Rejection of Clothes/Gifts

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MrsMoose, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    Do other people find that the gifts which the person with dementia has agreed to/asked for, suddenly become 'the wrong thing.'

    My father-in-law has not been able to go out and buy clothes for many years, so everything he has has become worn and shabby. We asked if he'd like a couple of new shirts, and bought stuff that was the agreed size. (The smallest collar size He was never a tall man and he''s diminished in height. He can't be much more than 5 foot now, and there's no muscle to him.) We'd also agreed on a new dressing gown. The existing one was 30 years old, and the fabric is simultaneously worn thin, and stiff like a boiled blanket.

    I think he wore one of the shirts once, but has complained that it is too small - and has not worn the dressing gown at all.

    In the scale of things, it is not really a problem - but it is sad do see him wearing these ancient worn-out clothes, which may also be quite stained.

    There's an issue with trousers too. Again he doesn't want new ones, but the old ones which are dry-clean only. As he is short-sighted and frail, he spills food on his clothes quite a lot.

    Any thoughts on this one
  2. Pegsdaughter

    Pegsdaughter Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    Would it be possible to remove say the dressing gown and replace it with the new one and tell him the old dressing gown fell to bits in the wash. If that works gradually replace the worn clothing with new. Just a thought. When my daughter was a teenager she had favourite clothes which were barely respectable and I made sure they became unwearable. Not quite the same I know but she quickly forgot them.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  3. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    I have found that MIL will accept charity shop clothes more readily than new ones. This is because the fabric feels softer.
  4. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    Mum doesn't like new clothing and if we have to introduce anything, it is just put in the wardrobe without making a fuss about it being new and most often purchased without Mum being present (she does get stressed out in shops). The item it is replacing is quietly spirited away.

    We had success that way with some cardigans but Mum refuses to wear her new slippers, she insists on wearing outdoor shoes all the time. We've let that go as we've learnt to pick our battles :D
  5. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    John likes brushed cotton shirts as they feel soft. I usually buy the checked country casual style. At one time it was easy to buy them from M & S but they don't do them now so I bought several last week from Edinburgh Woollen Mill which had a sale on. Let your FIL feel the softness of the fabric. It also helps when people tell him how good he looks. In fact as we go in to his Thursday day centre one of the girls always calls out "Hello handsome".

    It makes us laugh but he loves it.
  6. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Accept that once paid for, they will never be returned so put them through the wash, once or twice before presenting. This softens them and makes them smell more familiar. Remove and replace the old things one or two at a time....make no comment. Try washing the Dry Clean only trousers on a gentle wash, but don't put them through a tumble dryer. I find most DCO clothes can be washed .I also found a hot iron a useful tool..." Oh Mum, my iron is heating up too much and it burned your pink jumper, but I've got you this one to replace it. Oh you do suit that colour.":rolleyes::rolleyes: Zips can become broken too.;);)

    Make sure that you give them as little chance to refuse the new clothes as possible. Don't ask his opinion, just put the new in the place of the old.

    Tell him that his trousers need to go to the cleaners, don't bring them back......

    I became very adept at disguising the truth.:D
  7. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    My mother refused everything new that we gave her. I just took the tags off, washed them up, and pulled out of use the things I was replacing. She would say "Where is my favorite blouse?" and I'd say the washer tore it, and I couldn't fix it, try as I might because I knew she loved it.

    She is now only in pajamas, because it's easier for us, and at first she didn't like being in pjs all day, but now she says they are cozy. Praising how she looks in them when she has fresh ones on helps a lot.

    I miss the days when she was ambulatory and cared about how she looked! When she moved in, she was still using makeup! (I never did, so this helped me get her to stop with that.)
  8. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    Not related to dementia but:
    When my father in law had a stroke and could no longer speak or move on his own he moved into a home. We tried his very traditional wardrobe which he'd worn all his life (formal shirts and trousers) and he no longer wanted them as they were too hard for him to wear, and didn't fit properly.

    We ended up buying him lots of polo shirts (with his name on! Good for him as he could no longer speak, and the home knew whose they were without tags) from Landsend, together with their tracksuit bottoms. He loved them - maybe they felt a bit sporty - and were very easy to wash, and easy for him to put on and off with his carers . Nice soft cotton mix fabric; not expensive.
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
  10. father ted

    father ted Registered User

    Aug 16, 2010
  11. Tessi

    Tessi Registered User

    Aug 9, 2014
  12. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Tessi, it's reassuring to me, to hear others report on the "heavy" issue as well. I'm sorry about the handbag!

    I have figured out that when my mother says "heavy" she is sometimes using it as a word to describe something tactile, or how something feels, that I think she no longer has the language for, or cannot express any other way.

    Initially I thought she literally meant "heavy" as she has arthritis and this affects her grip strength in her hands. Her winter duvet was both thick and heavy and I thought perhaps she could no longer pull it up over her, when she was in bed.

    But sometimes she will say that something quite small and lightweight, is heavy, and so I think she must mean it's too thick or too scratchy or itches or just that it feels strange in some way to her. I could probably spend a lot of my time trying to "fix" the things that are heavy...but I don't think I would ever manage it.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.