Hi Rachael, My mother moved to assisted living last April. Lately she is sleeping more and more in her bed after having breakfast in her room. She is very slow getting dressed and really would rather not. Do I allow her to not get dressed daily? Generally she is still very happy and content with her life. Thanks for your help! Susie

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Hi Susie, thanks for writing in! I would normally be concerned that she’s showing some signs of depression, but you did say that she still seems happy with her life. I would not worry too much about her not getting dressed, but maybe the reason for it. Is it because she likes comfy clothes? If that’s the case, maybe providing some sweatpants or other comfy items may encourage her to get dressed. I also want to make sure she’s coming out of her room enough and not getting too secluded. Does she have a TV in there, or what does she do by herself? I wonder if saying to her, “Hey mom we are going to ____, can I help you get dressed?” would work. So, in conclusion, I am less concerned about her changing out of pajamas and more concerned about 1. her hygiene (are the PJs clean, is she showering, etc.) and 2. her desire to stay in bed

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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