98-year-old Mother-in-law’s Visit

When Old Becomes Old-Old…or does it?

R, my mother-in-law and one of the Senior Advisors to my blog, spent her first day in New York. She handled well the 5-hour flight. It arrived around midnight. Her choice–she always stays up very late. (I think she’s one of those blessed people who needs little sleep.) Not surprisingly she was up and ready to go out before me this morning.

Since we have no guest room, R stayed at a lovely hotel that we knew could handle any emergency and was very near our apartment. We respect the fact that change is hard for many old people.

An eye-opener as to what R found difficult is also a heads up for us as we age. To be continued tomorrow an additional post.

Aging Parents: 6 Last-Minute Holiday Gifts–Exciting, Entertaining, Practical, Easily-Obtainable–update 12/18/13

Need a last-minute gift for an older person without the enduring the hectic last-minute crowds?  Here’s my short list.  It highlights exciting, pleasurable and practical gifts that can help parents and grandparents age well.

  • Lottery tickets, whether they are the scratch-off or wait-for-selection-of-the-All lit up on Christmas Evewinning numbers kind, add excitement to life.
  • A drive with you to see the holiday decorations. Especially at night, when many older people are insecure about going out, the light displays are a great treat.
  • Open Table gift card simple, free sign up. You select restaurant (from ***** on down, in 33 cities), select card design, and amount of $ you wish to spend. More info: (888) 503-7558 or gifts@opentable.com Gift card emailed to you to print out that same day. Many older people prefer their largest meal at lunch for various reasons; whatever meal, they can invite friends if you provide enough $.  
  • Netflix conveniently provides seniors, who don’t go out to the movies, many hours of entertainment.
  • Filling the car with gas for a senior on fixed income, or helping with other such essentials is a welcome gift.  While shopping and taking out my led pocket magnifying glass to help the saleswoman read the care label on a coat, an 81-year-old lady, buying a jacket for her granddaughter, joined the conversation. When I asked her what she’d like for Christmas, she quickly replied “my health,” then added “and someone filling up my gas tank….I just bought gas and it’s so expensive.”
  • An IOU to take non-driving seniors shopping/to the doctor etc. and back.

While Netflix comes with a gift card, and lottery tickets speak for themselves, making a card for the last two gifts only requires a recipe/index card or a piece of paper onto which a picture of a car (gas-tank side showing?) is pasted.  Happy gift-giving.

PS  While not easily obtainable (because it takes a while to get), an appointment at one of the leading hospitals’ geriatric departments may be the best gift you can ever give a parent with health issues. Click the link https://helpparentsagewell.com/2010/09/13/update-on-best-hospitals-geriatric-division-visit/ and read Karen’s short letter about her mother’s experience.