Every year on Mother’s Day, I’m struck by how difficult it is to find a fresh approach to a holiday that I’ve been celebrating annually since I was old enough to glue macaroni to a piece of construction paper. And the challenge only grows if you’re shopping for a senior and want to honor decades of motherhood while presenting something that will delight her today.
I know from my experience arranging in-home care for a loved one how complicated the dynamics can be between aging mothers and their adult children. Which is why, as Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve put some thought into new ideas that will charm your aging mom. But it’s up to you to remember to choose – or write – a thoughtful card!
Bragging rights: If your mom is quick on the draw with photos of the grandkids, look no further than an embossed personalized leather keychain envelope with a metal-printed photo inside. It’s a snazzy and functional keepsake she’ll be delighted with every time she reaches into her purse. etsy.com/ca/shop/CreateGiftLove ($37).
Peace of mind: If your mom gets agita from managing that pile of bills every month, skip the flowers and instead sign her up with a company that will handle this dreaded task. Silver Bills is a secure service geared towards seniors that “relieves the burden of paying bills” by handing all payments and paperwork. They scrutinize each bill to ensure its accuracy, and provide one neat summary at the end of every month. A one-year subscription to this snappy service is a great way to say “Mom, it’s my turn to make your life easier and better.” visit silverbills.com
Ladies’ lunch: The Senior Cafe at the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center, in Providence, hosts a lovely Mother’s Day lunch every year, even handing out flowers to moms. So if you and your mom would like to skip cooking a holiday meal in favor of dining out among friendly faces, plan your day around it. But remember, reservations are required at least two days in advance.
For more information or to make a reservation, contact Neal or Elaine at 401-421-4111.
Go green: If your mother has a green thumb – or she aspires to one – she’ll love this self-watering herb garden. Suitable for either planted or cut herbs, it’ll be the perfect addition to her windowsill.
Houzz.com, Cole & Mason Planter ($23).
The big picture: Make nearsightedness glamorous with a chic marble magnifying glass. Reading the mail never looked so good.
Wayfair.com, Emily Quinn Fraga Marble Magnifying Glass ($47).
The game is on: Whatever your mom’s game of choice is – mah jong? canasta? bridge? dominoes? – splurge on a deluxe version … and a promise to play. And if she’s feeling generous, too, maybe she’ll even let you win!
ofakind.com, Hitchcock Domino Set ($68).
The heat: For those suffering from arthritis or other health conditions, heat can be incredibly soothing. What’s cozier than snuggling up on the couch with a pair of warm mittens while you watch TV? This pair is one-size-fits-all, washable, and specifically designed to soothe aches and warm up extremities that are cold due to blood pressure medications. Go ahead and make your mom comfortable – because that old adage “cold hands, warm heart” doesn’t mean anything anyhow.
Amazon.com, Warmables ($32).
Dine like a king: Rhode Island native Joan Nathan’s newest cookbook, “King Solomon’s Table,” stays true to her ethos of no-nonsense instructions, foolproof recipes and relatable storytelling. The book is as gorgeous as it is functional, and whether or not your mother likes to cook, chances are she’ll love flipping through its pages and tabbing favorites to talk about. If you’re feeling ambitious, pick a recipe to cook together. Or pick several. Not feeling it? Watch “Julie & Julia” together for inspiration!
NAOMI FINK COTRONE runs the Right at Home of Rhode Island agency, which provides care to elderly and disabled adults throughout Rhode Island. She will be spending Mother’s Day with her husband and two teenage children, and hopes that if they read this, they’ll know to buy her a spa gift certificate.