Finding the right Mother's Day gift can be challenging, especially when you're deciding what to give a senior citizen whose interests and activities differ greatly from yours. Whether your mother or grandmother is still in the workforce or is enjoying a retirement lifestyle, there are plenty of great gift options for you to consider. Whether you purchase an item or come up with the perfect gift of your time and talents, considering her preferences is the key to finding the perfect gift!
Three Gifts of Time
Your mother might find that having an opportunity to spend a bit more time with you more valuable than anything you could purchase. These gift ideas don't cost you anything but time, and they provide you with ways to help our your loved one while also spending time with her.
1. Digitize Photos
Chances are mom has albums or drawers full of photographs she's collected over the years. If she also has a computer, Senior Care Corner suggests scanning them in and showing her how to view the digital images is a great gift idea. Assuming that you own a scanner, this won't cost you any money and will provide you with an opportunity to spend several memorable hours bonding with her over family memories.
2. Social Media Tutoring
Senior Care Corner also suggests that helpings a senior set up a Facebook profile and teaching her how to use it can also be a thoughtful (and free!) gift idea. This will provide her with an outlet to get - and stay - connected with loved ones and old friends. She'll even be able to put some of the photos you digitized for her to good use! Be sure, though, that the lessons you provide also include information on Internet safety and privacy.
3. Home Services
There are likely some regular chores that your mother would rather not have to do anymore; Caring For Aging Parents says that offering to help can be a great gift idea. Devote a certain amount of time each month to doing whatever tasks she'd like to delegate to you. Let her pick what you do each time - if she wants help with yard work, do that. If she's in need of help moving furniture around, changing light bulbs or cleaning out the attic, then do that.
Three Homemade Gifts
Homemade gifts can be more meaningful than items purchased in the store. Consider one of these simple and inexpensive ideas when you want to let ensure that your mother or grandmother feels extra-special on Mother's Day.
1. Memory Jar
Legacy Project suggests creating a memory jar. You'll just need a nice jar, several small pieces of paper and time to reflect. On each piece of paper, write down a different memory of a wonderful time that you have shared with the recipient. Fold the pieces of paper and place them in the jar so she can, as Legacy Project suggests, "'munch on them' over time".
2. Photo Bouquet
Instead of giving a bouquet of flowers that will last only a few days, consider creating a bouquet of meaningful photographs. Legacy Project suggests cutting flower shapes from construction paper and gluing photo cut-outs in the center of each flower. Have color copies made of original photos if you're using images of childhood memories, or simply take and print new digital images.
3. Freezer Meals
If your mother is starting to think about downsizing her home or simplifying her surroundings, she might prefer not to receive trinkets as a gift. However, not all homemade gifts take up space on the shelves. Instead of making something for her to display, consider putting together a collection of freezer casseroles or other freezer-friendly meals for her - an idea described on A Flexible Life blog as the ideal gift for ideal gift for "someone who has everything". This will help her save time and money, as well as provide nutritious meals for days she doesn't have dinner plans or time to cook.
Three Gifts to Purchase
There are also plenty of great options you can buy that moms who are seniors are sure to appreciate greatly. Just be sure that you're considering what the recipient would really enjoy instead of your own preferences when shopping.
1. Meal Delivery Service
If you like the idea of providing meals as a Mother's Day gift but you don't like to cook or don't live close enough to drop off an array of casseroles, consider investing in a meal delivery service for your mother. There are a number of options with nationwide delivery. Examples include:
- SendAMeal.com has a Meal-of-the-Month club that you can purchase for three months (around $235) , six months (around $450) or twelve months (around $800).
- MagicKitchen.com offers options especially designed for the dietary needs of seniors. A seven-day package of 7 full meals costs between $80-$90. Individual meals costing around $12 each are available, as well as gift certificates.
Even if your mom has jumped on the technology bandwagon with a smartphone, tablet or iPod, she might not like modern earbuds. A lot of people find them annoying, especially those who grew up using listening devices that fit over their ears rather than nestling inside them. While it's hard to find earphones than earbuds these days, it is still possible to do so - and chances are that your mother will strongly prefer them to earbuds.
The Urban Ears Plattan model is a good choice. It has received positive reviews on a number of sites, including TechNoodling and GadgetReview. I received a set to review and can say first-hand that they are lightweight, comfortable and very simple to use. They cost around $60 and come in 12 fashionable colors.
3. Cooling Pillow
Hot flashes and night sweats often go hand-in-hand with peri-menopause and menopause, so cooling pillows can be great gift ideas for senior moms. There are options in all price ranges, starting at around $25 for a Chillow. Listed as one of the top 12 ways to cool hot flashes by More magazine, Chillow is an add-on to a traditional pillow. Simply fill it with water and, if desired, cool it in the refrigerator or freezer, then place it on your pillow (above or below the pillowcase). I received a Chillow to review and was pleasantly surprised to discover how well it works.
If you have a larger budget, you my want to consider buying her a memory foam pillow with built-in cooling technology. I received cooling pillows to review from Sensorpedic and Comfort Revolution and found both to be quite comfortable with good cooling qualities. The Sensorpedic pillow retails from $60 to $80 for jumbo or king size respectively, while the Comfort Revolution pillow comes in standard size and costs about $40.
There are, of course, many more gift ideas for you to select among, from fashion items to spa vacations and more. If you're shopping for an older senior, the suggestions in Gift Ideas for the Elderly may be good items for you to consider. What matters most is that mom knows that you love her and that you took the time to really think about her needs when choosing a gift.