Aging Parents: 10 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts that Get Used Up–no Clutter!

Spending time with family–children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren–is what most older mothers want for Mother’s Day. Being taken out for Mother’s Day dinner with them adds to the pleasure.

What they don’t appreciate are gifts that become clutter–
–that they really don’t need or want
–that give them “problems” if they’re old because they need to figure out where to put them–
–where to store them,
–how not to hurt the giver’s feelings, and
–how to get rid of them.

10 Mother’s Day Gifts–that don’t last forever and are
thoughtful, eye-appealing, delicious, indulgent, exciting, pampering, practical

Pretty Packaging

 1. A pretty box* (she can recycle later to hold another gift for someone), with thoughtful card saying something like the Valentine message of several years ago: “I’ve put loads of love in this box. When you need a little, just open.”  Possibly accompanied by a picture of yourself/ family/grandchildren/ pet/hearts/candies–you get the idea.

2. Pretty, minIMG_2976iature-size cupcakes from the bakery (or DIY). Sr. Advisor R loves the looks and the taste–just the right size for an older woman, she says.

3. Nicely presented selection of special teas or coffees

4. Beautifully decorated box of favorite candy or R’s favorite candy (See’s which we hand-pick at the store, or the Sweet Sloops from Harbor Sweets)

5. LaDurée or other macaroons–eye-appealing, delicious, indulgent, extravagant.

6.  Lottery tickets–exciting for some; gifted in a pretty box or bag. Doesn’t the anticipation of possibly winning add some fun to an older mother’s life?

7. Lotions/oils could be called pampering, depending on the cost. Older skin is at risk for dryness. Moisturizing products to the rescue. Know your mother’s favorite or ask what’s best for older skin. One 93-year-old swears by Aveeno. She says it’s feels light on the skin, while keeping it from getting dry.

8.   Perfume is not in style in some places. However, one 74-year-old grandmother has a favorite perfume. It’s one gift she loves, she says–and can use it up. Check out Mom’s favorite perfume.It’s usually nicely packaged.

9. Gift Certificates
–Appointments at the hairdressers–or at beauty colleges (less expensive), help women look better and no doubt feel better when they look in the mirror. Messy hair spoils appearance–no news there! Make arrangements, make a gift card. This gift can lift an older  mother’s (or younger one’s) spirits and get couch potatoes out of the house.

–Pedicures are a necessity when people are either no longer able to reach–or clearly see–their toe nails. Older women’s toe nails aren’t necessarily visible to us. Have you checked your mother’s? Old nails can get thick, hard to cut and ugly. It’s recommended–especially for diabetics–that pedicures become routine around age 65. What could seem like an indulgence for younger people, becomes a necessity at a certain age.

–Movie script and restaurants’ gift certificates get Mom out of the house with Dad or a friend for entertainment or a meal. Moms say a break from cooking is a gift.

10.  A pretty spring-themed box of stationery or note paper for moms who still enjoy writing, accompanied by attractive “Forever” stamps.

Flowers always seemed synonymous with Mother’s Day and I assume we’ve all gifted beautiful bouquets and arrangements over the years. While Sr. Advisor R loved getting flowers (especially long-lasting bouquets of daisies with baby’s breath) most of her life, she said nicely–in her 90’s– that she no longer had the energy or inclination to dump the dead flowers and mushy water out and hated looking at drooping, dying, or dead flowers.

So we’ve given up gifting flowers. Admittedly, if I lived near–in addition to the chocolates–I would no doubt fill a pot with red geraniums for Mother’s Day and put it on her porch. (And replant or recycle when the plants died).

There’s still time to get these non-cluttering gifts and make mothers happy! And doesn’t this help them age well.

*boxes from Dollar-type stores

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely tips, information and research from top universities and respected professionals–to help parents age well.

Related: Click “Great Gifts” tab under header at top.

Aging Parents: Mother’s Day Gifts–Fashionista or Frumpy Dumpy, What’s a Daughter to Do? 2015. Part 1

Look good, feel good. New clothes can lift spirits and that helps parents age well.

Most women like to look good, yet aging issues, including lack of energy, may dampen a woman’s enthusiasm for buying clothes. Mother’s Day provides a chance to update older women’s wardrobes. For fashionista’s daughters, shopping for Mothers is fun; for others it’s a chance to help frumpy-dumpies look good.

