Health & Fitness

Aging Matters: Mother’s Day gift ideas

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.”

One day this month, the phone lines will hum non-stop. Whether the calls are motivated by love, guilt or pervasive commercial hype, it’s a welcome interruption, especially if Mom is temporarily in nursing or rehab or is at home in a senior residence. And it’s time for my annual list of what to give Mom for her special day:

•  While a guy may give his valentine a dozen long stems, for his mom, a compact, space-saving arrangement is better. If her thumb is green, a potted plant that can endure brief thirsty spells and is tolerant of available light lasts far longer than any corsage. It will remind her every day of the son she nurtured through measles and math and on to marriage, the boy she taught to be sensitive to the yearnings, as well as the needs, of others.

•  In a senior residence facility, decorating the doorway becomes a virtual competition. One of my plan-ahead daughters haunted gifty shops right after each holiday, so now I have a whole year’s supply of seasonal door adorns. A plastic storage tub would be welcome for stashing the others while one season has its day on the door.

•  Able-bodied people don’t realize that to the infirm or chair-bound, it’s just as hard to reach down low as up high. A shoe bag for a closet wall or door raises footwear to eye level.

•  Game time: For arthritic hands, a card holder. Fading eyes? Oversized cards. Dominos, either ordinary, low-cost white-on-black or upscale ebony-on-ivory. Look for any number of games involving two, four or more. Socializing is a proven panacea against depression when you’re old and alone.

•  I’ve mentioned all these in the past, but they’re worth repeating: a box of greeting cards and stamps for mailing, easy-grip pens, books to read and share, a rubber stamp and ink pad or a roll of address stickers for all sorts of things, handy pill boxes.

If you’re Mom and don’t want yet another bottle of hand lotion, just clip this column and share it with the kids. These suggestions work just as well for Pop on his day, too.