One of the first signs that an elderly adult is dealing with memory loss or cognitive functioning decline is often problems with the clothing they are wearing. As their family caregiver, it is important to pay attention to details such as the clothes they wear, the condition of this clothing, and if the clothing is appropriate. Through noticing these details, you may be able to detect when your parent is experiencing changes in their cognitive ability.
If your parent is dealing with memory loss or cognitive functioning decline, it is still important for you it to encourage them to make as many of their own decisions as possible in their daily life. Selecting appropriate clothing on a regular basis is one of these decisions.
While making these decisions can be frustrating and even overwhelming for an elderly adult, with your support and assistance, you can make these decisions smoother, simpler, and more beneficial for their mental health and their cognitive ability.
Some ways you can help your senior with memory loss or cognitive functioning at the climb choose appropriate clothing include:
- Store clothing that is not seasonally appropriate, or that is only used in select circumstances out of sight so your parent does not choose them at an inappropriate time.
- Go through their wardrobe and eliminate pieces that are in bad condition, are stained or worn, or that your elderly parent does not use regularly. Replace these items with simple, basic pieces that allow for easy mixing and matching.
- Store complete outfits together to simplify the selection process, and reduce the possibility of your parent a choosing items that are inappropriate together. For example, place a pair of pants and a coordinating top together on a hanger, and put it in the closet.
- Limit the options when they are making a decision. Instead of putting them in front of the closet and asking what they want to wear, choose two or three outfits, place them on the bed, and ask your parent which they would like to wear.
- Try color coding individual pieces or outfits for use in different circumstances. For example, use tape, a label, or a tag to mark casual at-home clothing green, outfits for doctor’s appointments blue, and outfits for “special” events or occasions such as going out to dinner yellow. You can then ask your parent to select an outfit based on the color.
Helping your aging parent to make good decisions in their daily life is just one of the many benefits elder care can offer your senior. The customized services of an elder home care services provider support the care you already give them to ensure they have access to the continuous care and assistance they need to manage their challenges in the ways that are right for them as an individual.
From helping them to choose clothing that is appropriate for the time or event, to helping your elder grocery shop and prepare healthy meals, to supporting their personal care needs and taking care of their home, this elder care provider can encourage your parent to take better control of their life and continue to express themselves and their autonomy during their later years, even as they are dealing with memory loss and other challenges.