Have you noticed? older fashionistas dress skillfully to hide figure faults that accompany aging. Flabby arms, unflattering waistlines, sagging what-evers, are some of the culprits. Flattering tops (collar or not), with longish sleeves, can hang gracefully over a large waistline and/or hips. They can hide a multitude imperfections, as well as nicely pull an outfit together.

My 101 year-old mil’s favorite clothing catalogs (now on-line) are below, carrying a wide variety of  smart, well-priced clothing and accessories for women ages 50+++. No wonder they’re popular with many older women, as seen by the commenters’ ages.

Appleseeds– “Loved” by a woman over 75

Appleseeds: (855) 737-2574 –Read the comments as you view items you are considering. eg. 2 of 7 comments about this Appleseeds sweater: “Perfect Fit and Purchase Price. Love this sweater…..goes with any solid color….very pleased.” (Age 75 & over) “The soft colors of spring wrap you in warmth and comfort when you wear this great sweater. It is light weight yet warm, goes with just about anything…”(Age 65-74).  Machine washable cotton.

Pants, shirts, skirts, sweaters, jackets, coats, pant suits; accessories, handbags, shoes, gifts–you name it, Appleseeds has it.

Chico’s: (888.855.4986) store locator.The styles below can cover up many figure faults. 27 commenters ages 50+ to 70 make this “Kelli Cardigan” worth a look–especially at the sale price. The Caitlin Ruana is also popular with the 60-70-year olds, having average and curvy body types. (Click images) .

Kelli Cardigan

Chico’s Kelli Cardigan

Caitlin Crocheted Ruana

Chico’s Caitlin Crocheted Ruana

Draper’s & Damon‘s: (800-843-1174) store locator in 5 states– advertises “Chic comfort fashions for mature women.” Sr. Advisor R has purchased from their catalogues for decades. Click the link to view well-coordinated outfits, good styles, and popular manufacturers like Alfred Dunner and Brownstone Studio. D &D is especially popular with 54-75-year old shoppers— on-line, through catalogs, or in the 5 states where store are located.
     Women ages 54 to 75+ purchased and love this blue mosaic mum shirt jacket. Ditto for the Hand-painted Silk Kimono, which I just noticed is on back order, expected May 22. (If you love it, copy the picture and put it in a small box for Mother’s Day.)  Also check out  this SALE link, and/or Clearance link where this blue top is $19.97
                                              Fashion Signature Knits® Swing Jacket by Brownstone Studio®

Mother’s Day Gifts, What’s a Daughter to Do? continues with Part 2 on Saturday.

Note: Clicking on each image will take you to site and item’s details.

Related: Click “Great Gifts” tab under header

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely tips, information and research from top universities and respected professionals–to help parents age well.

Aging Parents: Mother’s Day Gifts 2013–Thoughtful and Personal-2 (continued)

Sometimes it’s nice to update an older person’s wardrobe with a gift of clothing or jewelry. With this in mind, listed below are some of Sr. Advisor R’s favorite stores. She shops from their catalogs.

At 99 she likes their clothes because they’re simple, easy to wear, and always look good. They’re usually separates which she pulls together with a sweater or jacket. Oh yes, she likes the effect that adding a necklace and/or bracelet brings to her outfits. Indeed every time I go some place with her, people remark about how great she looks. She’s the first to admit “I don’t spend a lot on my clothes.”

1.  The Tog Shop: http://togshop.blair.com 1-800-262-8888 Check out the necklace on the Tog Shop screen. It could add just the right touch of color to any outfit. And don’t neglect the “Sale” screen for some nice clothes at even nicer prices. Misses, Women’s, and Petite sizes.

2.  Appleseeds: http://appleseeds.blair.com/1-800-546-4554  Check out some of the necklaces; also the machine-washable “Twist Yarn Open Front Cardigan,” and add “tops”–knit, tanks, tee shirts– to make an outfit– available in all sizes from Misses to Petite.

3JJill http://www.jjill.com/jjillonline/index.aspx   1-800-546-4554  Adding their knit tops or tees (many options here) makes outfits when combined with a jacket or cardigan.These clothes seen to be a bit more pricey so don’t miss the “Sale and Outlet” tab. Misses, Petites, Women’s and Tall sizes.

Sometimes we notice our mother’s favorite clothes could benefit from some time at the dressmaker’s. It could be the hem length (people shrink with age); or it could be Mother has changed shape and needs clothing taken in or let out–or needs buttons sewn on, or simply has threads handing or has clothing needing to go to the cleaners. Taking care of any (or all) of the above is thoughtful and helpful and could be combined with a little gift–a necklace or bracelet that coordinates with an existing outfit?

