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Getting oneself dressed is a critical part of being a fully independent person. For a person who has had a stroke, getting dressed himself can help him to feel more normal again. This can really help to boost both his mood and self esteem. Learning to dress oneself after a stroke is empowering, but the stroke patient may need some help from an understanding caregiver in the early stages after the stroke.
The tips below will help both the stroke patient and the caregiver make dressing an easier part of the daily routine:
- Think about the clothes that will be easiest for the stroke patient to put on each day. Think about looser types of clothing that have wide neck openings and elastic waistbands. Clothes that must be pulled over the head, such as t shirts and sweaters, can be more difficult for the patient to manage. Zippers are easier to use than buttons (especially with our Zipper Rings).
- Give the patient more time to get dressed. To keep him better organized and make the process smoother, it is a good idea to lay out the clothes in the order that he is going to put them on. The clothes that he is going to put on first should be on top. If you are helping him to dress, remember to dress the affected side first. The opposite is the case when he is getting undressed; take the close off the unaffected side first.
- If he can, have the patient sit up. It will be easier to put clothes on when seated than when lying down.
- Pants – Many stroke patients have lost strength in their hands, especially on the affected side. You could need to help the patient to put pants on.
- Shoes – Shoes also can be a bit tricky for the patient to put on (the Dressing Stick and Shoehorn is a big help here ). This is especially true if the stroke patient is trying to put shoes on alone. One thing to make it easier is to get him slip on shoes with a gripping sole and a sturdy heel. This can be easier for him to deal with than laced shoes. You also can get him shoes that are fastened with Velcro.
- Belts – For making dressing easier for both the caregiver and the patient, belts should be put on pants before they are worn.
Another product to consider for easier dressing is the Dress EZ Dressing Aid:
This handy product for dressing is both a dressing stick and a long handled shoe horn. This product is really useful for people who have suffered a stroke, or have severe arthritis in the hands.