How can I organize a closet for an elderly person?

  8 answers
  • Mogie Mogie on Dec 23, 2018

    Start off by getting plastic see thru containers for storage.

    Keep everyday or often worn clothing in a place that is easy to reach.

    Then safety proof the home. Store things at eye height or lower. Avoid high shelves.

    Secure carpets and rugs to the floors. Install bars and nonslip grip in the bathtub.

    Keep it bright (even closets): additional lighting can help prevent falls.

    Motion sensing lights or lights on timers are also helpful.

    Attach cords to the sides of walls and out of pathways (tripping hazards).

    Keep seasonal clothing in easy to reach places. Right now where I live we are wearing winter clothes. So put shorts, tank tops, bathing suits and sandals away.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Dec 23, 2018

    Hi Lindzey! First I would suggest everything be within easy reach. Falls are a big risk for the elderly.

  • Everything Pretty Everything Pretty on Dec 23, 2018

    Keep the most used items on the bottom shelves or in the front. My mom has problems bending over, so we only keep things she rarely uses on the bottom.

    I use baskets so she call pull a basket out to get to the basket behind it. That's easier than her trying to reach up or bend over.

  • Jenn Jenn on Dec 24, 2018

    I care for my elderly grandfather, he is losing his vision and doesn't get around very well, he has to use a walker. We set up a 'dressing area' for him just outside his closet. I found a heavy wooden arm chair with an upholstered leather seat for him to sit on, put his dirty clothes hamper next to it on one side, a little coat rack with pegs on the other side and a new, smaller dresser within arms reach across from the chair. The dresser has 4 drawers and I put socks in one drawer, t shirts in the next, shorts in the third and pj/lounge pants in the bottom. I make sure to put the same items in the same drawers every time, so he can find what he needs even without being able to see. I hang his belt and slacks (one pair at a time) on the coat rack pegs next to the chair. So far it is working well. He is able to dress and un-dress himself without any other assistance from me, other than placing what he needs in the exact spots he is accustomed to. As far as inside his closet, I did a massive purge, taking out any items he no longer wears, shirts other than tshirts on one side, short sleeved first, then long and pants on the other side. He doesn't always match but he can always find a shirt and pants without difficulty. You might also consider having the rails that the clothes hang on moved lower so that the person does not have to reach above about chest level to get something down; it will minimize the chances of him/her losing their balance and falling. Best of luck to you!

  • Ake13231188 Ake13231188 on Dec 24, 2018

    As above, I purged all outfits leaving one for dressing up, two for sleeping and five for day wear. I place an outfit (top and bottom) together on a single hanger, and place the set of hangers on a portable rack that allows one to very easily see the clothes. I found keeping a set of clothes together was easier for maintaining independence. Shoes/slippers were kept on floor at the rack. I store underwear and socks in a dresser drawer, and adult depends with wipes and gloves in the bathroom. Another way was to hang dress shirts from a rack on the back of the bedroom door, hereto allowing the person to easily see items. I found when they were stored in a closet, and the closet door was closed, the elderly may not recall they posess the clothes. Having clothes out in plain site reduces confusion.

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Dec 24, 2018

    Easy on and off switches with timers or motion lights help them with lights. Then provide a reaching stick that grasps for any thing up high or down low, but put all their many use items in easy grasp. Also label anything in light baskets like sweaters, socks etc if they are kept there. use rings for scarves, belts etc hanging on the wall or a hanger with various rings for them to find easily. Some have trouble with seeing too, so a way to identify items might be used by touch. Help them weed out or give away anything they do not use any more. Simplify it all as much as they can, and still be comfortable with what they give up.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 24, 2022

    Hang clothes in "OUTFITS" Skirt/trousers with Matching top/Jumpers. Underwear sets all together, so one pick up gets the days items.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Feb 17, 2023

    Easy to reach, hang outfits together and the underwear and socks included. Shoes paired and underneath (on the floor) the hanging clothing. Keep the Depends in both the bathroom and bedroom.