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I realize that this is a trivial caregiver issue. But as a caregiver, I've been getting a bit sad lately that I can't ever wear my nicer clothes at home because they'll inevitably get stained and ruined fast. I'm not talking about designer clothing, sometimes I just want to look presentable to myself. Sometimes I want to feel uplifted and wear something pretty at home. But wearing jeans and sweats and T-shirts and and tennis shoes seems to have become my daily drab uniform. I'm so tired of looking as run down as I feel.



Besides the usual caregiver self-care routine of enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise, occasional outings for fun - how do you manage to look okay to yourself while you're actively caregiving? Is it even possible?



Should I lower my expectations about this, too?



Thanks in advance for your thoughts about this.

I think we all are harder on are selves than others are!

Neighbor stopped in a bit ago , and after he texted me. Said I don't want you to think I'm a creepy neighbor, but dam , what ever you're doing keep doing it.

I think it's cleaning 2 homes, water a zillion plants and worked a lot on my posture after I ruptured a disk.
Maybe stress is good for me. I've always been a bit backwards. 😆
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Went to a doc appt ...wow I thought, I almost look nice again! I wear aprons at home a lot while caregiving my mom but yes, I'm tired of the super sloppy look. That's just not me. I still try to fit in a little makeup when the nurses come by, very minimal, hair neat, earring studs, stand tall don't slump. I haven't dropped my standards because it feels defeatist.
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My daughter has the most beautifully shaped dark brows naturally. I however, have lopsided mostly invisable whitish ones. Always have had. I have a decent pencil (also ordered a new one) but as a treat I would get them done professionally for summer - but risky, as a new stylist had to understand my pourus hair -
Been left looking like Groucho Marx a few times 😩

My daughter taught me to shape better via youtube videos & to dye them myself using men's beard dye. 5mins on & wash off & the one box lasts like a year. So much cheaper! Yes, time for a brow re-do tomorrow. Thankyou ladies!! I am feeling refreshed already!
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Way, I've been religiously putting cover, powder and blush on, I shout add the eyebrows to the regiment.
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For us older gals , I read that if you color/fill in your “ fading” or invisible eyebrows that it makes a big difference in making you look less , tired and old.

I tried just a little and it did help . I never used eyebrow pencil before . I tried a few times to practice before using it for my son’s wedding . I’m glad I did , it looked very natural in the photos. I looked less tired and haggard than photos without any makeup . All I used was a light foundation , alittle mascara and alittle eyebrow pencil . I might have used alittle blush too , and slight lip color. But I think having visible eyebrows in the photos is what really helped the most.
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Beatty, I've worked for some Snakes as well.

I've had my makeup done at make up counters in the past and I've always come home and washed it off immediately. I wear very little makeup and they always layer different colors on different areas of my face. I guess it's called contouring.
Not for me!

I'll just keep dabbing my blush on. Lightly.

I hope your eyeliner and lip crayon perk you up. :)
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Gershun, LOL.

Blush.. oh.. I once bought this gorgeous cream blush. Strongly pigmented so just need a VERY little dab & then rub in it well...

I went to work one time, rushed in past my boss (an old boss I call The Snake) & heard her snicker. Yep. I had forgot to blend it 😪

I hate it too when the colour looks great IN THE STORE but like a clown or Barbie later..
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I'm sure it will Beatty. :)

Then maybe everyone will say "Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's Maybelline."

I bought some blush the other day thinking the same. Instead I resembled a clown.

But hey, hope in a bottle..........or a eyeliner lip crayon. Can't fault one for trying.
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I am hoping the new eyeliner & lip crayon I ordered online is going to take me from tired carewarn face to Wow, what have you done? You look so fresh & fabulous!

Oh & maybe reduce a few straggly grey hairs & lose a kilo...

Do you think my hopes are reasonable?
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Thanks for all your replies - please keep them coming! There's alot of hard won wisdom in all these replies and the witty postings really made me laugh, too. Much appreciated and very helpful. It's good to know I'm not alone experiencing this lower priority aspect of caregiving.

