With the snow melting and the weather warming up, most Minnesotans are putting away their winter clothes and bringing out the short sleeves. For PCAs providing in-home supportive services for seniors, now is the perfect time of year to evaluate your patient’s wardrobe and help them make the best decisions on what to wear this summer. Instead of basing their wardrobe on fashion, personal care assistants and family caregivers should focus on comfort, cleanliness, and accessibility.
There are several factors to consider when purchasing new clothes for seniors this spring:
Comfort: This is especially important for home care patients with sensory issues. Choose soft and loose fabrics that won’t irritate the skin. Rip off the tags to help avoid the annoyance of rubbing. Ensure that clothing is not too tight around the wrists and ankles as this can reduce circulation to extremities
Cleanliness: Many times an Alzheimer’s home care patient will only wear a few select clothing options leading them to get dirty very quickly. Consider buying duplicate options of those clothes so that they will always have clean options to wear.
Accessibility: Seniors suffering from arthritis and other joint problems or disabilities can have a difficult time putting on clothes each day. Easily accessible clothes can help make it easier for them to dress themselves. Button-up or zip-up shirts and pants with elastic waist bands are great options for seniors with these issues.
If a senior has trouble dressing themselves, personal care assistants and family caregivers should provide assistance to ensure the senior’s safety and comfort.