My mother has always had a TON of clothes. Always. She currently owns over 100 white blouses, t-shirts and tops. She has probably 30 pairs of pants and probably 20 dresses. Fills 3 closets to the brim with clothes.
In the last couple of months she has given up wearing anything more than a housecoat. (I didn't even know they made those still!) She buys them 5 at a time from a catalog. She finds a style she likes and buys it in all the colors it comes in. She is clean and she keeps her housecoats clean...but this is a sudden change of pace for a woman who dressed head to toe every day--even in the past 3 years where she has gone NOWHERE but to Bingo once a week for 1 hour and then to the grocery store where she sits in the car while my brother shops for her. That's it.
I actually am not bothered by the housecoat thing. I wear muu muus all the time. (Must be genetic!) I am just surprised by how fast this 'slippage' happened. She won't get her hair cut and has stopped attempting makeup. OK, she's 92 and she was still slapping on mascara and eye shadow every single day!
I don't expect any real answers, as I am not asking a question. I'm just thinking out loud a little. She's tired, she's sick of living, but still monitors her blood sugar and takes her meds religiously. She will probably live to 100 or beyond.
It's just such a shock to go see her at 2 pm and she is basically already dressed for bed. She puts on a fresh housecoat every morning.
And for the record, I think she's smart to wear as little as necessary. Much less laundry, for one thing. Easier to get to the bathroom. When she wore pants, she had accidents all the time.
She doesn't have and never has had COVID. She's 92. We don't expect her to be perky and ready to party 24/7. She has her little routines and way of living and we've all long since given up trying to keep her place cleaner or more organized. It is what it is. She's as active as possible, she tires easily, but she's still up and dressed everyday and does what she can.
She does what most elders do--they take a little nosedive, then plateau out and are in that state until they take another nosedive. There is nothing to be done, and we don't push her. She is truly just taking it day by day. The mild dementia annoys her, but it is what it is.
Compared to my MIL. who is 100% housebound and has awful agoraphobia--Mom is living large. MIL will not leave her house for anything. Or anyone. She keeps falling and one day, odds are, she will fall badly enough she'll be hospitalized. She also wears only housecoats and never 'dresses up' b/c she literally goes nowhere, ever.
Gotta pick your battles.
I am glad that your mother enjoys and feels comfortable wearing the housecoats. Hugs sent to you, Midkid.
Yet, 2 years, Covid, injuries, surgeries etc. I find it totally acceptable and I am total fashionista, always was and will be.
It does sound like your mother probably is suffering from some depression, but like you said, with all her issues, who wouldn't. I'm betting that most elderly folks probably suffer from it as they near the ends of their lives.
Good for your mother to choose comfort over what might otherwise be considered the "norm."
She still watches TV, all day. She does puzzles. She reads ( a little). She lives with YB's family and they are all still living at home (4 daughters in their 20's and 30's) so she's not alone.
We have encouraged her to try antidepressants, in the past and she says she's never had a depressed day in her life (absolutely not true) but she is aware enough of things that she can make her own decisions.
She's wearing out. We're not made to live forever. She's perfectly happy in her housecoats and actually, her 'apologies' for wearing them are unnecessary! She looks fine. She's clean and housed and fed and really has a better life than most 92 yo's.
I don't think most drs would even try to address depression in someone so old and in poor health. It just is what it is.
But, I do thank you for your comment. Cutting back on things that are hard is fine--we all do it.
Your gma sounds like mine! She had a ton of very 'tony' clothes and dressed to the nines always. She had her nails done on the reg and I remember sitting in church next to her and she always had fabulous bright red nails. She was epitome of class.
Our favorite thing she wore was this mink stole that was made of 6 mink, full body--with the mouth of one 'biting' the tail of another to make a link. OMG! It was so glamorous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I inherited it, and of course nobody wears furs anymore, AND it's over 100 years old now---but it's in the dress ups and my granddaughters will always incorporate this piece in their dress up plays! She was more than a bit of a princess, but she did know how to take care of herself, that's for sure.
