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Old 10-09-2011, 04:14 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,290 posts, read 4,375,482 times
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Default Elderly Seniors Who Will Not Change Their Clothes

Many younger seniors are taking care of older seniors and there are various problems related to this monumental task . . . a problem that has always stumped me is what to do about an elderly parent who wears the same worn-out, out-of-date, ill-fitting, and sometimes dirty clothes, day in and day out . . . not only in the house but to appointments and family gatherings.

I have purchased new clothing, which gets given away to other family members on birthdays and Christmas.

The parent says that the clothes aren't dirty, "just stained" - doesn't seem to care about presenting well in public . . . wears old highwater sweats and big white socks and old, faded shirts . . . again, have tried every trick in the book, but nothing has worked and I honestly don't know why the preference for worn-out, actually hideously ugly clothing over nice, new, weather appropriate, well-fitted clothing.

I could just chuck the old stuff, but the elderly person would have a major fit. Not sure what the right thing is to do . . .but it is getting ridiculous and the clothes are getting older and rattier and dirtier by the day.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of SW MO
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Comfort, familiarity, ease of handling (not handling much, that is), a New England and Great Recession belief in "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do or do without." Those are some possible reasons and they won't likely change when they reach a point that their appearances aren't really important to them.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:18 PM
 
Location: colorado springs summer/east valley Az winter
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gotta agree with your elders~ clothes are functional and comfortable get my nod~ hate the feel of new clothing and don't try to make me a fashionista~ there are a lot of ugly clothing recieved as gifts I wouldn't wear. Shop with the senior, pick colthing that they like~ immediately wash them, and take away only the clothing that you replaced. Anything else forget it.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:51 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 7,990,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Comfort, familiarity, ease of handling (not handling much, that is), a New England and Great Recession belief in "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do or do without." Those are some possible reasons and they won't likely change when they reach a point that their appearances aren't really important to them.
I cannot give you any more reps and you do posts good information. I never heard that phrase before. It fits into my frugal lifestyle and I am going to use it and post it on my wall.

Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do or do without

It also apply to our body as as we age, we use it up and eventually wear it out. We make it do as long as possible, then we are forced to do without life itself, because there is no renew.

I got to think about that

Thanks,

Livecontent
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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Your comment about the clothing being dirty makes me wonder, is it possible that the person may be depressed? Depression is more common in older folks, many of whom have chronic health issues and have suffered a lot of losses of friends, some independence, etc.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
760 posts, read 445,599 times
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I agree with the above posters and I spent my working life with seniors...especially about having lived thru the Depression...
If you want this person to wear clean clothes then be there when they bathe and take away the dirty clothes and replace them with clean.
If clothes don't fit then go thru them and do a clean out...it is important that clothes fit and are in good repair especially if that person is diabetic...especially socks and shoes..but just as important is underclothing...dirty and worn clothes promote infection and a diabetic, especially an elderly one, cannot afford an infection.
Another thing you might think about is that this person doesn't want to spend YOUR INHERITENCE on non-essentials like new clothes. My Grandmother ,who paid for her home with CASH btw, kept herself on a very strict budget of $300.00 dollars a month so that she could continue to put money away for my fathers inheritence. My father kept out of that one and let my Mother handle it. Mom would take my grandmother grocery shopping and buy extra food for her...needless to say she wouldn't eat the extra food and thought my Mother was a spendthrift. Thus creating a viscious cycle...my mother spent extra money on my grandmother..my grandmother thought my mother wasted money so she was even more determined to save as much money as possible for my father when she died. D*mned if you do and D*amned if you don't...
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: earth?
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No, it's not depression. Interesting, everyone seems to identify with the elderly person who won't update their old clothing.

This really is a problem . . . people remark about it and the person is going out in public in inappropriate, old clothing.

I think some people think I am too cheap to buy new clothing, but that does not bother me as much as just the fact that the person will not wear new clothing. I personally think that is a sickness . . . to not want to be presentable or to wear "soiled," tattered old rags . . .
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I'm only 51 but am on medicine that makes me feel 75+ along with other physical limitations. As someone who recently went through treatment for a major illness and multiple surgeries, comfort is my #1 priority and i'm only 51. Ease of pulling clothes on and off, softness, coolness. These are found in clothes that have been worn before.

Regarding the thick white socks, due to neuropathy and loss of flesh on feet bottoms, my feet now require extra padding along with thick soled shoes.

Regarding the clothes being stained, maybe doing laundry is becoming more and more difficult so tend to wear the same clothes multiple times.

These are some issues that the elderly are dealing with.
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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Maybe you could help with the laundry to ensure that the clothing is clean. I imagine at some point, if a person is frail enough, they may not feel that doing laundry as often as they used to is as worth the effort any longer. If items are torn but salvageable perhaps you could bring them to a tailor for mending? Perhaps take them shopping to choose some things for themselves. In the end, maybe you'll have to compromise. As long as they are safe, healthy and not harming themselves, their choices should be their own.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Hills & Hollers of SW MO
18,204 posts, read 14,290,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daydreamin71 View Post
Maybe you could help with the laundry to ensure that the clothing is clean. I imagine at some point, if a person is frail enough, they may not feel that doing laundry as often as they used to is as worth the effort any longer. If items are torn but salvageable perhaps you could bring them to a tailor for mending? Perhaps take them shopping to choose some things for themselves. In the end, maybe you'll have to compromise. As long as they are safe, healthy and not harming themselves, their choices should be their own.
Precisely. The larger issues with many elderly are proper nutrition, hydration and ability to perform the activities of daily living (ADLs). Sometimes, lack of nutrition has more to do with the state of their teeth than it does a lack of desire to eat. When it becomes a painful process, they'll stop. Many who end up in emergency rooms are dehydrated. They have to be urged to drink enough liquids.

Getting dressed and undressed may become a burden so they don't do so often. Easier to just fall asleep in a recliner in what they're wearing and simply spend the next day(s) in the same clothes than to take off the worn and put on clean. Failing eyesight can account for mismatched or worn clothes. There doesn't seem to be just any one answer.
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