't distress too much. Familiar outfits may boost your loved one's comfort level. Remind yourself that in the "olden days" people only had a few different outfits; huge, shifting wardrobes are a modern invention!

  • Clear out the closet of unworn items or those unlikely to be worn again, if you haven't already. Having fewer choices in the rotation can actually make it less likely that the person will choose exactly the same thing day after day.

  • Buy multiples, so there's more than one blue top available to wear -- and to wash.

  • Scoop up multiples of dirty clothes when you change sheets in the bedroom. (You can't count on your loved one to use a hamper.)

  • Be sure clean underwear is available after bathing -- whisk away the dirties as soon as they're removed for the shower or bath. Consider storing clean underwear in the bathroom, where it's handy.


almost 3 years ago, said...

nutmeg, does her caregiver not do laundry? my dad's did


over 3 years ago, said...

Good suggestions! As I have now learned to use the washing machine and dryer, I think I should grab a hand full of my wife's shirts and wash them when I can see they are dirty. Thanks


almost 5 years ago, said...

I've been making too big a deal out oh DH wearing the same clothes over and over and will put his favorite shirts at the front. He bathes while I'm at work so I think I will start putting the clean underwear on the counter in the bathroom on his shower days so we don't have him getting so angry when I make him change. This article has me thinking in a different light...Thank You


almost 5 years ago, said...

Since my mother is incontinent at times I line her underwear with sanitary napkins since she is opposed to Depends.. Storing them in the bathroom is a great idea and much more handy than in her dresser drawer.


almost 5 years ago, said...

Thanks a lot!....I am a knew kid on the block. Great advise....specially about clean underwear,


almost 5 years ago, said...

Every night when she gets ready for bed I take her dirty clothes and place them in our clothes hamper then the next day she has to choose something else to wear. It takes me several days to wash & get them back to her-usually within about a week. This has worked for us right now. Maybe not later we wil see! She does not seem stressed by doing it this way!


almost 5 years ago, said...

Sound, practical advice. Well done!!


about 5 years ago, said...

The idea of storing clean underwear in the bathroom I think will help us....


over 5 years ago, said...

My mom was just recently (6months) diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she would be considered moderate. She currently lives on her own and her place is getting more and more clutter and more and more messy. She refuses to let me or my sister help in anyway. Her clothes are becoming very dirty and she is unwilling to let us do any laundry she keeps saying it is done or she will do it. I have tried to suggest that we schedule a laundry day in her date book but she just gets angry any time we suggest she needs help to organize tasks. She thinks we are trying to make more of the issue than there really is. We are at a loss as to how to help her any suggestions or ideas would be great.


over 5 years ago, said...

Hello Nutmeg, Thank you so much for your comment and question. If you'd like, you can post your question in our Ask & Answer section, here: ( http://www.caring.com/ask ). Take care -- Emily | Community Manager


over 5 years ago, said...

My sister wears the same clothes, and is forceful about saying she just washed her clothes (when she hasn't) When I say, let's wash your sheets and mine, she insists she just washed them yesterday, and won't let me change them. She is bigger and stronger than I am, and I give up. I do not live with her---she has a caregiver during the day---but the washing is an ongoing problem. Any suggestions?


over 5 years ago, said...

That's where I keep my husband's Depends. Works wonders. He just automatically reaches for them. May be a bit wasteful at times, but at least he's clean.


over 5 years ago, said...

The whole article.


over 5 years ago, said...

I had not thought about placing the undergarments in the bathroom, great idea! Thanks.