Dressing and undressing the care recipient occurs daily and, sometimes, more often. Some love ones will need little or no help, while others will totally depend upon the family caregiver to dress them. Allow the care recipient to choose his/her own clothes. Everyone has their own preferences. If the care recipient is in bed all day, bedclothes are preferred. However, if they spend most of the day out of bed, encourage them to wear street clothes.

        Certain rules should be followed when dressing or undressing the care recipient:

  • Remember to always provide privacy. Never expose your care recipient. Keep them covered as much as possible.
  • Always encourage the care recipient to do as much for self as possible.
  • Always place clothing on the “weak” side of the care recipient first. If both sides have equal strength, then dress far arm and leg first.
  • Always remove clothing from the “strong” side of the care recipient first. If both sides have equal strength, undress near arm and leg first.
Dressing the care recipient
  • Assemble clean clothes the care recipient has chosen.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Explain to the care recipient the procedure.
  • Assist the care recipient to the edge of the bed.
  • Put on underwear and pants. Pull up to the waist by having care recipient stand or, if possible, by having them lift up buttocks as they are lying on their back.
  • To put on an over-the-head type of shirt (pullover), place the weak arm (or far arm) in the armhole first. Then, slip the shirt over the head. Lastly, put the strong arm (or near arm) into the shirt.
  • Help the care recipient put on socks or stockings. Make sure they are not too tight to interfere with circulation.
  • Put on shoes or slippers.
  • Make the care recipient comfortable.
  • Wash your hands.
Dressing and Undressing dependent Client

        Unless bedbound, a client should be encouraged to be dressed in street clothes instead of bedclothes.  Some clients need assistance getting dressed due to an injury, pain, or paralysis.

Guidelines for dressing and undressing:
  • Wash your hands.
  • Provide for privacy and comfort.
  • Encourage the client to do as much as possible.
  • Remove clothing from the strong side first. – Put clothing on the weak side first.
  • Protect client fingers and toes by covering them with your hand. Roll up, then pull sleeves or pant legs over client’s hand or foot.
  • Anticipate the client’s needs for help with buttons, zippers, and snaps.
  • Notice the condition of the skin during this procedure.
  • Report any bruised skin, breakdown, rashes, or reddened areas.
  • Wash your hands.
What are Ted Hose and Jobst Stockings?

        Ted Hose and Jobst Stockings are elastic stockings that are usually worn by elders who have circulation problems. The stockings help the blood to circulate through the legs and back to the heart by squeezing slightly in the veins of the legs. They are also referred to as anti-embolism stocking or hose. The care recipient will often need assistance with applying and removing these stockings. Elastic stockings are difficult to put on initially, but, with practice, you will master the technique.

        Tips and Techniques for stockings:

  • It is easiest to put the stockings on when the care recipient is lying down.
  • The stockings should be removed and reapplied at least every 8 hours, and the circulation and skin condition checked.
  • Apply the stockings according to the manufacturer’s instructions. They should fit fairly snuggly. That’s how they are able to apply the pressure needed to help the circulation.
  • The stockings are usually elder specific in that they are measured to fit one person. Don’t share the stockings or use someone else’s.
  • The stockings need to be laundered routinely just like regular stockings. Usually, hand washing is best. If the care recipient wears the stockings all the time, get another pair so one can be laundered while the other one is being worn.