Or–Charms on bracelets or necklaces are in style again. (I remember my grandmother having a charm with each grandchild’s name on one side and birthdate on the other.) They’re affordable in silver; pricey in gold. That said, grandchildren charms are perfect for certain grandmothers.

“Look good, feel better.” Isn’t that what we want for our mothers?” It’s another piece of helping parents age well. Happy Shopping.

Related: “Great Gifts” tab below header…..above.

  NOTE: “Newsworthy” right sidebar. Links to timely information and research
–from top universities–to help parents age well. 

Aging Parents: 2013 Mother’s Day Gifts–Thoughtful and Personal

While many aging/elderly mothers don’t want more clutter and don’t need anything for Mother’s Day, these gifts will be welcome. They vary in price so “going in” with a sibling could be the answer for affording a pricey gift.

1.  Photos are precious. Some aging mothers and grandmothers have photos on every flat surface and wall. Others not as many. But all will love a Photobook filled with family photos. Many companies (from Apple to Shutterfly–almost A-Z) will help create a photobook for Mom. How many have we seen on coffee tables? The older people I know love to go through them with visitors and friends.

2. One current framed photo of the entire family is a cherished gift for mothers and grandmothers, who prefer having one photo to look at in an easily accessible space. Again, less clutter than many photos of individual family members.

3.  Brighton novelty handbags: (now renamed “Memory Handbags” feature a personal photograph that becomes a part of the handbag. They could be ordered by phone several years ago; but no longer.  Today these bags can only be ordered at one of the  Brighton Collectibles Stores throughout the US that carries “Memory Handbags.” Thus it necessitates a phone call to stores near you and asking if they carry them; and it involves a photo–which means “takes time.” Check it out . If you like it, your mother will love it–so grab a favorite family photo and order right away. (The Vanessa is  popular. style, but I encourage you to see all options. Sadly photos are no longer available.)

4. iPads again on the list. User-friendly technology for young and old–even those who are “roadkill on the information highway” but show some interest. I’ve seen 4-year-olds come into a grandparent’s home, make a bee-line for the iPad and begin playing games, haven’t you?

I warned–in the last post–a gift that comes with a “hidden agenda” shouldn’t be given to an older person. (The 74-year-old grandmother still doesn’t use her iPad;  claims she prefers writing letters and receiving them; would rather “spend time with people than technology.”) This shouldn’t necessarily hold true, however, for a mother who’s technically challenged but interested. Reason:

A free, easy-to-use iPad app for seniors  (not made by Apple, but carried at Apple stores, I understand) . It’s a simple way to start an older mother who could be “roadkill” into a tech-using-Older Mother.  Check earlier post about the iPad for iPad-specific information and compatible printers.

5.  A satin pillow case. I know my mother always slept on one. Never knew why. Seems, some say, it’s better for hair and skin. These cases aren’t an expensive gift–and who knows, maybe they are better–assuming your mother doesn’t mind sleeping on a satin pillow case.

Related Posts: Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers (clothing–look good, feel better)
Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers–2 (clothing additions to make an
outfit)
Springs Little Things (thoughtful spring gifts)
A Great Mother’s Day Gift 2015–One-of-a-Kind, Personalized, Inexpensive, Priceless 

 



Aging Parents: Mother’s Day 2013-Gift Ideas–thoughtful/delicious/exciting/pampering/practical

“I don’t want anything that takes up space or I have to dust.
I just want my children to be together and get along.”
74-year-old grandmother

Each year I ask aging mothers what they’d like for Mother’s Day. The above quote sounds unappreciative or perhaps an attempt at humor. I probed a bit. This grandmother means exactly what she said and elaborated. Saying she has everything she needs, she emphasizes she’s trying to get rid of–not acquire–stuff.

(5/2015–Update: Full Disclosure. This grandmother now, selectively, uses her iPad, but still handwrites all personal correspondence. Stationery is an always-welcome gift for her.)

To make the point: her adult children gave her an iPad at Christmas (she doesn’t like using computers, hers was 20-years-old). She knows her new email address is 2 words (her children signed her up); has no idea the word order nor whether they’re case- sensitive. What she wants most: having her children get along and time when the whole family (she’s widowed) can be together.  Hmmmm… do we remember to give Moms what they want and avoid imposing “hidden agenda” (something we want for them for a reason) gifts?

