Dressing of cognitively impaired nursing home residents: description and analysis

Gerontologist. 2006 Feb;46(1):89-96. doi: 10.1093/geront/46.1.89.


Purpose: Getting dressed is an activity that is of particular difficulty for many persons with dementia, given the need for hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and overall planning skills. Despite several studies concerning interventions to improve dressing behavior, very little is known about the dressing process as it is currently performed. The purpose of this study is to characterize the dressing activity of daily living (ADL) of nursing home residents suffering from dementia and thereby identify ways to improve the dressing process.

Design and methods: We analyzed videotapes of dressing of 20 special care unit residents to describe the dressing process and the interaction between residents and staff members.

Results: Staff members completely dressed the residents in the majority of cases. Interaction between the staff members and the residents was considered insufficient in most sessions.

Implications: The study identified possible intervention techniques, assistive devices, organizational routines, and environmental changes that may improve the dressing process. The results have implications that nursing homes may consider in their policies, care activities, staff training, and environment to facilitate safety, comfort, and satisfaction during the dressing process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clothing*
  • Cognition Disorders*
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Videotape Recording