Caring Ideas for Mother’s Day Traditionally, Mother’s Day is a time to send cards, flowers and candy to show Mom our appreciation for all she does. Yet, for the generation of Baby Boomers whose parents are aging better and living longer, Mother’s Day is an opportunity to send a new kind of gift – one that honors her and allows her to enjoy her independence despite the lifestyle changes she’s experiencing. As one octogenarian said, “This year I have asked the kids to give me services. You know, like an exterminator or plumber. I have so much to do around the house and feel like I can’t get ahead. I have plenty of books, bath salts and candy. Give me a gardener instead!” John Buckles, president of Caring Transitions agrees. “Whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday or even Christmas, we are seeing more and more families giving gifts of home improvement services to parents instead of traditional presents. For adult children, it’s a great way to support the changes their parents’ lives, especially if they can’t be with them due to the demands of young children or jobs.” Caring Transitions has put together some gift ideas that allow you to buy online, “do it yourself” or share the investment with siblings. No matter what you choose to send Mom this year, remember the gift should please her. In some cases, it may be best to start slow so as not to overwhelm her with too many changes to her daily routine. Especially if you are concerned about her health or well-being, it’s important to approach the subject with sensitivity and involve her in the decision-making. Offer more than one option and allow her to choose the gift she likes best. Keep in mind that professionals, such as home stagers and organizers, can perform wonders in a home that is being downsized or placed on the market, but allow mom to invite these individuals into her home on her own terms. It is helpful if you begin with a brief consultation before committing to hours and hours of work. Mother’s Day Gift Ideas Medical Record Organizer: This can be done by you or a professional organizer. There are several systems on the market that can also help with organization, file sharing and storage of records. Resources: National Association of Professional Organizers; Jakoter Health Organizer; and MyPro Medical Records Organizer. Film, Slide and Photo Organizers: New online services provide a safe and effective way to help consolidate and organize family movies, slides and photos into digital files the whole family can access and enjoy. You can always opt to “Do-it-Yourself” and organize Mom’s photos into family albums. Resources: Scan Digital. Space Savers: After years in a home, possessions seem to take on a life of their own. Help Mom manage some of the excess she just isn’t ready to part with. From easy bag storage and underbed storage to closet remodeling. Resources: Space Bag® Storage; Rubbermaid Configurations® Closet Organizer; and California Closets. Kitchen Assistance: Help Mom mange her way around the kitchen with gliding cabinet pull-outs and drawers that pop up for easy access. Resources: Shelf Genie. Lawn Maintenance: Hire a gardener for weekly lawn service, spring cleanup or seasonal planting. Find local resources with good references through neighbors or the local garden center. Exercise: Purchase a series of classes at a local gym that specializes in senior fitness or purchase an exercise chair or DVD. Consult with Mom’s physician for any special restrictions and also for referrals. Resources: The Resistance Chair and PBS’s Sit and Be Fit DVD. Transportation: Purchase a Senior bus pass or establish a credit card account with a local cab company so Mom won’t have any trouble getting to the store or her new exercise classes! Estate Planning and Advance Directives: Arrange a consultation with an estate planner, estate attorney or elder law attorney. Be sure you have had some prior conversation with Mom before taking this important step. Some documents can be prepared in advance. Resources: Caring Connections provides free access to Advance Directive forms by state. If Mom is Moving Soon: • Offer to cover the cost of a painter or repair man. Find local resources through neighbors or Angie’s List. • Hire a home stager to do a pre-sale assessment of the home. • Hire an estate sale or downsizing expert , such as Caring Transitions, to help Mom sort, organize, donate or sell items she no longer needs or wants. If Mom plans to “Age in Place:” • Perform a safety assessment of the home. Pay for a professional home inspection or do it yourself and then create a punch list of items that need t be addressed. • Hire snow removal, lawn service or home aid services. • Hire a qualified contractor to install grab bars, ramps, improve lighting or add a stair lift. • Set up a home delivery service for dairy or groceries. • Purchase extended service contracts for appliances once you have researched coverage and fees. • Arrange for prescription delivery, such as Walgreens Health or Walmart Home Delivery Service. • Add a sun room, lighting or windows to the rooms in which Mom spends most of her time. This may also increase resale value. • Enlist a church volunteer, social worker or caregiver who can stop in for regular visits. Maybe mom doesn’t need support on a daily basis, but she could use some extra company now and again, especially the kind who can detect changes in her behavior, health or living conditions. Interview individuals carefully, check references, backgrounds, licensing and insurance. Find someone who is truly compatible with your Mom and be sure she’s willing to participate in the visits. You may want to be there for the first visit or two to help her ease into the relationship and ensure a compatible caregiver match. Join our quick poll: What do you want this Mother’s Day? Click Here!
About Caring Transitions As life changes, it may become necessary to leave a familiar home and part with personal belongings in order to downsize and relocate to a smaller home or retirement community. At Caring Transitions, we help our clients understand the process, evaluate their options and make informed decisions that suit their best interests. We are committed to making each client’s experience positive by minimizing stress and maximizing results. Visit us online at www.CaringTransitions.net. Call Caring Transitions for a Consultation – (800) 647-0766 10700 Montgomery Road • Cincinnati, OH 45242 ©2010-2011. All content created by or on behalf of Caring Transitions. No reprint in part or entirety without permission.
Published on May 6, 2011
Published on May 6, 2011
Traditionally, Mother’s Day is a time to send cards, flowers and candy to show Mom our appreciation for all she does. Yet, for the generatio...