This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Looking for ideas for your elderly mother or grandmother? Is she one of those types who says she doesn’t want or need anything, but you still want to do something special for her — something more original than the old standby of flowers and a nice card?
There are plenty of practical and heartwarming gift ideas for the senior women in your life. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities and inspire your Mother’s Day shopping.
Help her maintain her independence
One way to show your mother or grandmother how much you care for her is to give her a gift that will help her maintain her independence longer by keeping her safe from injuries and accidents. There are many danger zones in a home for a senior: the kitchen, the bathroom, hallways and stairs. So how can you help?
Does your mother or grandmother still do her own cooking? You might consider getting her an induction cooking stove or hot plate. Induction cooking does not directly heat the surface of the stove; it uses magnetic force to heat a metal pot at the molecular level.
That means the the stovetop itself stays cool to the touch, reducing the chance that your senior mom or grandmother would burn herself on the stove. And it also means clean-up is a little bit easier, because food that spills on the stovetop does not burn and cake on. That means less scrubbing — particularly valuable for any older person who suffers from arthritis, muscle weakness or joint pain.
Another possibility is a “reacher.” These pistol-grip grabbing devices allow an older person to reach items on high shelves or items sitting low on the floor without having to stretch, climb or bend.
Since many falls and injuries happen when seniors with limited mobility try to perform such tasks, a reaching aid makes a lot of sense. They’re inexpensive and available at virtually any neighborhood hardware store.
Make a nice, home-cooked meal
How many times has your mother or grandmother cooked for you over the years? This Mother’s Day, why not return the favor?
Try cooking your mother or grandmother’s favorite dish and bringing it over to her home or apartment for a nice visit over lunch or dinner. Or, go over in the morning and make her breakfast in bed. Take a nice floral arrangement to decorate the table or tray, place your signed greeting card next to the plate and enjoy a meal together.
The great thing about cooking a meal and bringing it over to her home is that it’s inexpensive, gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with your mother or grandmother and also allows you to observe how well she is doing. Is the house in good repair? Are things tidy? Does she have needs that are unmet, or does she need additional help to maintain independence at home?
Not to worry if you’re not a stellar cook. Remember, ordering a nice takeout meal from her favorite restaurant would accomplish the same goals.
Make a scrapbook or custom video
Does your mother or grandmother have shoeboxes full of old photos? Why not organize them in a new scrapbook or photo album and bring it over to her home?
Are there old family videos or Super 8 films hiding in a closet or on a shelf? Try gathering them and taking them to a video transfer service. There are many video production houses that could transfer old slides, cassettes, or film strips to DVD. Or, get them transferred into a digital file and share them on YouTube.
The two of you could look at the photos or videos together, and you could listen to your mother or grandmother tell you the stories behind the situations and people inside. The important thing is that your’e spending quality time with her on Mother’s Day — and that will mean the world to her.