How do you get your mom who has dementia to not wear the same clothes over and over and not get mad if you tell her? - AgingCare.com

How do you get your mom who has dementia to not wear the same clothes over and over and not get mad if you tell her?

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At night, after she was in bed and asleep, I would go to mom's room and remove the worn clothing that she had carefully laid out on her chair. The next morning, she didn't remember and would happily wear the clean clothes. As time wore on, I would help her dress and then I would just remove the clothes when I left the room. She would say, "Don't take my clothes", and I would just tell her that I was going to wash them.

One of the issues was, she forgot that there was a closet and that there were clothes in it, so she didn't think she had any other clothes. Every day, I would show her the clothes in the closet and in the chest of drawers, but she would just forget again. At night she would ask if I had a nightgown she could borrow. (Sigh) Dementia is such a sad disease.
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Are you living with your mom? Does she have caregivers for part of the day? I did not face this with either my mom or husband. They were both happy to change every day. But to judge by the forum, clinging to the same clothes is not uncommon in dementia.

Are the clothes recent enough or generic enough that you could get a duplicate outfit? Wash it a few times so it doesn't look new. Switch it out every couple of days and wash the other outfit. A bit of work, but that goes with caring for persons with dementia. I really don't know if it would work. I wonder if the person with dementia is comforted by the familiar smell of the same outfit. But I'd try it.

How often does she shower or bathe? Would that be a good time to lay out her second-favorite outfit and get the other in the wash?

Also realize that wearing the same outfit continuously is not bad for her health. It is not bad for her quality of life since she is freely making the decision. So when we say "don't sweat the small stuff," maybe this is small stuff.  (I'm assuming that she is not incontinent and there is no soiling of the outfit.)

Those whose parents have insisted on wearing the same outfit can tell us, I hope, how long this obsession lasts. Most odd behavior in dementia subsides on its own (and is often replaced by another odd behavior.)
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