Mom is getting confused and now puts both legs in one pant leg and walks around. Should I try a skirt?

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My mother has worn only pants for the last 20+ years of her life. Now that she has some dementia and wears diapers, she seems to get confused on how to pull her pants and diapers back up. Worse, she has started putting both legs in one pant leg and walks around taking tiny steps. She knows something is wrong but can’t figure out how to solve the problem. A skirt could solve this dilemma, but then I would be concerned about pee/poo falling out of her skirt onto the floor if her diaper is not on perfectly.

Does anyone have advice on this? If your mother wears a skirt exclusively, do you find it easier/harder than pants?

Thank you all. This board is a Godsend.

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I totally agree with bobbie 321. when my mother began having problems getting her clothes on ( couldn't hook her bra, didn't want to wear the depends, couldn't put on her pants.) I kept helping her by encouraging her to keep trying with a little assist from me. She didn't get upset because I was trying to teach her something new, she seemed to know that she was struggling and was glad to have my help.
I found that keeping her routine (that she established) helped her feel more independent.

I know it's hard. I've taken care of four, all with Alzheimer's over the past eleven years. I have one left to see about. Because I live in California and they all lived in Detroit, I eventually had to put them in assisted living homes as their illness progressed to the point that the could no longer live at home and their safety and security became an issue.

Do your best to assist and let her think she is in charge. I found that letting my mother do chores like washing dishes and folding clothes gave her a sense of purpose. I would redo things after she went to bed if necessary.

I also enrolled my mother, and aunt and cousin in an adult day care center. Believe me, that was the best thing I could have done for them and me. It provided them a place to go daily, they had activities to enhance memory, outings and they could get their hair and nails done. It also provided me with some respite to take care of other things that needed to be done.

Good luck to you and just know that with this disease, you will need a lot of patience and your mind, body and spirit will be tested. So, keep your head up and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

cyoungbooks.
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Hi there sahk,

Just help her get dressed. This happens and it's easier in the long run to help her get her pants on and off.

My mom always wore jeans and I ordered nice jeans with an elastic waistband from the Vermont Country Store dot com. They had quite a few attractive designs with elastic waistbands but the denims were my mom's favorites.
I would hump over and she would lean on me and I would slip one foot in and then the other so I wouldn't knock her off balance and then pull them up.
She resisted at first but I kept at it and she eventually let me bathe her and dress her. Was a lot easier than undoing something and the upset that would follow that. This way she didn't know she was confused about getting dressed because it always went smoothly.

With dementia being a progressive disease, there are things that your mom will become confused about and eventually not be able to do at all. Just do it for her if you can. Like I said, in the long run it's easier on both of you.

Good Luck and you and your mom are very brave. Keep writing!

lovbob
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Maybe some tighter fitting pants? Not so tight to be uncomfortable, but enough to get only one leg in each side. Can't remember last time I wore a skirt, it would drive me nutty. If you decide to try a skirt what about shorts of some type underneath?
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If you think she will go for it, you can try a skirt. If it doesn't work well, you can always switch back to pants. She must have slender legs to fit them both in a single pant leg. I tried to imagine me doing it with my pants and wondered if I could even fit one foot in. :)

The main thing will probably be what your mother will wear. If she is used to pants, she may insist on them. I would do whatever she is most comfortable with. Maybe she would like long skirts. If they were long and loose, she wouldn't have to sit modestly -- all the comforts of pants, but with no legs to worry about. And I hope you wouldn't have some unpleasant gifts left on the floor.
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