Day-to-Day Care


General:  Dressing and Undressing




Clothes are closely associated with the personality of the patient and whenever possible, while he is cared for in bed, he should be encouraged to wear the kind of clothes he would normally wears.

When patient is very sick or disabled he may have difficulties with dressing and undressing.  In these circumstances, you will either undertake these activities for the patient or, at least, assist him to perform them.  You should always encourage your patient to regain the maximum amount of independence as quickly as possible and the act of dressing is one step towards independence.

Patient usually feels cold more than anyone due the decrease of activities. It is your duty to ensure that he is dressed appropriately to keep warm.  This is especially so in comatose patient who cannot express his needs.  Those who are alert could be quite embarrassed in the process of been dressed or undressed.

Tips on Dressing and Undressing a Patient:

Always preserve the patient modesty by not undressing him un-necessarily.


Close the door and draw the curtains when undressing the patient.


Keep the room warm because you may take some time to complete the task.


Encourage patient to do as much as possible himself to boost his independence and morale.


Talk to patient to alley anxieties and embarrassment.


Do not rush through the procedure.


Be gentle in your movements and pull the clothes not the patient.


The most disabled limb should be dressed first and undressed last.  For example,


- when taking out clothing, remove sleeve from the unaffected arm first as the person can bend his hand.


- put on clean clothing by slipping in the sleeve from the weak side first.


Tips: Place the sleeve of the shirt as high as possible on the shoulder of the affected arm to facilitate dressing/undressing.


Make use of simple dressing aids such as dressing stick, long handled shoe horn and easi-reacher if available.


Tips on Choosing and Modifying Clothing:

Clothes should be comfortable and loose-fitting.


Avoid back fastenings and tight-fitting garments if the patient has limited movement.


Clothes with front pocket is much more accessible if the patient is sitting down most of the time.


Velcro trips can be inserted in trouser seams if zips cause difficulty.


Front-fastening bras is useful for woman with arthritic hands or recuperating after a stroke.


Cotton is the ideal material because it absorbs perspiration well.