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5 tips for saying ‘thank you’ to your Mum

Mother’s Day is drawing closer. If your mum is older or living in aged care, a thoughtful gift that stimulates and inspires her is sure to brighten her day.

Where would we be without our mothers? Our mums bring us into this world, provide us with unconditional love, guide us and soothe us when we’re hurt. They may even have continued to support and nurture us throughout our adult lives.

Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to say a big collective ‘thank you’ to our mums and to recognise the love they have shown us. Not to mention the hard work, time and passion they have put in along the way.

If you have an older mum or if your mum is in aged care, consider some of the following ideas to make her day brighter on the second Sunday in May.

Update her technology

The idea that older Australians can’t manage modern technology is, in many cases, completely untrue. Many people in their 70, 80s and 90s are avid users of Facebook and other social media sites, and love to keep abreast of what’s going on with the grandkids and other relatives online. If your mum hasn’t made the leap, consider buying her a tablet or a smart phone with a large screen. The software used is extremely intuitive and, with a bit of coaching, even the most technologically reluctant mum will soon be posting updates. As well as giving her a cool gadget to play with, you will be expanding her ability to remain socially connected.

 

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Give her an experience she will remember

Study after study has shown that people value experiences over material gifts and money. Consider giving your mum a Mother’s Day to remember by providing her with an experience. It doesn’t have to be skydiving (although plenty of older people are now giving this a shot!), but something that will challenge, stimulate and enchant your mum will go down best.

If your mum has always spoken about wanting to go for a ride on a Harley Davidson, get her on the back of a bike. If she’s yearned to go sailing on the harbour, book her a session on a yacht. There are plenty of organisations that specialise in arranging experiences if you need a hand.

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Stimulate her mind

There’s lots of evidence that learning in our 70s and 80s stimulates our minds and helps us maintain our brain health. But more than that, learning is great fun! Consider booking a course for your mum in an area that she’s shown an interest in. Maybe she always wanted to learn Italian but never had the time. Or she loves Japanese food and wants to know how to make sushi. Community colleges have lots of great courses and there are lots of private operators running education programs for just about every interest.

Take her for an outing

If your mum has mobility issues or is living in aged care, helping her to get out and have a change of scenery can be the greatest gift of all. As well as having your company, she will get fresh air, stimulation and the chance to interact with others. You might consider taking her down to the beach for fish and chips or maybe out to a live musical performance. Furthermore, if she loves art, you could attend an art gallery. If she’s a nature lover, why not take her on a trip to the mountains?

As well as lifting your mum’s spirits, you will be spending quality time with her.

Read later: why adult children should be involved in their parents’ care.
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Create a photo album for her

Reminiscing is a crucial experience for older people. Research has shown there are mental and physical health and wellbeing benefits to reflecting on the past and remembering our former glories, achievements and the challenges we overcame. You can help your mum do this by putting together a photo album highlighting some of her greatest life achievements.

Remember the TV show, This is Your Life? Maybe present her with an album along the same theme of her life in pictures.  You could include pictures from her childhood, right through to her years as a young mum, grandmother, retirement and now. Sit with her and let her discuss the people and places she sees in the album. That way, together, you can both enjoy the gift.

Chances are she will love having the opportunity to reflect and reminisce on her life… and you will too!

BaptistCare offers a range of in-home services to help elderly Australians live in their own homes longer. To find out more, contact the BaptistCare Customer Engagement Centre on 1300 275 227.

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