Clothing and colours

Sunshine11!

Registered User
Feb 11, 2022
92
0
Mum is now unable to choose suitable clothing to wear each day and is supervised when dressing either by my sister or the Carer. Dad has asked me to give Mum’s wardrobe an overhaul and get rid of anything “unsuitable”. I’m pretty sure I know the sort of things best yo keep but can anyone offer any advice? Also, what colours would be best to keep?
Thanks
 

SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,095
0
I would keep favourites that your mum recognises as her own providing they are easy to get on and off and then replace anything that is no longer wearable . So you could replace trousers with zips for ones with elasticated waists or pull on tops rather than fiddly buttons. No one likes to be manhandled into clothes and for a PWD this can become a battle . Opt for things that can be washes and washed with out falling apart. Go for textures your mum likes and colours she likes but not something that will show stains easily. I shop in a high street store that is likely to have the same items available time after time so that there is consistency in what mum wears.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,155
0
Hi @Sunshine11! I would not worry about the colour of the clothes unless there is a colour that your mum does not like.
Instead ensure that the clothes are easy to get on and off and that mostly they can be washed at high temperatures.
 

Tienkie

Registered User
Aug 1, 2023
14
0
Regarding clothing, my Mom always loved her clothes and dressing well. And now, I will come into her flat, and she will have on layers and layers of clothing, like 6 blouses and 6 skirts! It sometimes is funny and other times just plain sad! If her previous self could see this version of herself, she would be horrified.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,657
0
South coast
Hi @Tienkie

I once went to visit mum and found she was wearing 3 pairs of knickers, her pyjama bottoms on over the top, then another pair of knickers on top of them, then a pair of trousers and was struggling to get yet another pair of knickers on over the top of that lot. Like you, I didnt know whether to laugh or cry
 

Tienkie

Registered User
Aug 1, 2023
14
0
Hi @Tienkie

I once went to visit mum and found she was wearing 3 pairs of knickers, her pyjama bottoms on over the top, then another pair of knickers on top of them, then a pair of trousers and was struggling to get yet another pair of knickers on over the top of that lot. Like you, I didnt know whether to laugh or cry
This really made me laugh! Thank you for sharing!
 

Muttimuggle

Registered User
Dec 28, 2021
710
0
My mum used to be a "snazzy dresser" - everything used to match, beautiful matching shoes and handbags, beautiful wedding attire(she was married 3 times so the she had only the best outfits for the last 2). Now my Mum aged 91 is in a fairly humble, plain but caring residential care home and she seems to have "lost it"! I will often find her pairing two very unmatching things together. Sometimes I try to sort out her wardrobe into groups but the grouping goes astray. Sometimes the carers help her, sometimes not, although I am not entirely sure. Just sometimes she is better dressed than other times. My husband picked her up to take her to her church on Sunday. He says she was wearing her skirt inside out. He let it pass.....
One thing is for sure now is that she nearly always has dinner spills on her clothes somewhere. I can see there would be no point in carers trying to change this as there are, of course, 3 meals a day. If it is bad when I arrive I just try to suggest changing something and blame her eyesight(which is bad too actually).
I would say you need nothing which is uncomfortable but having said that it may be important to retain a little of what your mother liked or valued. I kept some of my mum's pretty summer skirts for her to wear and she said she wouldn't be wearing any of them at the start but I was wise not to listen to her too much as she is wearing them now. They are actually the best thing with her swollen and bound legs.
I notice also she doesn't think she wants clothes for the next season. So suggesting finding some loose winter trousers for warmth is rejected because she, I realise, seems onlyto have the real ability to think how she feels now, in summer, and can't remember what feeling cold was like and how there would be any need to dress differently. We haven't yet got to the stage of jogging bottoms but they certainly have their place.
In terms of washability some fabrics are easier than others too. It depends on who is washing, of course, and if any ironing will take place. I am not too keen on man made fibres but they wash easily and Mum seems to be wearing them more.
I did send all those posh outfits to charity and much more too. One thing I have found also is that Mum finds too much in the wardrobe confusing.Less seems to be more for her, not too many choices. I actually have retained her winter clothes in a wardrobe in my own house and will switch them again when the season starts to change.
 

