Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers–1 2012 update

Also Click Great Gifts tab above

Fashionable, Appropriate Clothing and Accessories:
7 Excellent Sites 

A never-worn St. John knit hangs in my closet.  Normally a very pricey label, it was so inexpensive (a “buy” you can find in NY). I couldn’t resist getting it for my mother years ago–her size, her color, two piece. But she never wore it.  Why?  At age 83, she tactfully told me that she didn’t wear short sleeves because of flabby arms. Who knew?

Something to think about when selecting clothing: older women’s particular wants and needs, as well as challenges.  Can can they button and unbutton easily? What about hooks and eyes? clasps to necklaces? things that zip, button in back etc. etc.  Do they want to downplay/hide certain parts of their body?

Senior advisor R, 99, still uses catalogs…and always looks well-put-together. Check out her favorite catalogs and their URLs. If you want to entertain your mother, while getting an idea of what she likes, check them out together.  (In counseling we call the latter “a hidden agenda.”)

Appleseeds www.appleseeds.com (800-767-6666) The $79.95 washable, red Cascade Ruffle Pointe knit jacket Cascade Ruffle Ponte Jacketcould be a “must-have” for the holidays. (A woman 65+ reviewed it.)Pair it with black pants and a festive top. Pants, shirts, skirts, sweaters, jackets, coats, pant suits; accessories, handbags, shoes, gifts–you name it, Appleseeds has it. They carry Women’s sizes. Click the Santa’s weekly specials. The “Ruffled Front Boiled Wool” jacket, that comes in various colors, could pull an outfit together nicely in colder climates.

Chico’s chicos.com (888-855-4986), has online shopping, as well as bricks and mortar stores. Attractive clothing, jewelry and accessories suitable not only for us, but for women of all ages. Check out online: the Mesh Marine cardigan $53+ (hand wash), and Traveller’s Collection Bree cardigan $65+Travelers Collection Bree Cardigan(machine washable) that add a contemporary look and can hide “a multitude of sins” (as they used to say) for older figures. Their ever-changing sales have just changed again, so always check them out along with Today’s Deals.

I visited a Chico’s store recently. I’m told older women especially love their jackets (which also include “cardigan sweaters;” cardigan sweaters are in the sweater category as well) and jewelry. Indeed a well-dressed older woman was trying on a jacket at a bricks and mortar store in Arizona.

Coldwater Creek www.coldwatercreek.com (1-888-678-5576) emerged from bankruptcy with new ownership, as an online business (no bricks and mortar stores for the time being at least), in November 2015. Many were saddened to see the “Going Out of Business” signs last summer and hopefully will have expectations met with this new business model. While offerings are relatively small as the business gets up and running, they continue to carry all sizes (petite to plus), accessories, a clearance ……. , offer customer service by phone. This link explains the difference between the old and the new (http://www.coldwatercreek.com/about-us/about-us.html),

Don’t want this to be too long; list will be continued next post.
Happy Shopping!

Aging Parents:Technology Gifts for Non-Tech-Savvy Seniors–2011 update

Computer

Living far from my parents, I thought gifting Dad with a computer–just like mine so I could help him if he had problems–was a great idea on many levels–including our staying in touch.  Dad had a logical mind and could take apart and fix anything. Therefore I deduced, he would find using a computer relatively easy.  Wrong!

While his hands were steady at 85 and a mouse was no problem, he seemed eager to try but there was no natural instinct (as there is with today’s children.) He was fine when I was sitting next to him; but when I left he couldn’t do it. I’m an educator as well as a counselor and know how to effectively teach.  But I failed.  That said–

6 Gift Ideas for Non-Tech-Savvy Seniors (updated 11/2011)

1.  A computer? Nancy M., a computer educator who successfully taught octogenarians, among others, for over a decade says: “If people are mentally sound and have the dexterity, they can successfully use a computer.”

