He wants to cooperate but does not understand moving his arms or legs any way to help with dressing. When I try to help move an arm or leg he gets very rigid and the limb is extremely heavy. Thinking there must be some helpful hints with this daily process.

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Some times I will have my wife sit down to put on slacks or underwear, doing one leg at a time. She does not point her feet down so then we have fun. Other times she will lean on my shoulders while I am bent over or kneeling. The latest problem with any of this is getting her to pay attention to what I am trying to do. She seems to be getting worse and not understanding what I am wanting her to do. She gets fixated on doing something else, like making the bed. Tops are also getting to be confusing. She is trying to do things her way instead of co-operating with instructions.
For the most part sitting still seems to work best. Getting the slacks up to her knees then standing to finish.
The final struggle is to get her to stand still while I comb her hair. Chasing her down the hall is not fun.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to OldSailor
anonymous744808 Sep 1, 2018
Thank you so much Old Sailor. So similar situation. Getting DH to sit is challenging. Once that happens the pants can go on, the shoes perhaps. A challenging start to every day. For some reason getting him to sit is the. Extreme challenge.
Your profile doesn't say why your husband needs assistance dressing. Dementia? Stroke?

A good rule of thumb when helping him get dressed in the knit, pullover, and sweat pants the others recommended is to dress the affected side first (for someone with a stroke or other paralysis). Then when getting undressed do the opposite and undress the unaffected side first.

It's usually easier and safer to dress someone while they're sitting down. Pull the pants up to the knees then help your husband to stand while you pull them up the rest of the way. Dressing someone while they're standing, which is the usual way we get dressed, can affect their balance and if they begin to topple over their first instinct is to reach out to us and we will topple over with them.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Eyerishlass

Depending on your situation, a very simplistic and repetitive verbal instruction approach might work. I hate to say it, but almost like kindergarten.

My mom has a dementia and is in a wheelchair. So when I get her up, it is always "Stand. Turn. Sit." When I start moving her, I say, almost like a nursery rhyme: "Watch your hands, watch your feet. Watch your arms, watch your legs." She does respond and seems to remember the simple "commands." Again, I don't know if this might work. Something like: "Left arm up" - every time - to get the left sleeve in. "Both hands up" - every time - to pull over a top. Again, I may be way out in left field. Just wanted to offer another possible approach. Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to tornadojan
anonymous744808 Sep 6, 2018
Thank you. Exactly the course I work on. Sometimes commands make sense. More and more they don’t register with the advancing dementia. Probably no perfect method. Every day a new day!!🌈🌈🌈
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In the nursing home, we put on the pants, socks & shoes in bed. Then all we had to do was stand them and pull up their pants. It saves your back, since you don’t have to bend down to put on the socks and shoes.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to BeckyT

With my husband, I buy only knit clothes-sweatpants, shorts, t-shirts. When the material stretches, it’s easier to get on. I also like a pair of rayon shorts he has. They are very silky and easy to put on.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Ahmijoy

I too relied on slightly oversized knit clothing like jogging pants and sweatshirts for my mom, but if he is immobile then you might want to try the adaptive clothing from suppliers like buck&buck or silverts.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cwillie

Hello Gigi. In my own case I asked a retired SRNurse to call and show me the best method in achieving this task. Nurse was wonderful and advised me to get elasticated track suit
pants and nice easy to fit tops. In a very short time I got into the system of dressing Mom and it wasn't a challenge any more. BeckyT and Others have given great advice. Do not be afraid to ask a Nurse Who You know for advice as They are only delighted to help.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Johnjoe

I have bought adapted clothing from 'SILVERT' for my mom - they have everything even shirts that the person just put their arms forward and slide into them & it is done up in the back but looks like a regular shirt - the pants have several styles including capris which is I for mom as she is quite short - even cute nighties that do up in the back

There must be other companies that have this - I got the catalogue from mom's NH - try 'handicapped adapted clothing' online & you should find something fairly fast
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to moecam

I have seen some helpful techniques for assisting with dressing in Teepa Snow videos on YouTube. Not sure if I can share links, but two that come to mind: 1- Her hand-under-hand technique for shirts, coats and sweaters:

2-How to assist a resting person with shoes
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to PatientLily
cwillie Sep 5, 2018
I thought I'd watched every Teepa Snow video but I hadn't seen that one before - as usual from Teepa it is a simple and very useful technique, thanks for sharing!
The cnas at the NH get mom dressed but it really looks awkward when they try to do it facing her in bed. When I have to change her top or bra I always do it from behind, while she in her wheelchair. “Left arm, right arm, lean forward, over the head,” done pretty easily.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to rocketjcat

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