Tienkie

Registered User
Aug 1, 2023
14
0
My mum used to be a "snazzy dresser" - everything used to match, beautiful matching shoes and handbags, beautiful wedding attire(she was married 3 times so the she had only the best outfits for the last 2). Now my Mum aged 91 is in a fairly humble, plain but caring residential care home and she seems to have "lost it"! I will often find her pairing two very unmatching things together. Sometimes I try to sort out her wardrobe into groups but the grouping goes astray. Sometimes the carers help her, sometimes not, although I am not entirely sure. Just sometimes she is better dressed than other times. My husband picked her up to take her to her church on Sunday. He says she was wearing her skirt inside out. He let it pass.....
One thing is for sure now is that she nearly always has dinner spills on her clothes somewhere. I can see there would be no point in carers trying to change this as there are, of course, 3 meals a day. If it is bad when I arrive I just try to suggest changing something and blame her eyesight(which is bad too actually).
I would say you need nothing which is uncomfortable but having said that it may be important to retain a little of what your mother liked or valued. I kept some of my mum's pretty summer skirts for her to wear and she said she wouldn't be wearing any of them at the start but I was wise not to listen to her too much as she is wearing them now. They are actually the best thing with her swollen and bound legs.
I notice also she doesn't think she wants clothes for the next season. So suggesting finding some loose winter trousers for warmth is rejected because she, I realise, seems onlyto have the real ability to think how she feels now, in summer, and can't remember what feeling cold was like and how there would be any need to dress differently. We haven't yet got to the stage of jogging bottoms but they certainly have their place.
In terms of washability some fabrics are easier than others too. It depends on who is washing, of course, and if any ironing will take place. I am not too keen on man made fibres but they wash easily and Mum seems to be wearing them more.
I did send all those posh outfits to charity and much more too. One thing I have found also is that Mum finds too much in the wardrobe confusing.Less seems to be more for her, not too many choices. I actually have retained her winter clothes in a wardrobe in my own house and will switch them again when the season starts to change.
Hi, my mom still loves her skirts and blouses, she hangs a lot of them all over the furniture in the sitting room. as I said, then wears up to 6 over each other! She doesn't want to wear pajamas at night, she says the pajamas aren't hers. so, she sleeps in her clothes and with shoes on! Also, through this whole winter, refuses to wear a jersey or jacket! It's sad to see, she was also a smart dressed, everything, even her handbag had to match! Now, it's a jumble of mixed colours and patterns. We took away the scissors, she would sit and cut off the buttons off her blouses, and cut other things into pieces. I wish I could understand the brain, why this happens. I took away all her photos, she would sit and tear them into pieces. Even a lovely wedding photo of her and my dad. She doesn't recocgnise the people and loved ones in the photos.
 

MissFloopster

Registered User
Sep 9, 2023
15
0
I so recognise the wearing of several layers of clothes and non-matching clothes (socks) and shoes! I actually came to the forum today to look for other people's experience with this and again I am reassured to find that others have the same issue. Grateful to have found this forum and thankful for all the tips and hints I find here! My husband has lots and lots of clothes and shoes ... he was a "snazzy dresser" also, like Tienkie's mum. He changes several times a day or layers his clothes. My weekly laundry has at least tripled and I have started to iron (something I have never been keen on and my husband has always done his own ironing). I was starting to think the sheer amount of clothes is confusing and perhaps do a selection but felt hesitant and guilty about that. After reading other people's experience I am no longer.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,155
0
I so recognise the wearing of several layers of clothes and non-matching clothes (socks) and shoes! I actually came to the forum today to look for other people's experience with this and again I am reassured to find that others have the same issue. Grateful to have found this forum and thankful for all the tips and hints I find here! My husband has lots and lots of clothes and shoes ... he was a "snazzy dresser" also, like Tienkie's mum. He changes several times a day or layers his clothes. My weekly laundry has at least tripled and I have started to iron (something I have never been keen on and my husband has always done his own ironing). I was starting to think the sheer amount of clothes is confusing and perhaps do a selection but felt hesitant and guilty about that. After reading other people's experience I am no longer.
I think that the less choice people with dementia have the easier it is for both them and the carer, I would suggest though that you make the changes slowly so that they are not so noticeable.
 

wurrienot

Registered User
Jul 25, 2023
153
0
My dad often wears 3 coats at a time. He says the clothes in the wardrobe aren't his even though he's had some of them for years. The latest problem is that his Y fronts have' stopped working'. He wanted me to alter them (?!?). I made some non committal noises and the next day I'd performed a miracle because they were apparently working again.
 

