Mother’s Day is fast approaching and having a Mom in an assisted living, memory care or nursing home community can put some limitations on the gifts you can present. But even with some restrictions, there are plenty of great options for thoughtful, loving gift giving for your mother on her special day.
Remember that most moms in assisted living or other senior living communities likely have a limited amount of space to work with, so it’s best to avoid any gifts that will take up a lot of room and avoid items that will be of little use to her, like garden items or kitchen gadgets.
Here are a few ideas:
Decorate the place!
Help Mom dress up her space with gift items that add to her décor. Most moms love and cherish family photos. Consider a digital picture frame that will cycle through a number of Mom’s most meaningful photos.
Homemade decorations can help enliven any room and add a touch of ambience. Create crafts or other creative decorations you or the grandkids can make to spruce up the space and provide your mom with colorful reminders of the family she loves.
Keep Mom cozy with a warming pillow, comforter or soft and warm bathrobe, pajamas or slippers. Pillows like this one or this one can add comfort to your mom’s life while looking adorable all the while. Any of these will come in handy if your mom complains about the cold winters, drafts, or could use something to soothe sore muscles.
You can never go wrong with flowers. Fresh-cut flowers, bouquets in a vase, and even dried arrangements are beautiful and give Mom something to show off to her friends in her community. If you want to up the ante, make Mother’s Day the beginning of a yearlong floral subscription service. There are a number of services you can sign up for that will send your mom flowers every month. Then she’ll have some extra beauty to add to her space throughout the year.
Go a little high-tech
Wearable activity trackers, like FitBit and Jawbone, can help anyone trying to get healthier, be more active and track their progress as they go.
Though some seniors are averse to entering the digital age, a digital tablet is a relative easy device to master, and with its larger-than-a-smartphone screen, it can deliver hours of entertainment with video phone-calling on apps such as Skype, with picture displays and other fun diversions. This could also include an Audible subscription, which provides an audiobook of her choice each month, or an e-book reader. No matter if she’s into romance novels, self-help books or sci-fi, she can find something good to listen to on Audible or with a Kindle reader.
Go for the comfort
If Mom likes a good cup of coffee or tea, consider a self-contained electric kettle and a tea/coffee sampler. The kettle includes its own source of heat, so all she has to do is plug it in and turn it on to get the water to just the right temperature. Load her up with her favorite teas or coffee varieties and she’ll sip to her heart’s content.
No mom can resist the urge to feel pretty. Whether it’s make up, nice lotions, face masks, or bath items, seek out a gift set that will give your mom a sense of luxury. If you’re not familiar with her favorite beauty brands, scents, or ingredients, do some sleuthing next time you visit to see if you can pin down some good ideas for what she likes.
Time with loved ones is a most valuable gift. Mom will surely love you planning a super-special day out with her. Think about activities your mom loves to do and plan a day of activities she’ll love. A trip to her favorite restaurant. A day at the movies. A trip to the spa. Whatever it is that will mean the most to your mom, plan to include it in your day out.
Thanks for the memories
Moms in memory care present special gift-giving needs. When your mom is dealing with dementia or any other memory-related illness, it can be difficult on everyone and makes gift giving that much trickier. What can you get that will be meaningful to someone who struggles with memory issues each day? You know that every day you have left with your mother is something to be cherished and every Mother’s Day you’re able to spend together is that much more special and worthy of celebration.
Many of the above mentioned gift ideas are fully appropriate for moms with memory challenges, especially those that relate to family. But also consider a simple music player loaded with Mom’s favorite tunes. Researchers believe music can be beneficial to Alzheimer’s patients, helping improve their lucidity as well as their quality of life. You can give your mom the gift of easier access to music each day with a variety of easy-to-use and pre-loaded players.
No matter the gift, your Mom will know deep down it comes from a place of deep love and emotion.
Jennifer Gehrt, staff with A Place for Mom