Aging parents (in spite of the fact that they don't want to accumulate more things) love gifts, as mentioned in the last post; and appreciate things that can--in most cases--be "used up."
Mothers who still drive or have convenient access to transportation, can more easily purchase what they need, if money isn't an issue; and younger mothers may not be so concerned with gifts that can be "used up." For example, one younger mother (in her 60's) likes having all her children chip in for one gift certificate. Then she goes shopping and buys "something special" that she normally wouldn't buy for herself.
We might think older aging parents for whom money and transportation aren't issues should feel the same. But for many aging mothers who live alone, insecurity--necessary or unnecessary--about spending money becomes an issue at a certain point.
The Mother's Day gift ideas below can be enriching, attractive and/or useful contributions in our effort to help parents age well. A few may be better afforded if siblings chip in.
---Adding pleasure to a mother's life.
Some children have taken over--as a gift--the bill-paying for something their mother wouldn't want to afford, but they know would add pleasure. Example: paying for something like Direct TV or HBO--you get the idea.
Grooming and beauty services (hair, manicure, pedicure, facial, massage) help a mother to feel special. Make arrangements to be billed--or give a gift certificate. (Since old skin can be very delicate, be certain to check that the preceding are OK for an older mother's situation.)
When thinking about gifting flowers or plants for mothers with a terrace, patio, or small yard, contact a landscape nursery to check the cost of having flowers planted (perhaps in a large container or several smaller containers) if you are a far-away-living child or can't plant them yourself. Otherwise, select the healthiest plants you can find at the grocery store (most sell plants and flowers) or nursery. Check if they go indoors or outdoors.
Flowering plants are living, they change, and brighten up an outdoor space or an indoor space near a sunny window. (Sun is necessary for most plants to flower.) Geraniums can be a good option: easy care, many colors, indoors or outdoors.
---Things: usable/needed gifts
Older people often feel cold (even when we feel warm); stories about children of aging parents sneaking to turn down the thermostat when they're in their parents' home are common. A good-looking sweater or jacket (that may or may not pull things together and make an outfit) may be a good idea, as is an attractive shawl or an easy-to-get-into comfy robe. (These can be light weight for what we consider the warm months, and definitely a heavier weight for colder months.)
A new nightgown, pajamas, or slippers may be a needed and welcome gift. One adviser (who's careful about falls and balance) says that Dear Foams makes a very soft, easy to put on, slipper that feels "wonderful" and isn't heavy.
Knowing and gifting a favorite lipstick/cream/lotion is always appreciated, especially when it saves a non-driving mother from having to go out and buy them. (Note: I'm told perfume isn't as popular with older people today because of allergies--check it out.)
An adviser reminds me that attractive postage stamps (a "LOVE" one was recently issued with beautiful flowers) are appreciated by mothers who lack transportation to a post office... so practical for older people who still write notes and pay bills by mail.
We know aging produces normal vision changes in many. The usefulness of night-lights is highlighted in the Falling and Fall Prevention posts. Also check the mini-maglite, small flashlights that give great light in dark places.
And the small size lighted pocket magnifying-glass gets rave reviews. Everyone seems to love it. It takes up little space, is light weight, inexpensive, and truly helps parents age well by providing enlarged, lit-up print--very helpful for older eyes. At $9.99 it makes a great, useful Mother's Day gift for your mother--and any older woman you wish to remember.
Lastly, the tried and true, flowers and candy... or what about a box of pretty cookies from the bakery?
When our goal is to help our parents age well, don't special occasions like Mother's Day give us a unique opportunity to contribute something pleasurable and useful to their lives!