Assisting a family member
To get dressedImportance of clothing Clothes for disabled people Tips for being self-employed
- Importance of clothing
- Clothing for the disabled
- Tips to be self-employed
- Upper body clothing
- Lower body clothing
Tips to be self-employed
The main difficulties that the person with motor disorders encounters in dressing are:
- inability or limitations to button and unbutton;
- inability or limitations to wear and take off upper body clothing;
- inability or limitations to wear and take off lower body clothing.
As already mentioned, to reduce the difficulties related to the limitations created by the buttons it would be advisable to replace them with Velcro strips, alternatively keep in mind that large buttons cause less effort in making fine movements.
The ability or inability to wear and remove clothes from the upper body depends on the stability and balance of the person as well as on the strength and ability to move at least one arm; to make maneuvers easier, you can sit or, if you are able, stand up.
To help balance and prevent falls, lower body clothing should be removed while sitting or lying down.
Before discussing how to wear and remove clothing, it is good to briefly list some basic rules to be effective in assisting patients who cannot independently satisfy the need to dress:
- if possible, teach techniques that allow you to wear clothing with one hand;
- when explaining to patients with speech difficulties it is important to accompany words with gestures;
- make the disabled hand "participate" in all activities;
- if it is necessary to help the person, always remember to dress first the weak limb and then the healthy one;
- if the patient must be helped to undress, first undress the healthy part and then the sick part;
- be careful not to replace the patient's ability (lack of time) but encourage him to do it alone;
- pajamas are not an obligation: if the person prefers comfortable clothing and the general conditions allow it, respect his will;
- underwear must be replaced daily;
- if the patient has a fever and sweats, it is better to change clothes several times a day.
The greatest difficulties in dressing and undressing the sick are found in the case of complete paresis of the trunk and hemiparesis, that is, in the inability to move the upper limbs or half of the body. These conditions undermine the patient's autonomy: in the first case, that of paresis entirely, but also in the case of hemiparesis, autonomy is however heavily limited.
The aim of the carer is to make the sick person as independent as possible. Many times people suffering from serious compromises tend to have emotional instability and become discouraged very easily, so it is useful to arm yourself with patience and not give up after the first attempts.
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Upper body clothing
Bra If you have to assist a patient in putting on the bra, make sure that the cups are facing outwards and then proceed by bringing the lacing to the front of the chest so as to see what is being done, once buttoned, rotate it around the waist up to bring the lacing in the back, in this way you will have the bra hooked with the straps facing down. Grasp the sick arm with a healthy hand and insert it into the shoulder strap, then with the unscathed arm make the same movement.
To remove the bra, lower the shoulder strap from the diseased part to the elbow and then do the same with the healthy side. Rotate the bra with the opening placed at the front and unfasten it. If possible, choose a bra with velcro.
Shirt The first rule to follow to help wear shirts and sweaters is the following: always dress the sick part first.
To put on the shirt, keep it open on the legs, insert the diseased arm up to the shoulder passing it, finally insert the healthy arm in the sleeve and button. Better if the buttoning is in velcro.
To remove the shirt, open the velcro and then remove it from the arm of the healthy side, with the same hand then remove the sleeve from the sick side.
Sweater Even the sweaters are put on the sick side first, then the head is passed and finally the healthy arm is inserted. If the subject cannot move the upper limbs, the movement will be carried out by a third party: first put your arms in and then pass your head. To remove the garment, the opposite movement is performed, that is, first remove the shirt from the head and then from the arms. Choose clothes that are not too rigid.
Some aids As already mentioned, the buttons should be eliminated or at least be for aesthetic purposes only; if, on the other hand, you do not want to change clothes, you can use an aid called a button threader.
To facilitate dressing, you can also use simple but very useful garments called clothes threader. These aids are light, equipped with an anatomical handle and a magnet at the end, and help the patient to reach places that limitations make them inaccessible.
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Lower body clothing
Before making any attempt it is necessary to evaluate the patient's balance: if the subject is unable to stand or even sit, the dressing must be provided in the lying (supine) position. If possible, the person must have the whole movement carried out independently but if this is not feasible, the procedure must be followed by following some simple precautions. In the dorsal (supine) position the pants are inserted in both legs and then the person is asked to make the "bridge", that is to arch the back by raising the butt and pointing the feet, and in this way the clothes are slid towards up.
Some patients are unable to make this movement, in this case it is necessary to first insert the legs and then rotate the patient on the right side, taking care to pull the side of the trousers up to the hip. Then this maneuver is performed on the opposite side and the left side is put on; finally, with the patient in the supine position, the trousers are buttoned. If the subject is able to sit, but there is a deficit of the lateral part of the body, the advice given for dressing the upper part must be followed.
He puts on the sick leg first and then the healthy one.
To wear pants and underpants, settle into a sitting position, take the diseased leg and bring it to the healthy knee, insert the garment into the weak leg until the foot comes out and bring the diseased leg back to the ground. Insert the healthy leg with the help of the healthy arm, at this point you should be able to get up and lift the trousers, otherwise move them forward, moving first on one side then on the other.
To wear the socks you can use aids, such as the thread socks, which facilitate their introduction especially when it is necessary to wear anti-embolic socks.
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