How to use dressing time to look for issues

Helping someone get dressed is an opportunity to notice new physical and mental problems as well as to observe changes over time. Helping with dressing is also an important opportunity to identify new or worsening issues. Addressing these changes as soon as possible may improve long-term outcomes.

Dressing

Helping someone get dressed is an opportunity to notice new physical and mental problems as well as to observe changes over time. Helping with dressing is also an important opportunity to identify new or worsening issues. Addressing these changes as soon as possible may improve long-term outcomes. 


On a more positive note, helping with dressing also gives you the chance to observe and celebrate improvements and progress!


Skin: 

  • Look for any changes like bruises, cuts, tears, rashes, redness, drainage, tenderness to touch, or numbness. Note the temperature of the skin and whether it is dry or moist. Are there odors?

Movement:

  • Do all extremities move equally? 
  • Is there any weakness? 
  • Is there difficulty gripping or grasping?
  • Are there any balance difficulties? 

Thinking: 

  • Does the person know what steps are required to get dressed?
  • Do choices, like putting on underwear before pants, make sense?

Hygiene:

  • Are there odors, such as urine or stool?
  • Are undergarments clean?
  • Are fingers and toenails trimmed?
  • Is grooming as you expect for this person?


Source:

National Institute of Aging: Bathing, Dressing, and Grooming: Alzheimer's Caregiving Tips

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