Many people in the early to middle stages of dementia have difficulty selecting outfits that are appropriate for season, occasion, or aesthetics. Here are a few tips:
1. Try grouping items together by outfits- put the shirt, pants, underwear, and bra all on one hanger.
2. Get rid of extra clothing. There is no need to keep dresses, coats, fancy blouses… that are not a part of the daily wardrobe. Keeping excess to a minimum helps make it easier to decide what to wear.
3. Put a hamper in a conspicuous location so that he or she will be more likely to discard soiled clothing and not re-wear.
4. If there is a favorite go-to outfit, have several versions of it available to minimize decision-making agony.
5. Remind, don’t scold, if outfit selection is not appropriate. Frequently, utilizing visual reminders by placing preferred appropriate clothing in plain view and putting inappropriate items out of view, minimizes the need for verbal “discussions”. Verbal cues are sometimes not helpful due to language deficits and personality changes, and can result in unwanted conflict.
Choose your battles carefully, because clothing selection may not be worth the stress in the big picture.