As she was dying, she was just hanging on, with no hope of recovery (96+ and with two broken wrists!!) and I asked her what she was hanging on FOR--and it turned out she'd ordered a gorgeous suit that hadn't come yet. It was a size 6JP and she wanted everyone to know that she was that small (after being quite heavy for much of her life). I told her I would tell EVERYBODY at her funeral that she was that size, if she would just let go. She died a couple days later--and ironically, as life is, the outfit never came. And yes, I told everyone what size she was. I'm sure she was smiling down on me that day.
In the NH she wore her peignoir sets---only woman I knew who wore those glamorous 2-piece lacy things.
I'll be wearing a muu muu or my DH's old pj pants and a tshirt when I die. I don't have the energy to be as glam as gram.
Mom is happier, she apologizes for not being 'dressed' but I don't see her going back to pants and shirts. And it's FINE.
The one thing she did let go of finally was dying her hair. She went from light blonde to full on gray hair after I managed to convince her that it was a good idea to do just that. She was the ONLY woman in the entire ALF that was still dying her hair! So she gave it up and wound up looking so much better with natural gray hair *it was silver* than she ever did with bottled blonde!
It's weird to see your mom in a housecoat all the time, I'm sure. I grew up with my grandmother who wore housecoats ALL the time and nowadays I even own a few of my own (mostly because I go to estate sales and when I find them, I BUY them! :) ) Snap coats, they're also known by. They are super comfy and what I call 'one stop shopping'........easy to wear and one piece of clothing vs. 2, top and bottoms.
At least your mom is not having all those accidents like she did when she wore pants, right?
Seeing our moms taking steps down (no matter how small) is an acknowledgement of their mortality. They put on this act of invincibility, and we buy into it b/c they're so strong and tough, etc. Yet these little signs are huge and indicative of the truth. I knew 'for a fact' my mother would live to be 100 too. I was wrong about that, though.
Sending you a hug today, Midkid.
Yes, I think she has gone to FT housecoats as she can make it to the bathroom on time (mostly) and she has cool, breezy clothes. She keeps her apartment at a solid 85 degrees all year and it's so miserable. But her hands and feet are icy cold. She wears thick socks and slippers as she cannot get shoes on.
It's not something to worry about, and I'm not. I am glad she is doing this, frankly, as it cuts down on laundry, she can get things cleaner and the smell of old, sick urine is not so prevalent.
Now to get her a decent haircut!! YB takes her to a barber every 6 months and she has a man's haircut.
Like FreqFlyer, my work wardrobe still hangs in the closet, but hasn't been worn in years. Only if I attend a funeral or something business related would I consider wearing something other than shorts and t-shirts, or sweat shirts and sweat pants in the winter.
Me, my basic wardrobe is jeans and tops. My shoes are Sketchers. In both I pretty much keep to the same style. I have my old jeans and T shirts I wear around the house. Newer jeans and tops I wear when going out of the house. Then about 7pm I put on my "let it all hang out clothes" which consists of PJ bottoms and over large Tshirts for Summer and Big OLD sweat shirts in the winter. Fashion statement I am not. 😁
She was slightly embarrassed about this... I said BRING IT ON 😆 I am there with them 🤣🤣
Other things wearing housecoats make easier;
* Choice is way less. Colour or pattern! But NOT top & pants, what goes with what, what still fits, what's the weather like.
* Mobility. Getting those tops over the head (even if stretchy) gets hard with reduced shoulder mobility or arthritis. Same for bending down to put pant legs on.
* Energy conservation. Putting on one item vs multi items. Exhausting if lung/heart issues or fatigue.
"I think she's smart.."
Me too! 😁
I think covid helped us decide to dress more casual as we spend more time at home. Loved hiding my no-make-up face behind a mask. Not wearing eye make-up anymore as when outside I wear what I call my "Airwolf" sunglasses, crystal blue lenses.
I put on shoes only once a week if I am driving to on-line grocery pick-up or a doctor's appointment. If it is Saturday, it's bath time like it was when I was a kid.
Yes, part of it is being lazy, because when you are retired and not busy, you tend to put things off for another day.... or month.