5.29 Skills Checklist: Dressing A Client Who Needs Total Assistance

  1. Gather Supplies: Resident clothing, socks and footwear, and hamper
  2. Routine Pre-Procedure Steps:
    • Knock on the resident’s door.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Maintain respectful, courteous, and professional communication at all times.
    • Introduce yourself and identify the resident.
    • Provide for privacy.
    • Explain the procedure to the resident.
  3. Procedure Steps:
    • Raise the bed height.
    • Keep the resident covered while removing their gown.
    • Remove the gown from the unaffected (most mobile) side first.
    • Place the used gown in a designated laundry hamper.
    • Ask the resident their preferences for desired clothing.
    • Start dressing them on their affected (least mobile) side first. Insert their hand through the sleeve of their shirt and grasp the hand of the resident to guide it through the sleeve.
    • Put pants on both legs, starting with the affected (least mobile) side first. If the resident is able, assist them to raise their buttocks. If they are unable to raise their hips, put the side rail on their unaffected (most mobile) side up. Assist the resident to turn towards the side rail. Pull the pants over their buttocks and up to their waist.
    • While still on the unaffected (most mobile) side, tuck the resident’s shirt underneath their unaffected side.
    • Assist the resident onto their back.
    • Raise the side rail if the resident is unable to lift their hips.
    • Move to the unaffected side of the resident.
    • Place their unaffected arm in the shirt sleeve, grasping the hand of the resident. Finish putting on their shirt by buttoning and zipping closures.
    • Assist the resident to turn onto their affected side and pull their pants up to their waist.
    • Return the resident to lying on their back.
    • Put on the resident’s socks. Draw the socks up the resident’s foot until they are smooth.
    • Put on the resident’s nonskid footwear by slipping each nonskid footwear on the resident’s feet.
    • Leave only when the resident is properly dressed.
  4. Post-Procedure Steps:
    • Check for resident comfort and ask if anything else is needed.
    • Ensure the bed is low and locked. Check the brakes.
    • Place the call light or signaling device within reach of the resident.
    • Open the door and privacy curtain.
    • Perform hand hygiene.
    • Document and report any skin issues or changes noted with the resident.

View a YouTube video[1] of an instructor demonstrating dressing a client who needs total assistance:


  1. Chippewa Valley Technical College. (2022, December 3). Dressing a Client Who Needs Total Assistance. [Video]. YouTube. Video licensed under CC BY 4.0https://youtu.be/StcnLjYQBtY


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