My wife is showing confusion on what to wear each day. She has always been sort of a Fashionista taking long periods to dress and look her best. Though 92yo, she easily passes for early 70s in the WOW factor. When I'm out for the day for Respite and she's with another Caregiver, she always takes time to look her best for me (I'm 70). I've culled out all the clothes she can no longer wear, but there is still too many selections of clothes and shoes. Whatever I do, the clothes MUST leave the house or she goes through all the other room's closets and drawers and brings them back to her room. I have labeled her drawers showing where panties, bras, pj's, socks, etc are. But I'm at a loss on her actual clothes. Any ideas how to cull down the available selection and still leave some options? She likes wearing long sleeve shirts and pants/jeans in Winter and also wears long sleeve, mid 3/4 length pullover casual dresses in spring and summer. We have no female family to assist. Or is there a person I can hire to assist?

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When mom lived in Memory Care Assisted Living, I'd put her outfits together on hangers with the coordinated costume jewelry hanging from the neck. Pay attention to the outfits your wife wears, click a photo on your phone, then put those outfits on hangers for her in the closet, like I did.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to lealonnie1

THanks to everyone for your terrific suggestions. I've tried assisting and laying out but she's too independent for that. Unfortunately that's common. Need help but too independent to accept it. I will try same hanger pairing. Jewelry is a DON'T TOUCH subject. Her paranoia won't let anyone touch her jewelry. There is so much missing already but it's from her hiding it from herself. 🤣🤣 Funny about my Caregiver help. We just love her to death but a Susie Homemaker she's not. 🤣🤣 I will try your suggestions but I tell ya, it is soo stressful for a guy like me. She has such beautiful things but I hear ya. She like vibrant colors so that what I'll build her pairs with. Thanks to all. And yes, they will all be donated to our local Save the Closet org.
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Reply to NoTree
Anxietynacy Feb 19, 2024
No tree, You are the sweetest husband, you're wife is so lucky
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When volunteering, I was assigned one day to a lovely older lady who like to keep looking smart & well dressed & accessorised. I had noticed prepared outfits ('paired' tops & bottoms on each hanger) for other residents not for this lady. I was told she like to choose for herself. I learnt quickly on day 1 that an open closest door gave her confustion & anxiety.

I spread out two nice tops. She rejected both. I choose again & she chose. I selected 2 trousers, she chose. She choose her accessories herself while I tidied up. We chatted about fabrics, a liberty patterned shirt she loved but it didn't stretch, the cut of a polo, a hard piped edge or label she disliked. A salmon pink item she couldn't remember why she ever bought that!

I had a ball - I can talk fashion 😁
The lady seemed to appreciate not being rushed & to talk fashion too.

If you can find the right aide (like a Lady's Maid role of days of old) to visit once or twice a week to help with bathing, dressing & reorganising the wardrobe, this may lighten this task from you. A good personal attendant can be a wonderful source of support & companionship too.

You sound like a wonderful caring man. Best wishes to both of you.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Beatty

You can try hanging outfits that you know she wears, on one hanger and then it is a matter of grab and dress.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

In this situation, I would donate or consign almost everything (get the extras out of the house) and purchase (or select from her wardrobe) 7-10 tops and 7-10 bottoms that are all or substantially the same outfit. In other words: make her a uniform.
Fewer decisions means less stress for everyone and more time for meaningful interactions.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to MissesJ

Can you not ask the same caregiver that comes to give you days of respite to help you sort out what should stay and what should not? To me that would be the simplest solution.
And make sure that whatever clothing you decide not to keep, that you donate it to one of the many charities in your area that are in desperate need of clothing.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to funkygrandma59

Pare down the items you actually keep in her room to two or three outfits and store everything else somewhere out of sight out of mind, you can then bring in different items when something she has worn goes into the laundry. If she starts to fuss about missing certain items just fib and say they are being cleaned.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to cwillie

Sure. Hire your respite people who get her looking so great to assist you with organizing things and eliminating things.
Don't mention eliminating to wife, however. She may not want to give up anything.
And do know that he going meticulously through these things over and over in this "fashion" is a bit of an exercise in looking at and touching the things she loves, her "stuff". And also a bit of an OCD compulsion.
If it doesn't cause her anxiety I would not worry about it, myself.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to AlvaDeer
TouchMatters Feb 22, 2024
Due to the degree of dementia, I believe she will not remember 'all' her stuff / clothes when it is moved out of the closet. He can take out a couple of items every day so it doesn't look that different.
Can you help her the night before to select what she wants to wear the next day?
I am sure you can select outfits that will be just fine.
No matter what she picks out tell her she looks beautiful.
As you replace clothes select items that will all go together no matter what she picks out. There are stores that have "personal shoppers" but I do not think that something like that would be necessary. When you are buying clothes you can always ask either a sales person or just some random person and say.."I am buying these for my wife, do you think this all goes together" You will get honest answers and people will be happy to help.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Grandma1954
Isthisrealyreal Feb 13, 2024
So true female shoppers are very helpful when asked, some guys too, nowadays.
If she doesn’t want you to build outfits for her, she probably won’t like if you hired someone to do it.

Id say pick out 2 outfits for each day to best if your ability. Take all other choices out of closet. Put all other clothes in a locked closet/room. Then she can choose one to wear between the two you’ve layed out. Let her do the jewelry. Try to build her daily outfits from stuff you’ve seen her wear previously,

I had a lock put on our main closet for this same issue. If she tries the locked closet just say the door sticks & you need to hire guy to fix it.

This phase will probably pass so be patient.

Keep us posted what works!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Donttestme

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