To start out right, she advises, find a teacher or someone who understands how people learn.  An older person should be taught at home on his/her own computer.  Arranging the computer desktop so that only needed icons are there is a must…reduces confusion, she says. She also makes a folder for the desktop, containing an individual file with simple instructions for each procedure. Instructions are there if someone forgets. (Knowing the the last 2 suggestions when helping Dad would, I think, have given him the confidence he lacked when I wasn’t there.)

2.  PawPaw http://pawpawmail.com/ easy e-mail for nontech seniors and grandparents. The NY Times New Old Age blog had a post about it in the spring of 2010. There’s a 10-day free trial period.

3.  Presto Printing Mailboxhttp://www.presto.com/ E-mail comes to the recipient as a printed-out letter; photos can also be sent. One-way communication from you to noncomputer users. There’s a monthly fee.

4.  Fax: Most aging parents are comfortable with this old technology. Its original purpose was to transmit letters and documents. Excellent for: making copies; communication to/from doctors’ offices; obtaining copies of records or lost bills; enlisting your help with confusing letters or bills. When mother was recovering from her stroke, it gave her incentive to exercise her hand and fingers by writing me–then faxing (or have Dad fax) it to me. Short notes grew into letters–good, meaningful fine motor practice.

5.  An iPad: a touch screen is easier than a mouse or keyboard for many older people. Marti Weston provides excellent information as she shares her experience with the iPad she bought for her dad.  http://asourparentsage.net/2010/12/03/holiday-gift-buying-an-ipad-for-your-senior-parent/#more-5951

As readers know, major studies confirm social connectedness is one of the three most important factors in successful aging. The above gifts support connections with others who have differing abilities where tech is concerned.

While the last gift doesn’t promote social connectedness, it does promote pleasure….

6.  The iPod Shuffle— “tailor-made for seniors,” according to Phil Moeller’s 2010 article “Best Holiday gifts for Seniors” in US News&World Report.” Once it’s set up, to operate it all one has to do is click-on and click-off. Someone else who is already familiar with iTunes needs to learn what their favorite music is, obtain it, set up the playlist, and load it. If the senior knows how to operate a TV remote, they’ll be able to handle this single-button operation.”

With hopes one of the above gifts will be an enriching, meaningful addition to a non-tech savy-senior’s life.

Changing weekly: “Of Current Interest” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff–to help parents age well.
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3/26/14 Help! Aging Parents was just nominated again for the Seniorhomes.com Best Senior Living Awards 2014, “Best Blogs by Individuals” category. It was a finalist in 2013. I appreciated your votes last year and would very much appreciate them again this year by clicking http://www.seniorhomes.com/d/help-aging-parents/2014-best-senior-living-awards/ if you’re on Facebook. Deadline 4/28/14 Thanks so much!

 

 

Holiday Gifts for Aging Parents–3: Mothers continued

Holiday Gifts for aging/old/older mothers continues but first–

Sr. advisor, R, was able to join–with wheelchair– the family Thanksgiving celebration–a gift for her and for the 12 of us. In our efforts to help parents age well, we were careful not to exhaust her–although not completely successful.  While a lot of stimulation is fun, it uses energy that is in shorter supply in older people making it difficult for them to gear down.  But it made for good sleeping for R that night, once back at the rehab center.

Giving mobility-challenged older people the gift of an outing, if one does this alone, may merit practice with loading and unloading a wheel chair or walker; and may present initial stress.  The staff at care centers is helpful, we found, offering a mini lesson.  In our case, the actual transporting to and from our car was no problem–went more smoothly than the mini lesson.

R says this first outing gave her confidence to go out again.  My husband thinks a drive; I think a drive + lunch.  We’ll see.  Of one thing we’re certain, she won’t go out holiday shopping. That said, she did ask for one of her catalogs and a looked-forward-to appeal letter so she could order Christmas gifts for those special people who live near and are dear to her; and to make certain a local food bank gets its annual Christmas donation.


Holiday Gifts for Aging Parents–Mothers (updated 11/9/12)


Flattering Clothes and Accessories for Older Mothers

Please go to updated 2012 post:  

https://helpparentsagewell.com/2012/11/24/holiday-gifts-for-aging-mothers-1/