Three Sweet Gifts for Elders and Their Caregivers

Breathe Mug from Stress ResourcesNow that the wild flurry of December holidays is over, I’m settling back into a more relaxed relationship with the subject of gift-giving. From the safe vantage point of mid-January, I view my family’s upcoming birthdays with equanimity, knowing that my husband (February) and son (March) already love me and do not require proof of my love for them in the form of perfect presents.

Still, I think that the art of the gift can be well worth practicing, both for the giver and the recipient. With that gentler approach in mind, let me suggest three sweet gifts* for elders and their caregivers to raise the spirits in any season.

1. Breathe Mug:  Perfect for elders and caregivers alike, Stress Resources’ new mug reminds us to take a healing breath. Also available, the Breathe Mug and Meditation CD, four mindfulness meditations by nurse/meditation teacher Pamela Katz Ressler with guitar music composed by Louis Arnold.

2. Miniature Canvas on Easel:  Add visual interest to mealtimes with a festive place card. Use a colorful felt-tip marker to write a loving message on a miniature artist’s canvas. A plate stand makes an attractive holder. I found everything I needed at the West Concord (MA) 5 & 10, but you could order small stretched canvasses online at Dick Blick and plate stands at Plate Stand Source.

3. Scrub tops and pants:  Bring charm and comfort to the daily tasks of care with affordable custom clothing from Sassy Scrubs. Sized from XXXS to 6XL, these medical scrubs are a practical gift for men as well as women. Choose from over 1400 prints and solids in cotton, polyester, or blends. The Snappy Scrub Top, which opens in the front, can be a good selection for a loved one who spends a lot of time in bed.

Finally, may you enjoy the intangible gifts of ease and contentment in the year to come.

Note: These ideas are freely offered and I do not receive any compensation from the companies mentioned. 

4 thoughts on “Three Sweet Gifts for Elders and Their Caregivers

  1. Terrific, these are imaginative suggestions. Art and yoga (or say meditation generally)–there should be more of them in all our lives.

    *Full disclosure: I am Mary Ann’s sister. But unbiased!


      1. My wife and I are members of the sandiwch generation in a sense. Our 54 year old disabled (from birth) daughter was under out personal care at home until 2010. She is mentally and physically impaired, partially paralyzed, confined to a wheelchair, is incontinent, has ESRD requiring dialysis three times a week and currently lives in a retirement facility where we struggle to get the kind of care she must have to survive. She resists any personal care from almost anyone but me (father). My wife’s memory is fading, she has periods of confusion, has vision problems and has lost her sense of taste. We are 78 and are working on plans to provide for our daughter’s future. For now, I provide the minimal care required for my wife. I have been diagnosed with leukemia but currently do not require treatments.In spite of our daughter living in an excellent retirement facility, we are still required to help with her care, manage her personal affairs and shepherd her through multiple hospital events every year. Our costs are high our income is limited. We have excellent legal and professional advisers. In spite of all the excellent help, we feel alone in our daily struggles. We worry that we are making the right decisions


      2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. One of the reasons that I started the Joyous Paradox blog over a year ago was to offer a respectful place for all of us who are involved in caring for others to talk about the realities of our experience. It’s a way of connecting, here online, that may ease the loneliness. I know that’s true for me when I write to you. All the best, Mary Ann


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