10 Mother’s Day Gifts–that don’t last forever: 
thoughtful/delicious/exciting/pampering, indulgent,/practical~
The presentation makes them even more special 

pretty boxes1.  A pretty box* (a Valentine’s suggestion this year), with card saying something like: “I’ve put loads of love in this box. When you need a little, just open.”  Possibly include a picture of yourself/ family/grandchildren/ pet/hearts/candies–you get the idea–in the box.

2.  Beautifully decorated little cupcakes from the bakery (or DIY). Sr. Advisor R loves the looks and the taste–just the right size for an older woman, she says.

3.  Selection of special teas or coffees

4.  Beautifully decorated box of favorite candy or R’s favorite candy (which is hand-picked by us) or Harbor Sweets‘ Sweet Sloops.

4.  LaDuree or other macaroons–eye-appealing, delicious, indulgent, extravagant

5.  Lottery tickets are exciting for some. Who doesn’t like to win! Gift them in decorative box or bag .

6.  Lotions/oils could be called pampering, depending on the cost. As body chemistry changes with age, they are a necessity. Older women’s skin is at risk for dryness, accentuated wrinkles etc. Moisturizing products to the rescue.

7.  Perfume is not in style in some places. However, the 74-year-old grandmother has a favorite perfume. It’s one gift she loves, she says–and can use it up. Check out Mom’s favorite perfume? It’s usually nicely packaged.

8.  Appointments at the hairdressers–or at beauty colleges (less expensive), leave women looking better and no doubt feeling better when they look in the mirror. Messy hair spoils appearance–no news there! Make arrangements, make a gift card. This gift  can lift an old mother’s (or younger one’s) spirits and get couch potatoes out of the house.

9.  Pedicures are a necessity when people are either no longer able to reach–or clearly see–their toe nails. Older women’s toes aren’t often visible to us (they don’t wear flip-flops). Have you checked your mother’s? Old nails can get thick, hard to cut and ugly. It’s recommended–especially for diabetics–that pedicures become routine around age 65.  What could seem like an indulgence for younger people, becomes a necessity at a certain age.

10. Movie script and restaurants’ gift certificates get Mom out of the house with a friend for entertainment or a meal. Moms say a break from cooking is a gift.

Most older people want to simplify and declutter; not add stuff. The above gifts get used up and can help mothers age happy and well. And doesn’t pretty packaging make them look special. *These boxes were $1.00 at–I think–Dollar Tree stores this week.

Pretty Packaging

Note: “Newsworthy” (top right). Links to timely information and research from top universities, plus some fun stuff
–to help parents age well.

Related: Click “Great Gifts” tab under header at top.

Aging Parents: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas (2015 update)

Also Click Great Gifts Tab Above

Mother’s Day always seems to creep up on me.  It quickly becomes too late for ordering one of the best Mother’s Day gift ideas. If, however, you’re too late but are creative, a photo and message in a gift-wrapped box has two advantages: anticipation created after seeing the photo, then subsequently receiving the gift itself. .

I’ve never seen this handbag in the East….maybe because it comes from California. But I’ve seen it in the West and grandmothers who have it, love it.  They should since it’s pricey. (Yet we all know–everything pricey isn’t loved by everyone).  At least one grandmother says it’s “a thrilling gift to receive…I don’t think any mother or grandmother would appreciate anything more.” She has the “Vanessa.” What makes it so special?

It’s a Brighton handbag, with an adorable photo of her grandchildren expertly reproduced on the back and front– a wonderful conversation piece of excellent quality….”sturdy,” I’m told. (I loved an old Brighton handbag with the family dog, in their former online ad,  but I’m guessing grandchildren’s photos usually win out.)

2015 update: If you want to get it for Mother’s Day, it must be ordered in person from a Brighton Collectibles store and that takes time so click store locater link now. Indeed, they no longer have photos of the–what they now call “Memory  Handbags” on their site. Does that make them even more special to the recipient??

