My mother can no longer dress herself
Answered by Karen Garner
My 83 yr old mom survived a major brain bleed 5 years ago, she recovered 100% physically but over the last two years she has mentally degrade. She now resides in a memory credit unit in a supported living facility as I could no longer care for her myself. What I do not understand is the fact that she used to be great at picking out what clothes to wear an now she wears day clothes over pajamas and sometimes 3 pairs of slacks and a couple blouses all inside out and backwards. Also, she wears depends and can no longer put them on correctly. She puts her whole body thru a leg hole and rips off numerous pairs a day because they do not fit right. I have learned that I cannot research her how to dress and the staff and myself have to deal with it. I guess I need to know if this is part of dementia and if not do I discuss with her Dr. I appreciate any help as I need to understand this more than I do. I am trying to learn and pray for the patience to deal with this as I am trying not to upset her. Thank you for any assistance.
I can definitely relate! Jim puts his clothes on backwards, inside out, and sometimes he will put on layers that don’t make sense. It is part of the disease taking over their brain function. Your mom can no longer decipher what is correct or not for dressing and probably doesn’t even care. I am sure it is hard to watch her like this since she was probably a sharp dresser before and took a lot of pride in her appearance. I would still discuss her new stage with her doctor when you visit next. It is always good to keep them up to date on the progression of the disease.
In the meantime, if at all possible, try to make a game out of the process of getting dressed or find a way to see the humor. I know that can seem impossible, but it can make a huge difference in your outlook, your day, and ultimately your relationship with her and her caregivers in the memory unit. Stay strong and be kind to yourself. She is so lucky to have you there helping her.