HumourReq

Registered User
May 1, 2017
10
0
My mum would wear not only many layers of clothes, but hats - and hats could mean actual hats or anything she could get her hands on including pull up pants, tea towels, you name it, it’d go on her head! Dad (who also has Alzheimer’s, my Mum passed a few weeks ago so his dementia is in a strange place in combination with grief) is now wearing multiple pairs of underwear and putting a coat on to get into bed. I rationalised both their wardrobes as the washing was becoming a full time job. Today I’ll be doing another round for Dad - 3 x jumpers, 3 x long sleeved shirts, 3 x pairs of trousers etc etc otherwise I’ll get caught in that loop again, and also the mess that can be made with constant trying on of outfits and items dropped on the floor/surfaces along the way will drive me crazy(ier).
 

Rachael03

Registered User
Apr 17, 2023
94
0
Like many above mum was also always well dressed when leaving the house, even if she was going through a tough time, her lippy would be on ans a smart coat and she looked amazing. Her dementia has now made it difficult for her to make decisions, dress appropriately for weather etc etc

I've done a few things to make my own life easier and hopefully help her a little too. Not sure if its always the right thing but the chals before was streasing me out so much, i uaed to spend hours tidying and sorting every weekend.

I done a major sort out and I have stored seasonal clothes and other things I know she won't wear again but that I wouldn't throw out as she's not gone (eg beautiful dresses from family weddings)...she has a decent selection of clothes left to mix and match but reducing the volume definitely helped, she mostly chooses herself, with the occasional prompt. I didn't ask for permission to do this (maybe should have!) But I gradually sifted items out one by one over a few weeks and mum didn't notice or complain.

I also removed her old wardrobe (it was falling to bits!) And have a lightweight clothes rail instead. It helped her see things better when they were on show. Also easier for me to do a quick tidy up hanging bits up from floor and checking what needs washed.

I used to try and sort her drawers but found its no use, so as long as things in there seem clean I leave them be. I do try to reduce the volume in it as mum gets overwhelmed by choice. I have great intentions of having some sort of rotation system but for now its just a random approach.

I have found mum has developed an aversion to dark colours. I'm not sure if this is a thing but she refuses to wear any dark coloured items now....anger had all bought her lots of dark winter clothing last year 🤣 she actually told me she doesn't like black tops as well quite categorically. So at her request I've removed the dark items and she's a happy camper. I used to find underwear and clothes stashed inside bags and pillow cases and on reflection it was always dark items...so I've taken note...light and bright for her!!
 

Muttimuggle

Registered User
Dec 28, 2021
710
0
Like many above mum was also always well dressed when leaving the house, even if she was going through a tough time, her lippy would be on ans a smart coat and she looked amazing. Her dementia has now made it difficult for her to make decisions, dress appropriately for weather etc etc

I've done a few things to make my own life easier and hopefully help her a little too. Not sure if its always the right thing but the chals before was streasing me out so much, i uaed to spend hours tidying and sorting every weekend.

I done a major sort out and I have stored seasonal clothes and other things I know she won't wear again but that I wouldn't throw out as she's not gone (eg beautiful dresses from family weddings)...she has a decent selection of clothes left to mix and match but reducing the volume definitely helped, she mostly chooses herself, with the occasional prompt. I didn't ask for permission to do this (maybe should have!) But I gradually sifted items out one by one over a few weeks and mum didn't notice or complain.

I also removed her old wardrobe (it was falling to bits!) And have a lightweight clothes rail instead. It helped her see things better when they were on show. Also easier for me to do a quick tidy up hanging bits up from floor and checking what needs washed.

