By Nancy LeBrun
When the second Sunday in May rolls around, it's easy to order flowers, make a brunch reservation or pick out a card and call it a Mother's Day. If your mom is older, though, she may want something a bit different – including your full attention. As the years go by, time becomes the most precious commodity going, so here are a few ways to make those Mother's Day moments count:
Treat her to a day off.
A break from responsibility is a great way to pamper mom, especially if she's a caregiver. Show up with some fruit and healthy muffins early in the day so she doesn't have to bother with breakfast. Spend the morning cleaning or organizing for her while you chat. Lift her load as much as you can, so that she has a break from whatever responsibilities she deals with on a day-to-day basis. That's a twofer – she's getting to spend the day with you as well as having a change in routine.
Make a special plan.
Design an outing for just the two of you (or include siblings if you prefer). It can be a pedicure, a concert or a garden tour; the possibilities are unlimited. The real gift is doing something special together and having a chance to talk – and listen. Consider incorporating a much-loved hobby into your plan. If a knitting workshop or decorative arts exhibit speaks to her interests, you're going to hit a home run if you arrange to go together.
Give a gift that counts.
If a present is in order, be thoughtful about what you choose. Another sweater or a scarf is fine, but what does mom really need? Could she use a new device like a senior-friendly smartphone that will make it easier for her to keep in touch with friends and family? How about a robotic vacuum or automatic jar opener? Avoid things that will add clutter - it's easy for older folks to have too much stuff already. Think about gifts that can help mom retain her independence and continue to do the things she loves.
Take a pledge.
Commit to calling your mom more often, help get the family photos uploaded or teach her how to use that games app on her phone. You can give her an IOU to help clear out a closet or garage, or make a date to record her oral history. Memories are precious things, and preserving them is a great gift to your entire family.
For older moms, who have seen many a Mother's Day come and go, a truly special day is one with you. It's a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge all she's done for you in a meaningful way.