Several of our elderly patients are accustomed to wearing undergarments that are no longer fashionable. This had caused us numerous problems with the patients and families. They would complain that they or their relatives were not dressed properly. It occurred to us that the younger employees were not putting on the clothing because they were unaware of it and they had never seen some of the garments.Therefore, they were totally in the dark as to what they were used for or in place of.
We recruited two spirited nurses aides to assist us and made plans for an inservice where they would model the clothing and by doing so would show the proper technique and application of the attire.
The girls wore bathing suits and the clothing was applied over the same. We ellicited the assistance of a neighborhood "corsetiere" to send samples of what we needed. Some of our staff were so young that they never knew what stockings were! Since panty hose have been in style for a few years, garters to them were a novelty. Some of the attire that our patients still wear, were of such old vintage that we had to use the patient's own clothing for demonstration. It was truly a fun version with many laughs and giggles over how they looked. One girl then explained the concept of styles and changes and did a skit on how she would be treated in 2030 when she was 70. She made funny remarks like "Can you imagine a one size fits all here?" "Bikini underwear, where could they have gotten such a silly name?"
This helped the staff to realize that we are all aging and someday we will be the ones clinging to old traditions.
The residents are now much happier and better dressed. They are no longer having to demand someone to help them with their dressing as we now share a staff who understands the intracacies of the garters, hooks, and whalebone 1
Marion B. Dolan