I used to try and sort her drawers but found its no use, so as long as things in there seem clean I leave them be. I do try to reduce the volume in it as mum gets overwhelmed by choice. I have great intentions of having some sort of rotation system but for now its just a random approach.

I have found mum has developed an aversion to dark colours. I'm not sure if this is a thing but she refuses to wear any dark coloured items now....anger had all bought her lots of dark winter clothing last year 🤣 she actually told me she doesn't like black tops as well quite categorically. So at her request I've removed the dark items and she's a happy camper. I used to find underwear and clothes stashed inside bags and pillow cases and on reflection it was always dark items...so I've taken note...light and bright for her!!
Interesting....With my once best dressed mother, now in a care home I had to sift, send to charity and throw away most of her clothes.She had about 3 wardrobes full in her house.I did feel a bit bad about doing it at the time, but, yes, she didn't notice. Now she pulls out from her small wardrobe something for the top and something for the bottom. She forgets what is in that wardrobe too and it has become sort of clear to me that she prefers less.She hasn't actually said that having too much confuses her(...of course) but I just know that it does. She seems to wear the same clothes over and over mostly, maybe because she has a memory of wearing them recently? If I am not careful she will wear them for too long without washing. Also, she too has decided she likes bright colours best, no more subtle or dark colours for her.
 

Phyl S

Registered User
May 24, 2022
14
0
Regarding clothing, my Mom always loved her clothes and dressing well. And now, I will come into her flat, and she will have on layers and layers of clothing, like 6 blouses and 6 skirts! It sometimes is funny and other times just plain sad! If her previous self could see this version of herself, she would be horrified.
This is happening with my husband too; does anyone know why it happens? Is it about feeling safe, secure and well-protected? Today it is 3 T-shirts, 1 ordinary shirt, 3 jumpers and 2 pairs of trousers. If only he would put the jumpers on in ascending order of thickness - it is such a struggle him putting them on, but also a struggle to watch without weeping ...
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,657
0
South coast
This is happening with my husband too; does anyone know why it happens? Is it about feeling safe, secure and well-protected? Today it is 3 T-shirts, 1 ordinary shirt, 3 jumpers and 2 pairs of trousers. If only he would put the jumpers on in ascending order of thickness - it is such a struggle him putting them on, but also a struggle to watch without weeping ...
Its a sequencing problem.
They get "stuck" on a particular action and keep repeating it

I once found my mum wearing 3 pairs of pants, then her pyjama bottoms, two more pairs of pants, then a pair of trousers and was struggling to put yet another pair of pants on over the top!!

My OHs carers get him to choose what he is going to wear, lay it out on the bed and then hand the items to him, in order, and making sure it is on the right way round.
 

MissFloopster

Registered User
Sep 9, 2023
15
0
I so recognise the wearing of several layers of clothes and non-matching clothes (socks) and shoes! I actually came to the forum today to look for other people's experience with this and again I am reassured to find that others have the same issue. Grateful to have found this forum and thankful for all the tips and hints I find here! My husband has lots and lots of clothes and shoes ... he was a "snazzy dresser" also, like Tienkie's mum. He changes several times a day or layers his clothes. My weekly laundry has at least tripled and I have started to iron (something I have never been keen on and my husband has always done his own ironing). I was starting to think the sheer amount of clothes is confusing and perhaps do a selection but felt hesitant and guilty about that. After reading other people's experience I am no longer.
Same here, laundry at least tripled and hubby did his own ironing. He also has lots and lots of clothes and shoes. Gradually I have been taking away clothes, initially leaving 5 of each (socks, shirts, polos, t-shirts, shorts -which he wears at home during the day- etc.) and removing the long trousers entirely. In the end I took away all of his socks and underwear also. He has a carer come in on weekdays to help with showering, teeth brushing etc. and I will leave clean socks and underwear on the bed while they're in the bathroom. I let him wear the clothes for a couple of days and if we're going out, I'll also put clean clothes on the bed for the carer to give to him. It's made my life a bit easier, he didn't notice and I'm sure it'll help our electricity bill now that the washing and drying have been reduced again.