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Changing clothes and personal care


New member
Mar 20, 2018
My mum was diagnosed with Mixed Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia in early 2018 and has been living alone independently with my support ever since. Just before Christmas last year, I arranged for carers to make companionship visits twice a week and recently increased this to three visits a week. Recently, Mum has stopped changing her clothes and has been wearing the same outfit for a considerable amount of time. I've tried gentle persuasion, suggesting that another of her tops will be cooler etc. but no matter how tactful I am, she always takes offence (which I can understand, as she has no idea how long she has been wearing the same things). I pride myself on my 'sneakiness with the best intentions' for example, my partner distracts her with a chat in the garden whilst I dash round inside, just 'popping in to the loo' (!), to change her sheets, pop dirty towels etc. into a sack to take home to wash, cleaning the sinks etc. Mum is never the wiser, even when I bring the clean washing back into the house. However, I just cannot get her to change the current outfit! The carers have tried too without any luck.

Does anyone have any ideas (sneaky or otherwise) that would help, please?

Thank you in advance!


Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
Hi @Mamabop

I like your style! As “sneakiness with the best intentions” isn’t getting your mum to change her clothes I remember someone saying that no-one wants to keep wet clothes on so if you were to “accidentally “ spill something on your mum (not too hot or too cold) do you think that might work?

Make it a big spill...
(I’m thinking glass full rather than bucketful :eek:)

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @Mamabop

Does your mum change for bed?

This is when I grabbed my husband`s clothes and replaced them with a clean set. I understand it may be difficult for you if your mother is not living with you.

What is her bedtime routine? Does she have carers to help her? If so perhaps you could persuade them to help change your mother`s clothes.

Is there any possibility you could buy some duplicate clothes?


Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
You seem to have a great deal of compassion. Even care homes struggle with this - dad went in wearing ripped trousers and getting him to change them took a long time - they made the error of taking them back to his room to turn out the pockets and that was it they went back on :rolleyes:

Some people lay out clothes ad whip away dirty ones while PWD is in the shower if you can visit at a time when showering is appropriate?

But the full glass of water being knocked over sounds like a very good if sneaky idea!


New member
Mar 20, 2018
Thank you for all your helpful comments. A large part of the problem is that I'm not usually there when Mum dresses or undresses so there is no opportunity for distraction and removal. Even if I arrive when Mum is getting dressed, her door remains firmly shut until she's ready to emerge from the bedroom :)

However, @Bunpoots, the accidental water spillage is a brilliant and may I say a 'super sneaky' suggestion. Thank you.

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
Hi @Mamabop
I had the same problem with my mum, but as I live away I would stay a few nights once a month and like others have said would put out clean clothes whilst she was in the bathroom. This isnt going to work for you , so your best bet would be as @Bunpoots suggests. Sometimes if we were going out to visit family I could suggest mum put on a clean cardi, but that was as far as I got. It was not a problem, tho according to the SW if mum wanted to stay in dirty clothes, that was fine as it was her choice!

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