Aging Parents: Gifts–Lighted Pocket Magnifying Glass Revisited–+1

I stopped by the Container Store to purchase lighted pocket magnifying glasses as Mother’s Day gifts for older friends. (See last post.) Later that day, looking at my schedule for the following week, I was reminded that D’s birthday was Wednesday…..A chance to check out reactions to this gift idea that I think can add quality to life–and thus our efforts to help parents and older friends age well.

We went to lunch and D opened the small package before the menus came. I knew she had vision problems; what I didn’t know was that it was her 88th birthday. She phoned me later to say “thank you” and followed the phone call with a written note the next day. It provides some insights and says in part:

“Good friends become more and more important as years go on–I didn’t think I needed anything–but you found the perfect present.”

D used the magnifier to read the main menu and dessert menu. A waiter came to take dessert orders and I asked if he needed a Mother’s Day gift idea for a mother or grandmother. He told us his mother was in her 80’s, had vision issues, he knew that a Container Store was located near his home, and he was going there after work. Another waiter joined the conversation. Same reaction.

A few days later another Mother’s Day gift suggestion came from a friend: A traditional picture frame with a picture of the entire family/families–all the children (and spouses if any) and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It’s nice to have the whole family inside one frame, it seems. This caused me to ask about the new frames enabled by technology. One former stock broker in her mid-late 60’s said her children gave her one that “has never been out of the box.” A capable computer-user, she just didn’t want to be bothered downloading.

Which brings up the point that at a certain age, many people just don’t want to be bothered with gifts involving unfamiliar technology…..even when they’ve used a computer at work for the better part of their life. So it would make sense to check it out with parents beforehand. If they’re comfortable, go for It. If not, hopefully ideas from the last three posts are helpful.

As we try to help parents age well, check out the lighted pocket magnifying glass and– if there’s still time get every family member together– you could arrange to have a family photo taken to put in a nice traditional frame.


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