Sincerely,
LostinPlace
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There‘s not much to look forward to as a caregiver. It’s Groundhogs Day of watching your life pass you by
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I have noticed more dressy clothes in Kohl’s . Don’t have anywhere to wear it though . Men don’t wear suits much anymore either . I remember my DH wore a suit to work everyday early in our marriage . Now he wears jeans unless he has an important meeting or he’s presenting. But even then , no suit anymore. Slacks and a dress shirt , maybe a tie and blazer .
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I feel like people in general don't dress up the way they use to
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I go to church to wear the clothes I would like to wear more often but the activity of the day doesn't warrant that. Then I come home and change into sweats (usually after a trip to Costco where I am still wearing my church clothes).

At Costco I notice others not dressed that nicely although recently there was a mother there with her two sons and husband and she was beautifully dressed so there are exceptions.
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Get a care agency to do a couple of hours on a Monday once a month and then book an hour's massage at your local spa or health centre, a full body massage with citrus aromatherapy oils to uplift. It may be your local Care Community will fund it, or your council. Mine did. You will feel two feet taller, relaxed and able to face the rest of the day. You will also feel more positive and therefore able to address things for you like diet. My local health centre had a vegetarian cafe that treating myself to delicious homemade brunch after the massage made me change my eating habits generally. The knock on effect will be your appearance. You will feel and look more radiant. You will walk taller. Just a couple of hours to do this will make a difference. And yes, then it is back to the seemingly endless task of caring... but it will help. Just my experience.
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I describe my look as "old hag". I've seen it before when I was long term caregiving and grieving. I do not want to see that person in the mirror and I am trying to get enough sleep, eat right, rest, not stress....all the things you need to do. Even with all that, it's hard not to see the stress of life show up physically. When you go out away from caregiving, wear your nice clothing and put on makeup. I will tell you that the exhausted person you see in the mirror will go away once the stressful conditions are over. It takes time, but you can recognize yourself again in time.
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Someone told me I got more lines on my face after my Dad passed…yup not at all what anyone needs to hear.

I made up a saying I’ll share now: ‘ being practically dressed for the situation/event/weather is sexy’. Why not! Isn’t it??

Years ago I also described my look as ‘frazzled chic’, which has stuck and has become my signature style for sure.

And I do love painted toenails! That’s my big fun grooming pleasure. Don’t always have lovely painted toenails but getting a pedicure and looking down at the results gives me a boost. Happy toes.

Cheers, everybody!
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Dear Caregiver, I feel your pain and frustration. I am caring for a husband that has had 2 strokes and 5 heart bypasses and has undiagnosed dementia. We are constantly at odds with each other because he cannot be pleased. He sleeps all day and is awake all night. He has severe anxiety and will walk the floors until he is exhausted and begins to fall. Just the stress of dealing with him and the lack of sleep has made me look older than I am. Like you I never wear anything nice anymore and I never put on makeup or style my hair. I just don’t see the point but I do understand how you feel.
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Gurshun, you are so right. 😊
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We've all got to be less hard on ourselves though. Not saying it's good to let oneself go but I swear if someone said to me the things I say to myself when I look in the mirror sometimes I'd probably hit them.

I've always been really self critical and now that I'm in my sixties I'm really trying to be more gentle with myself. Yeah, it's all not as firm as it once was but that's life. I used to never leave the house without full makeup on. What a burden that was.

Take care of your health. That's the most important thing. The looks thing? Ah well.................
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I hear you faithful beauty. It happens to all of us. Maybe try to add one thing to your daily regiment.

Like a favorite neckless and get in the habit of doing it every day , then try adding another thing

I paint my toes a wild color, so when I look down I can smile.

Last week was florescent yellow, this week is bright green. Next probably bright orange
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I know my looks have changed. I'm actually embarrassed to go to the store etc sometimes. All I wear are jeans, pants and tee shirts unless I'm going to church. I have got to work on myself.
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Patti, I'm so sorry, that sounds awful
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My thoughts exactly. I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. Six years of caregiving and now being sued after mom died by my brother has take a toll. I never knew “family” could be so heartless.
Lawyer fees are eating up our meager savings. I kept mom out of nursing home for this?
I just keep hoping my life will return to some semblance of normal. Exercising is more difficult now. I can’t fit in my normal clothes. So if you find the answer I hope I see it.
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I can understand how you feel. I don't have advice but I can say your not alone with your feelings. I am a caregiver for my ex husband and his Mother. I also find myself wanting to look half way decent not for others but for myself. Don't feel you can't take time to give yourself the extra care you need. My experience is no one is going to rescue me so I have to take the time to make myself feel better. I wish you luck and hope you take the time to do what's best for you to keep your own sanity during these difficult times. Just remember your not alone with your feelings.
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I agree Mamacrow ,

Ive noticed that just putting on a blouse instead of a TShirt and a dab of cologne makes me feel better . It’s not much effort . I had stopped buying any decent blouses because I didnt go anywhere worthy . But now once a week I put one on even if I’m staying home .
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I've learned to love that old woman in the mirror (me). I'll be 68 next month, my beloved hubby passed away last year, and now I'm here taking care of my 96yr old Dad who has moderate/severe LB Dementia. So, I've learned to relax about it all. It is what it is. We're all Comfortable, Safe, and Clean here in our home. It's a lot - It's a whole lot! I know. But, I've learned this past year to be gentle with myself. I have little to no help - so It's just me, myself, and I. I call the grays sprouting madly on my head my little streaks of silver star dust. I don't put any make-up on much any longer. I do bathe daily (when Dad is sleeping) and I walk out in the garden as much as I can to get my Vit D from the Sun. We live off a river - I grew up here - so this is huge for me. I meditate, get my 10,000+ steps in per day and hardly ever watch the tv (no news, especially), I listen to soft gentle music, and breathe deeply when I'm extra stressed. I guess what I'm trying to say is just be gentle with yourself while you're going through this phase of life. Be gentle. Do what makes you feel good - even if it's just putting a pretty top on or a bit of perfume - just do it! You deserve it! Take care.
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Lost, sorry if my generic 'Care Home' term is not helpful.

Whilst being on this forum has taught me the difference between Board & Care, Assisted Living & Skilled Nursing Homes, I am in Australia & our terms differ. Newer guildlines mean each Residental Aged Care Home should offer permanent living but also short term stays (after a hospital stay or for family respite). At any care need level.

In reality it can take a ring around to find an available bed for the time needed. My Mother has had respite stays ar several local places now. Costs varied too.

Without being able to pre-book a Skilled Nursing Bed..? Couldn't that lead to LOs being dropped at an ER (aka Granny/Gramps Dump) when family need a break or travel away?

The alternative like you say, 24/7 care at home.. just too much $$$. Plus ensuring staff were trained & could handle the LO's needs. Too much stress +++

It seems very unfair to me you cannot pre-book & take a break.. I guess it is not cost efficient to hold a bed empty awaiting a possible booking.

May you find ways to add some extra little pieces of joy into your daily life ✨️ 🤗
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Hi Beatty,

Thanks for your suggestions. Could you please be more specific about "Care Homes for Respite"? Are you referring to some sort of Board & Care arrangement, an assisted living facility, or a skilled nursing facility..? Or is there something else out there I should know about that might be an option for him?

The reason I ask is because my husband would need a skilled nursing facility for respite. His needs are beyond what an assisted living facility can provide. Ditto a board and care home is out of the question. DH needs to be under the care of a skilled professional caregiver, not just someone to chat with him or make him meals.

I've contacted most of the local skilled nursing facilities and they won't take respite care reservations in advance. That means I can't make any advance travel reservations for myself at a hotel or a bed & breakfast either.

Arranging in-home 24/7 respite care with with the in-home caregiver agencies would cost more than a skilled nursing facility.

I'm aware that DH qualifies for placement in a long term care facility, but my husband isn't ready for that, and neither am I. I can see that it'll happen sooner or later, but DH and I hope it will be later. Much later.

So I guess respite care isn't going to happen without a very complicated and expensive plan - which I'm too tired to figure out because I need respite care.

haha
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😂
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