A family caregiver sent me this message:

"How about a shout out to family caregivers everywhere, performing unpaid labors of love for their children, parents, or spouses who have significant disabilities? long hours, heavy lifting, frequent medical appointments. Requires sturdy shoes to protect feet from wheelchairs and walkers, large tote bag, and clothes that allow bending over. Something cheery for the weary."

So, here ‘tis: Family caregivers are amazing human beings. They work endless hours primarily getting paid in love and respect (and I know sometimes they don’t always feel the love and respect). The challenge in doing this kind of labor is that you do need to wear clothing that can easily move with you to accommodate lots of lifting, bending, pushing but, gosh darn it! You don’t always want to wear leggings, t-shirts and sweatpants.

Here are three suggestions that can work.

  1. There’s no reason that you can’t wear a skirt. In fact, I find skirts less constricting than pants. Clogs are comfortable and protective for the feet. And the shirt can be thrown in the washing machine.
  2. Wear a summer dress as a top over jeans or leggings.
  3. Comfortable cords instead of sweats.

Some caregivers - and stay at home parents - get in a comfort rut. Start with one day a week. Do something different: add color, texture or a piece you might usually wear. Increase the next week to two days. Keep going! And thank you for what you do.