Dad has weak legs and trouble pulling up pants in bathroom. He does not want to ask for help. What can I do?

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If he can't pull up his pants and tries to walk he may fall.

He's probably embarrassed to ask, but if you tell him that you don't want him falling so you'll be waiting to help, he may let you. Try some humor if you think he'll respond to that.

The main thing is that he can't see that you are embarrassed. It's hard to get used to helping a parent with these intimate things - particularly one of the opposite gender. Time helps make this routine but there's generally a little discomfort at first. Act firm but light hearted if that makes sense to you. Like it's no big deal but he can't be falling just because he's stubborn.

Good luck. Please check back and see if others have more suggestions.
Carol
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I don't have any personal knowledge or experience with this but I have found the answer to SO many questions simply by "Googling". If you type "difficulty pulling up pants" into your browser, I think you'll find some answers! You might also get a referral from his doctor for some occupational therapy. Simple suggestions include elastic waist pants (but velcro fastening is also available) and sewing loops of fabric inside the waistband of his trousers so he can grab on the loops to pull pants up to the point where he has more leverage. Some of the sites even discuss best sort of underwear (silk boxers or brushed cotton) so the pants slide more easily. Also techniques for shifting weight from side to side. Many of the responses come from men who themselves are having this difficulty (ALS, Parkinson's, arthritis) and it may be helpful to your Dad in more ways than one for him to learn from them. You can copy and paste these responses/information into a Word document (even edit out the parts you think might not be so positive for him) and let them read for himself. Also catalogs of adaptive clothing and aids like "grabbers" to help him reach things. You might also consider some grab bars near the toilet to assist him in balancing as he gets upright. Information is empowering and a little searching on the Internet produces more answers than you can imagine! Good luck and angels watch over you and your Dad!
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Dad had trouble getting his pants down in time when going to the bathroom. He had a belt (too tight), a button, a zipper to deal with, along with his diaper. I switched him to PJ bottoms fleece in the winter, cotton knit in the summer. I tied the drawstrings together at the very ends so he would not tie himself into them, or have the ends slide into the channel. PJ bottoms seem to be "in fashion", and come in moderately discreet prints. He likes untucked tee shirts, or thermal shirts. Now have almost stopped the "crapcidents". I also believe he is more comfortable without that darned belt.
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I don't mean this to be silly, but how about some snappy looking mens shorts.Summer shorts is what I mean, there wouldn't be so much to pull up and they come in all sorts of colors.
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Definitely ask one of his doctors to prescribe OT for in-home adaptation. The therapist can recommmend various devices, such as a sock puller and/or a grabber/reacher. He/she can also make suggestions such as Lolli has about repositioning while dressing.

Suspenders are another possibility. Even if you have to use a few sets, they're something he can hold onto when pulling up his pants, without having to reach farther down to the waistband.

You could also put a towel over him while you help him move his trousers up far enough that he can wiggle into them.

My father's had this kind of advice after surgery to repair fractured hips, but I don't recall what the therapist said as he was able to regain much of his mobility. He does get dressed sitting down on the bed though, so if he loses his balance, he can roll backward and cushion the impact.
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My hubs gave up on zippers and buttons about 3 yrs ago, two yrs after he was diagnosed. He took to the pj type bottoms very easily. We call them soft pants. For us it made things easier all around. They come in different weights and materials, for all seasons. They are comfortable and VERY easy to get off in an emergency and easy to get on, when we are getting redressed for the 3rd or 4th time They slip over the depends much easier than jeans or even 'docker' type pants. And some come with his favorite sports team logos, his favorite beer, just about anything.
We also have a riser for the toilet and a grab bar and they have helped a lot. Many of his crapcidents (love that word) would happen while he was trying to lower himself to the seat. We live in 'senior apts' but the toilets are still too low. The riser has high handles so I had to teach him to put both hands on the handles before trying to sit, so it is more stable.
And humor has been my savior in more than just this situation. Telling him I would have to call 911 and if they send a female EMT, there he is in all his glory, pants around his ankles.;-)). Its easier with a spouse of course. My heart goes out to those who are taking care of parents of the opposite sex. Hugs to all of you.
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Perhaps a consult in his home with an occupational therapist will be able to help. Does your dad use a wheelchair or a walker? Does he have grab bars available by the toilet to help him lift himself up? Would a raised toilet seat with arms help the situation? And the OT may be able to help him with other issues that he has as well. Good luck.
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Sorry, I missed that the difficulty occurs in the bathroom. Get grab bars, vertical and horizontal, installed (but ONLY anchored in the studs, not just screwed in the wall) so he can hold onto one while pulling up his pants with the other.

There are also full length grab bars like the stripper poles that can be installed from floor to ceiling. This would allow him to lean on the grab bar as he stands and gives a longer area of support for him.
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I was talking with a psychiatrist yesterday who told me that most dementia patients don't want help doing anything and you just have to tell them this is how it's going to be. Also, he said make them think it's their idea, which I thought was a great suggestion. So, plant the idea in his head that he suggested you help him with the pants, if dementia is his problem. And as the expert above wrote, suggest to him that he WILL fall if he walks with his pants down. I'd also tell him that you don't want to have to call 911 if he falls because it will ruin both yours and his day because you'll have to wait in the ER forever and you really don't want to do that. This is what I always tell my mom, i.e., if she does this, I'll have to call 911 to help her get up, or whatever, and I really don't want to spend all that time in the ER because I have so many other BETTER things to do with my time.

Good luck.

And yes, people can Google answers to questions however I believe people do come here for support and perhaps they landed here because they Googled the phrase 'can't pull up pants' and it sent them here. :)

I'm glad I found this community and I'm sure others are, too.

Happy Sunday, everyone!
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p.s. my mom had weak legs, too, until I started working with her to use her legs when standing up. It's surprising how many people, both younger and older, do not do this and rely on the couch cushions and arms to push them up. Balance exercises are also a plus, even as we get older. Definitely something you may want to look into, as people have said above, i.e., PT. She's 91 and can now get up from a sitting position without holding on. In fact, she's so good at it, she takes the cup and saucer from the table and tries getting up with them in her hand. I have to stop her from doing that because if she falls, I tell her, she'll cut herself and as I mentioned in my above post, 'we'll have to call 911 and I don't want to spend the day in the ER) :) I always say this with humor. And she always responds with "Neither do I!"...

Or, you could simply tell him he doesn't have anything that you haven't seen before, wink wink....perhaps that will make him laugh, then you could tell him that you promise you won't look. Of course, this all depends on exactly what his physical/mental conditions are. Good luck and one big hug for you and him!
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