How do I keep my Mom from changing her clothes? - AgingCare.com

How do I keep my Mom from changing her clothes?

Follow
Share

Mom changes her clothes often. Then puts them on the floor of the closet. She can't remember to hang them up. Then the Nursing Home sends them out to the laundry. She Just went 2 weeks with no long pants (has 8 pairs) or pajamas and they had to put someone elses on her. I'm trying to figure out what to do with her clothes to keep her from trying them on but making it easy for the nurses and aides to be able to get to them daily. The drawers are really small. The closet is right by her bed so it's always tempting her to change. My sister and I hang them up any time we are there but the next day they are on the floor again.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
18

Answers

Show:
My90 yr old mom is bipolar. During mania stage....she will constantly change her clothes. Never stops. Clothes all over the place - on off, on off, on off. She will not stop moving or even sleep for several days. It requires meds adjustments and it's so very stressful. She takes everything out of my cupboards and puts it back in other cupboards and starts all over. There's more but I don't even want to think about it. I can't begin to tell you what a toll it takes on us both. Exhausting.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I would ask staff to check a couple times per day. I know 'normally' people don't change their clothing several times per day, but what's the worst thing that will happen if she changes often?
It shouldn't take laundry 2 weeks to get her clothing back to her room. It should only take a few days for laundry to return. You can keep an extra set of pants on the shelf where she can't reach it so she has an extra pair when all are in the laundry. Sounds like she has some dementia, people with dementia do have confusion and can have some strange behaviors. You can arrange with staff to call you if she doesn't have any clean clothing. Staff shouldn't automatically assume clothing on the floor of the closet is dirty, I would check them if it were me and hang them up if they were clean. This may be something you would want to add to her care plan, ask the social services person to arrange a care plan so you can discuss this issue.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am really grateful to be able to learn all these things before I have to deal with nursing homes and such. Thank you all!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I totally agree with JoAnn29. Aides do NOT have the time to hang up all clothing. If you don't live close or can't get by there, my suggestion would be to just give her 2 or 3 outfits that they can rotate. My mom was a clothes horse diva before this disease but once it hit she just kept wearing the same outfits because it was comfortable and memorable to her. I put her name on everything (that doesn't mean that someone else won't get it though). You just have to be diligent with the staff and watching what is going where. I just bought my mom a lot of new clothes (not that she knows but it made me feel better) and I decided that I would do her laundry. I thankfully live close enough but even before I did this I kept an eye on her closet. Maybe you need to have a talk with the director of facility and tell them that she keeps changing clothes and making a mess for the aides. That way it won't come across as you complaining about the aides but at least they will be aware that she is having this problem and might know how to deal with it. I do know that if they have too many clothes that is a problem in any facility. Good Luck and God Bless.....
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am a retired BA (Business Analyst) and it is ingrained in me to first think carefully about "What is the real problem here?" and then also "So what? (What would be the impact of not solving this problem?)

The real problem here, it seems to me, is that so many of Mother's clothes go out to the laundry at one time that she sometimes doesn't have things to wear. This is not a safety issue but it is a dignity issue and that is pretty high on the list of important impacts. So it is worth some effort to solve it.

Stopping it at the source -- trying on lots of clothes each day and putting them on the floor -- would impact Mother's pleasure and independence, so I don't think that is worth any effort.

Expecting staff to determine which clothes were worn only a brief time and send fewer clothes to the laundry each time does not seem a practical solution because inspecting potentially dirty clothes, sniffing them, etc. is not part of the staff's job description and you don't have control over their work anyway.

Having laundry done more often would help, wouldn't it? (At my mom's nh laundry is done daily, on the premises). Is it practical for a family member to do laundry between the care center's scheduled washings?

An alternative to doing laundry more often is simply having more clothes. I did that for my husband while he had dementia. I do it with my own underwear to have larger loads less often.

Obstacles to having more clothing are 1) the cost and 2) storage space. If cost is a show-stopper, thrift store and garage sales are awesome. Storage is tough in a care center. But "Where to store extra clothes?" is a more productive question to ask than "How to get Mother to change her behavior?"

It my work life a good deal of my time was spent trying to ensure that there was buy-in from the people who would be involved in the solutions. In this case I'd have a chat (or several) with the social worker and the director of nursing, kind of thinking out loud with them about the problem and how you are considering solving it.

Not enough clothes to last between laundry days? Get more clothes!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So, JoAnn, it sounds like clothing & PJs for 10 days is a good number, given that the aides change them every day? 7 days of everything within reach and the remaining 3 days' worth on a shelf & to only be used for those accident times?

Roz, maybe a supply for Mom's use only, where she can take on & off to her heart's content. Tell the aides to let them stay on the floor. Put her "real" clothes that the aides dress her in up & out of mom's reach. Though whether this solves the concern is another thing entirely. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

That should be "made to do". They also can't be restrainded in any way. Thats even railings on the bed. In Moms rehab the bed goes almost to the floor so if they fall out of bed, they don't have far to fall
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

kdcm, great ideas. When Mom was inrehab thought I was smart with five pairs of slacks and 2 tops for each pair. Thought she could wear her slacks 2 days in a row. Nope. Different aides at times so they aren't aware of the two day thing. They change completely everyday. Told my daughter would be nice if they told u how the aides work. Then u can plan accordingly. Just have to say to those that have or may eventually have parents in a care facility. You will not be able to controll much. The facility has their own procedures. Your parent isn't going to get the one on one care u were able to give. Just be there as much as possible. Remember, there are good aides/nurses and not so good. You have a right to complain about the care but think before u do. A resident cannot, by law, to do anything. Thats bathe, eat, exercise....
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

When my mom was living with me and did this, it looked like a teenager's room afterwards....clothes all over the place.

I solved the problem by having 2 types of clothing. One was outfits I put together for the week and had in a 7-section hanging thing. Just like I did for my kids when they were young. The 2nd collection was for her to try on & off to her heart's content. Like a trunk of dress-up clothes I had when I was young. What was in the hamper was items to be washed, but nothing soiled because Mom would raid that once in a while as well.

Of course, this worked because she lived with me and I was able to stay on top of it daily. Though some of the outfits she came up with on her own were entertaining. I called them her rainbow outfits because every color was used.

Now at the ALF where she is I sent over black, gray, dark brown, & khaki pants, with tops that match any of the pants. Kinda like a capsule wardrobe.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

First, the aides should be helping her dress. Do u live close? I would leave a couple of clean sets at a time, leaving the rest at my home. I would also do the laundry. To respect to the aides, they don't have time to determain what is dirty and clean. They have 30 patients to take care of and do all the dirty work. LPNs/RNs don't do the cleaning up and lifting. My daughter has been both and appreciates her CNAs. I think two weeks of clothes is a lot.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions