Good Morning, Decor to Adore Readers. I’m Deborah McCarthy from The Fairfield House and am honored to be contributing to Laura’s wonderful blog.
This weekend is Mother’s Day and as such, women everywhere will be given tokens of love and appreciation — cards, candy, flowers, phone calls, perhaps a visit and taken out for a meal. My mother will be 81 next month and lives in our home. With that in mind, I decided to share my Favorite Five Gifts to Give An Older Parent.
1). Your presence, not presents mean more than anything you could purchase or create. When you’ve lived as long as my mother, you’ve accumulated a lot of items. Although she treasures her collections and each holds sentimental value, none keep her company when I am busy and she sits alone in her room. Give the thing you most value that cannot be replaced, your time. I’m not referring to showing up and sharing the same space out of obligation, but rather connecting in love with gratitude; being engaged in their company and taking an interest in them. Old people have stories to tell and lessons learned. Listen, ask questions, take notes. Go through photo albums. These people are the life lines to our past.
Keep reading for 4 more special gifts!
2). If distance is an obstacle pick up a pen and commit to writing at least one letter a month. Most of the elderly are not members of social media networks so include a photograph. It’s not so much what you write but that they mattered enough that you took the time to write. If you have children encourage them to do the same.
You can’t reread a phone call or linger over the beautiful or illegible script of an email or twitter. A handwritten note is personal and the process of heart to brain to hand to pen to paper shows you care. It takes more effort to mail. You cannot simply press a button to send. You must purchase a stamp, affix this miniature piece of art to the card and walk to a mail box. Real mail is an investment of time, thought and a few coins.
3.) Offer your services. Provide transportation, groceries, medications, landscaping, housekeeping, cook a meal, schedule and escort them to a salon or barber. if you are able and the person is struggling financially, pay a monthly utility bill.
4.) Make a date. Once a week or month, do something special with the persons limitations and interests in mind — an appropriate movie, meal, an “adventure”. It doesn’t have to cost anything. A stroll in a park or visit to a local zoo does the heart and soul good.
5.) Give a gift of well being. I recently brought my mother for a massage. The masseuse specialized in geriatrics and was very gentle. My mother was hesitant and afraid of the unknown, so at her request I remained seated in the corner of the room. My mother enjoyed the experience so much she is now scheduled for one massage a month! By manipulating the body and stimulating the mind, massage provides the perfect balance needed for an individual’s health to thrive.
Mother’s Day can be hard for many people — women who’s mothers or children are no longer living. My heart hurts for all of you but I ask that you consider Galatians 5:13 “Serve one another in love.” Somewhere in your community there is an old person spending the day alone. You can change that.
Here’s hoping all mother’s feel loved today.
Deborah is one of my dearest “true life” friends. She possesses one of the sweetest, kindest souls I have ever met. Her Fairfield House facebook page lifts me up on a daily basis. Thank you for inspiring us today Deborah!