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Dressing my wife for winter

Prospector

Registered User
Sep 30, 2014
61
Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Please does anyone have some good ideas to help me dress my wife for winter? She is in mid-stage dementia and dressing is always a bit of a trigger for agitation, sometimes with an aggressive response. She always complains of things "hurting", even though I am extremely gentle with her. Anything "hurting" is usually due to her making her arms or legs rigid.

She cannot manage trousers so generally wears a skirt and blouse. We gave up on tights in the summer and now with winter coming I have tried socks, but these are proving to be a trigger for agitation ("it hurts"). I really need something to keep her legs and feet warm that would be very easy to put on and take off. I am looking for easy-on boots but haven't found any yet.

I also have trouble getting (even wide-necked) thermal vests over her head, so any ideas to help here would also be appreciated. She has trouble lifting her arms above shoulder level - again "it hurts".

Thank you.


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tigerqueen

Registered User
Mar 11, 2014
75
Essex
I wonder if leggings under her skirt might be more comfortable than tights. Also when my husband put clothes over his head he puts his arms in the armholes first by putting his arms up inside the item. Then the item is pulled over his head without the need for him to put his arms right up in the air. This works best with items that have some opening like a grandad t-shirt. Sorry I can't be more help but I hope you manage to find your wife some clothes that are comfortable and warm
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,824
UK
I've discovered over the knee socks they are high, and so far after 5 months are still elasticated at top, got them from co op not too expensive. Also turning more and more to button up jumpers and to keep her neck warm got some lovely faux fur scarfs from Loros charity shop, wheres these all day. Cotton Traders have some really easy to put on cotton mix polo necks and good old fashioned easy to wear and wash Gillies. A pair of over the ankle boots with Velcro fastener, also a similar bootie style slipper for indoors. My mum can still dress herself, just about, but I find I have to give her 2 items at a time so she does not get too confused, but she cannot really undress these days so I am always on the look out for clothes that are easy and do not take too much time, because she can sometimes get angry with me if I take too long.
 

sleepless

Registered User
Feb 19, 2010
3,223
The Sweet North
Any vests could do with being as stretchy as possible I suppose. I have no knowledge of any, but others may.
And I wonder if you can buy them with a button front?

I did just have a quick Google, but mostly fashion items came up.
Someone may know of a site which specialises in women' clothes for the less able?

Stiff arms are a problem here, too, so I sympathise.
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
Search for adaptive clothing or care home clothing uk. You should find dresses that can be put on from the front with double panel at the back. Nighties too. A thick wrap over a jacket will keep you warm.
 

Chuggalug

Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
8,007
Norfolk
I simply love shawls! They come in all shapes and sizes. Recently bought three at a local Tesco. Lovely to chuck round your shoulders on a chilly day. Some wear like a loose cardigan.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,383
South coast
Yes, shawls are brilliant and I agree with Izzy about cosyfeet
These boots are wonderful. They are quite pricey, but they open up down the front and the tongue can go forwards right down to the toes, so you dont have to pull them on or off - just place the foot into them and strap up the boot with the velcro.

http://www.cosyfeet.com/womens-extra-wide-footwear/cosyfeet-boots/patty#.ViJgxm66Kk0

They also do lovely long socks.
 

Prospector

Registered User
Sep 30, 2014
61
Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, and thank you Scarlett123 for the compliment . I often don't feel that I'm doing a good job as a carer.

My wife lost the ability to dress herself at the start of the year, so needs assistance with all clothes. Even before then, the technique of laying them out in order for her to dress herself just didn't work. Shows each dementia is unique.

The vests are quite stretchy, and I have been trying to get the (short) sleeves to the top of her arms before putting the neck hole over her head. This in itself is like wrestling an octopus! I discovered this morning that the real anxiety trigger was having the bunched-up front of the vest up near her neck and chin - she panicked, struggled and pushed it away. I need to work out a way around this.

Buttons are problematic too. My wife can often become agitated if I or anyone else undo buttons. Some days she has spent all afternoon and most of the evening with her outdoor coat on, despite her getting rather hot and despite all efforts to persuade her out of it. Velcro fixings might be easier.

Getting anything on her legs is even more difficult, so leggings are not going to work. I have tried knee-high socks, but these just seem to trigger agitation - yesterday's attempt was abandoned half-way so that my wife spent about an hour walking around with one bare foot and one with a sock half-way up her calf. Taking that sock off again was another source of agitation.

Shawls are good - she has a few of these, pashminas too. I haven't checked the boot ideas yet - will do so later today. Shoes from Pavers with Velcro strap have proved reasonably successful over the summer - though slightly over-size are easier to put on.



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Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
The open backed vests might be worth a try then? No buttons and much easier to get on without getting bunched around the neck. What about looser joggers? Could you try your own first rather than buying? Or pyjama bottoms? Shawls in primark very reasonable. Asda too. Best of luck finding a solution.
 

Ann Mac

Registered User
Oct 17, 2013
3,693
My Mil can no longer manage socks or tights - and her coordination issues (plus, I think, s dose of stubborness :rolleyes:) means she's very uncooperative about me helping. I've found the solution in pop socks - you can get 20 denier ones that are a bit thicker, and yet are still so stretchy that she is (for the moment) managing them herself with no problems :) xxxx
 

Scarlett123

Registered User
Apr 30, 2013
3,802
Essex
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, and thank you Scarlett123 for the compliment . I often don't feel that I'm doing a good job as a carer.
Trust me, you're doing wonderfully. :) We're all only human and doing our best. I'd like to see anyone else, in a job that lasts as long as a dedicated carer's does, manage with a smile on their face all the time. xxx
 

Prospector

Registered User
Sep 30, 2014
61
Trowbridge, Wiltshire
@AnnMac: You don't know what stubbornness is until you have tried dressing my wife since dementia affected her. She always was fiercely independent and tragically she still tries to be, then she fails and gets very agitated.

I have tried pop socks but to no avail. It's not just a physical or co-ordination issue, it's positive resistance.


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MrsPuff

Registered User
Aug 23, 2015
5
If she won't submit to socks or tights, would heated insoles in her shoes help? Wouldn't warm her legs much, I know, but so long as her feet are warm enough, shouldn't cause any harm. You can get various designs (& prices!) online.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,383
South coast
What about longer length wrap around skirts? If they are in a warm fabric they can be warm enough even without socks or tights. They usually have ties rather than zips or buttons.
 

IanDB

Registered User
Sep 16, 2015
13
Southport
Might it be worth trying leg warmers? They are less clingy than socks or tights, so slip on very quickly & easily. They are available on the internet for a couple of quid so wouldn't be a major financial risk even if they end up in the bin :)