The second pricey gift: the iPad.  An 88-year-old with macular degeneration received one as a birthday gift last weekend and says “it’s great” because she can enlarge the font to read books as well as the apps (some of which her children installed for her). She can once again enjoy reading a book. (I understand her kids went to the Apple store at 7:30 in the morning and there was already a long line.) You might want to read about Marti and her 87-year-old dad’s experience when she bought him an iPad.  http://asourparentsage.net/2010/05/03/aging-parents-ipad-for-dad-2/

A less pricey gift: the Kindle.  Again the size of the font can be enlarged, benefiting people with macular degeneration as well as others. While the Kindle is obviously not as versatile as the iPad since it’s made for reading books, it too enables many aging parents to enjoy reading once again.

Less expensive gifts are highlighted in a just-updated April 2010 Mother’s Day Gift post:  https://helpparentsagewell.com/2010/04/27/aging-parents-mothers-day-gifts-3/.  Happy Shopping!

Related: (click links)
2015 A Great Mother’s Day Gift-Inexpensive, Yet Priceless  Easy DIY or ask a friend to help
2015  Fashionista or Frumpy-Dumpy 1 and 2-flattering Mother’s Day clothing for aging moms

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely tips, information and research from top universities and respected professionals–to help parents age well.

Aging Parents: Older Mothers and Nonmothers on Mother’s Day

Sunday is Mother’s Day as we know–a day we do more than just help aging parents. We celebrate mothers–old and young…and grandmothers and great-grandmothers and mothers-in-law.

I began thinking: What about important women in our lives who have no children to honor them? And what about the less organized among us who still need a last-minute gift that shows special thought and caring?

I was with a woman last week, a senior citizen who has no children or living parents although she has two nieces she thinks the world of. I asked if she and her husband had plans for this coming Sunday. Her reply: she hoped she would hear from her nieces. They had phoned on past Mother’s Days. They lived in another state and she loved when they called–but of course, she couldn’t be certain they would phone. That conversation generated a few ideas.

First, Mother’s Day is our opportunity to let women–our mothers and others–know that they mean a lot to us. A phone call, mailed cards, flowers, candy–all can convey the message. And for older people, the importance of being remembered by someone other than children may be greater than we think. Three women–age range late eighties to 102–all with children and grandchildren, report for years they have received a Mother’s Day card from one of their children’s friends. That, they said, was extra special.

Second, two very different, last-minute gift ideas for mothers. Nether is “stuff.” The first, in honor of your mother, make a contribution to a recognized charitable/nonprofit organization 501(c) (3) that is meaningful to her. The second is in the “help parents age well” category, connected with driving/transportation, exercise and stimulation.

One rather unusual, but worthy charity idea that may be “right’ for certain mothers is a donation to Heifer International, A Heifer International email said in part:

Mothers go by many names:
Mom, Momma, Ma, Mati, Nay, Mzaa…
We have a few others:
Hen, Ewe, Cow, Sow, Doe.

This Mother’s Day celebrate your mother by giving one—a mother that will provide a new means of income and nutrition to a hungry family. The mothers of the world will thank you...Whatever gift you give through Heifer will be passed on, with proper training and tools, from one mother to another. Entire communities will be changed in your mom’s honor.

I checked out the nonprofit organization with Dr. Viola Vaughn, Teachers College Distinguished Alumni from Senegal, who knew about its worthwhile work. Since I was thinking of donating a goat, we discussed goats and she explained how much they contributed to a family’s being able to sustain itself. Clicking the Heifer link informs us that as little as $10 gives a share of a goat, (an entire goat is $120; $20 buys a flock of chickens etc.).

The second idea involves transportation, exercise, and stimulation, which take on more and more importance as parents age. Gifts that incorporate these aspects of living into an aging mother’s life can be a real plus, if they don’t already exist.

  • First, check to see if/when a CarFit evaluation (sponsored by AARP and AAA) is available in your community then give your mother an IOU to accompany her to one. See additional safe-driving suggestions in my October post. Last month I was in a parking lot where a CarFit evaluation was going on; asked if they could take me without an appointment. They did. They check how well one fits into his/her car for safe driving and make suggestions: ie. seat cushions to elevate drivers who may have age-related “shrinking” that limits visibility, wider rear-view mirrors etc.
  • Taxi script may be a welcome gift if mothers no longer drive or are hesitant about about driving.
  • Or consider a gift membership to organizations like the “Y” which usually offer stimulating programs as well as exercise; or a gift certificate for an exercise program like Silver Sneakers that accepts medicare in many states (check it out) and helps older mothers stay fit and engaged.

Whatever we do to help aging parents on this day, mothers usually appreciate our efforts and–to reiterate from previous posts– spending Mother’s Day with children and grandchildren is the best.