The Closet of Simplicity

I have always said that keeping your loved one in a simple routine is number one in caring for people living with dementia. This applies with regard to a wardrobe as well. Keep it simple, as in loose fitting and easy to put on and take off. Also be sure to limit clothing choices, otherwise he or she will become overwhelmed and easily confused. There will be times when you may wonder why your loved one wants to wear the same shirt every day; well, there might not be a “yesterday” belonging to his or her memory at that moment.Simplicity. Let’s start from the bottom-up. I had my dad wearing Velcro-strap shoes. There was no reason to have him struggling to remember how to tie his shoes first thing in the morning, starting off his day in a frustrated state. The one thing I couldn’t get him to wear the last two years of his life were socks. I believe the cause of this was that he didn’t want to wear anything, anywhere, even close to being tight! (Good thing we were in Florida!) Because of all of this, I replaced his shoes fairly often so we could all breathe fresher surrounding air; I accomplished this task by exchanging identical shoes during the middle of the night. He never knew the difference.

Dad also liked to lay his pants across the foot of his bed at night. I’d switch them out, too, while he slept, replacing both the belt and wallet and making sure everything else went back into the proper pockets.

Shirts—loose-fitting and comfort first. You might want to try bigger buttons or pullovers making these garments less complicated. Dad had a favorite, loose flannel jacket that he wore through all four seasons. It always amazed me how he could wear that jacket throughout the heat of our Floridian summers. It had been washed so often it had developed a velour softness to it and became almost a security blanket for him. For a man that wore suitcoats and ties all of his life, he was a surprising sight—settled into such laid back, lumberjack attire.

Go with the flow. Pay attention to what your beloved patients seem to prefer. It’s vital for them to have a smooth start every morning which could determine their level of confusion for the rest of the day or days to come. Once again, the “simple routine mind-set” can start with the simplicity of a closet and wardrobe.

Please share with others in need.
This article is in this week’s edition of the
Hernando Sun


The Dementia Roundtable Conversations have resumed. Click here weekly, for our newest interview.
Roundtable interviews are 10 minutes video recordings.

Upcoming Speaking Events

 

I’m starting to line up my 2017
seminars and training events.
If you love my writings, you’ll love my speaking events. I have learned it’s best to not only educate people on dementia through their minds, but through their hearts.

Dementia Care Training
Superior Residence of Lecanto
4865 W Gulf to Lake Hwy
Lecanto, Florida
Jan. 24th

Dementia Care Training
Superior Residencies of Clermont
1600 Hunt Trace Blvd.
(3:00 pm afternoon class open to the public)
Clermont, Florida
Jan. 26th

Pasco Sheriff’s Department
Dementia Awareness Class
15325 Alric Pottberg Road
Shady Hills, Florida
Feb. 2nd 10:30 am
Dementia Care Seminar
Lafayette, Louisiana
February, 13th
Details coming

Dementia Care Seminar
Superior Residence of Lecanto
4865 W Gulf to Lake Hwy
Lecanto, Florida
Feb. 22nd

Purple Angel Caregiver Conference
Sebring, Florida
March. 10th

Pasco Sheriff’s Department
Dementia Awareness Class
15325 Alric Pottberg Road
Shady Hills, Florida
March 16th 10:30 am

Suncoast Guardian Association Conference
Hudson, Florida
April, 19th

Available on Amazon
Managing Alzheimer’s and Dementia Behaviors
(Health Care Edition)

Now 3.5 CEUs APPROVED

Also don’t forget to go to
www.dementiamentors.org and check out our short amazing videos all done by those living with dementia and the rest of the website.

Stay strong everyone!
Gary Joseph LeBlanc

Leave a Comment