Helping Mother Dress


I am a man in my forties, twice divorced, with grown children, not presently employed, and not seeking employment at this time. I just moved in the other day with my mother, who is a recently widowed and retired lawyer and a healthy active senior citizen. I plan to live with her for a long time, possibly permanently, for economic reasons and to help her as she ages. Though she is retired, she likes to dress up nicely and put on makeup every day, even if she goes nowhere, because she feels it’s important for her dignity. A lot of her favorite everyday clothes require assistance from someone else to don and remove. When my stepfather was alive, he helped her. Now she wants me to do the same. I question the modesty of me as a man helping a woman in this way, particularly my mother, and the balance between modesty and honoring her.



  1. In general it is permitted to assist your mother get dressed albeit with some limits. For example, to zip up your mother’s dress at the back is fine. To help your mother put on her coat is also not an issue. What you cannot do is help her put on her underclothing which would be a lack of modesty and forbidden to do.

    Best wishes from the Team

  2. Thanks. Zipping her dresses (or sometimes buttoning blouses) is the main assistance she needs. She is perfectly fine managing her undergarments and putting on jackets.