Community Blog

Help! My Aging Dad Needs Help Getting Dressed

By Amy Felman

With physical limitations and the chronic conditions that come with age, some seniors reach a point where they struggle with some of the most basic tasks, such as getting themselves dressed in the mornings and into sleep clothing in the evenings. Family caregivers that see their elderly loved one having problems with getting dressed have several options that they can choose from to help, such as less-restrictive clothing, dressing aids and hiring elder care providers to help.

What Hinders Seniors from Dressing Themselves?

With age comes the increased risk of developing chronic conditions that can interfere with mobility and dexterity. Even poor balance, bad vision and stiff joints and muscles can make getting dressed a challenge. Medical conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, vertigo, Parkinson’s disease and the after-effects of a stroke can limit a person’s ease and efficiency in getting dressed.

For example, it can be hard to button and buckle clothing items when arthritis prevents the hands from performing fine motor skills. Poor balance makes it a challenge to balance and pull on pants, socks and shoes. Many seniors can’t bend all the way to their feet, or reach backwards to put on a shirt, bra or jacket. When elderly adults lose the ability to dress themselves properly, it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem and cause them anxiety and even depression about needing help for such simple self-care tasks.

Helping Elderly Adults Get Dressed

There are many different options that family caregivers can choose from to help their aging adult get dressed. The first step is to ensure that the clothing items are as senior-friendly as possible. Family caregivers should choose clothing that is easier to get on and off and there are many adaptive clothing items on the market that make things just a little better for seniors who want to remain as self-sufficient as possible.

Dressing aids are another way for elderly relatives to do as much as they can on their own when it comes to getting dressed. These tools compensate for some of the physical limitations that seniors may have. For example, a dressing stick has hooks on either end and helps to extend the aging adult’s reach. Dressing sticks can pull up pants and skirts, push clothes off the body and pull sleeves around the back. Another dressing aid is a sock aid, where the senior stretches the sock over the device, pulling it open. They put their foot into the sock and it slides over the foot. With numerous adaptive dressing aids on the market, seniors can feel empowered once again.

If elderly adults are truly experiencing difficulties in getting dressed and other tasks around the house, family caregivers can hire an elder care provider to help. Elder care providers are professional trained to assist seniors in daily tasks, including getting dressed. They can also help with grooming, hygiene, housekeeping, meal preparation and more. Even if elderly adults want to remain as self-sufficient as possible, it is good to have a caring professional elder care provider around to lend a hand when it is needed.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Allison Park, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 364-4663.