Depending on your senior’s health and abilities, getting dressed each day might be something that she dreads. Whether it’s painful or just takes a long time for her to do, she can easily wind up frustrated.
Choice Can Solve a Wealth of Issues
If you’ve started helping your senior more and more with getting dressed, you might have been offering her your opinions or choosing the clothing yourself rather than allowing her to choose. Even a senior with cognitive issues can choose between two different options and she should. Having a choice gives your elderly family member at least a small amount of autonomy. That’s really important for her self-esteem.
Wait for a Request for Help
Besides not allowing for choices, you might accidentally be overstepping by offering help before your senior really wants it. Even if she’s struggling a little bit, your senior may still want to do as much as she can on her own. What can help is if you let her know that you’re right there and ready to help, but not until she lets you know she wants that help. This again feeds into the autonomy that helps to build and to maintain her self-esteem.
Shirts Can Be Tricky
Shirts and similar items can be tricky, especially if your elderly family member has shoulder or elbow joint issues or injuries. These limit her range of motion and likely cause pain as well. Always start with the weaker arm, especially with button-down shirts, because there’s more mobility in the garment, which can help to make up for lack of mobility in your senior’s arm. From there, the stronger arm can usually make it into the garment more easily.
Compression Items Need Special Care
Compression items, particularly socks, help with circulation but they can be difficult to put on. They’re also difficult for you to put on for your senior unless you know a few tricks. Slide the sock over your hand, inside out, with the toe at the end of your fingers. Rest the toe up against your senior’s toes and then roll the sock up her foot and then her leg. This is a lot easier than wrestling with the sock.
Elderly care providers can help to show you and your senior some new tricks, too. They’ve got a lot of experience helping aging adults to get dressed, even while they’re healing from injuries or dealing with chronic pain.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN YOUNGSVILLE, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.