When someone needs care, whether it is because of illness, disability, injury or old age, it can be as important to help them keep their sense of personal identity as it can to offer the practical assistance they need. This is particularly important when someone is learning to live with a new condition or recent deterioration and may feel depressed about the fact that they don’t feel like they can still do the same things they could before. They may even feel as if they are no longer the same person.
Outer Appearance and Personal Identity
A helpful factor in keeping someone’s sense of identity when they are dealing with a situation in which they need care is helping them retain their personal sense of style and their appearance. If they are no longer able to shop for their own clothes, dress themselves, or do personal grooming tasks that they may have done before, such as styling their hair, applying makeup, or shaving, they may have to rely on other people or on you for these things. It is important that they still feel like they are in control of the way they look and that their taste is taken into account when other people are helping them with these things.
Why Fashion And Personal Style Can Be Mentally Important
It may seem fairly trivial when compared to things like dealing with chronic pain, a long-term illness or a disability to worry about superficial things like fashion and make-up, but it can be more important to the patient than you might think. In fact, cancer patients can feel far less stressed and more able to face their day to day treatment programs when they have access to things that make the impact on their physical appearance because of chemotherapy as minimal as possible, such as wigs, make-up to disguise lost eyebrows and eyelashes, and gloves to cover damaged nails. For many people, looking as much like their healthy selves as possible helps them feel better, and can also help them feel like they can have normal interactions when they are out and about, rather than people knowing that they are sick and treating them differently.
Fashion is important too because it is something deeply personal that most people have decided for themselves over the years. Whether someone dresses in a way that stands out, follows the latest trends, dresses in a classic, smart way, or favors a comfy, casual and laid-back look, this is all a reflection of their personality. They may feel uncomfortable or depressed if they can no longer express themselves in that way, or if they no longer have control over how they look and the person responsible for dressing them or choosing their clothes doesn’t do it how they would themselves.
For some people, fashion can be about even more than taste and personality; it can have some sentimental attachments, too. Some people like to wear things that remind them of something or give them a sense of belonging, like custom morale patches from military units they belonged to, class rings, or football jerseys. Others like to make obvious statements with what they wear, for instance, wristbands that show the causes they care about or t-shirts related to their favorite bands.