Gifts to Boost Your Mom's Well-Being and Longevity

Help Boost Your Mom's Longevity

Mother's Day, birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays are all great opportunities to tell your mom how much she means to you. Why not give her a present that will make her feel great, and help her live better, and longer, as well? Here are some healthy gift ideas for your mother or grandmother, for their special day.

A Night Out Together

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Since staying connected and fostering strong social bonds are significant contributors to longevity, consider a gift of time with your mom, aunt, or grandmother. Whether it's tickets to a concert or play, participating in a volunteer project, or simply the promise of doing an activity together, a "date" can make her feel special in a way that a purchased item may not. Even a simple outing like taking her to visit a good friend, with lunch along the way, can be enjoyable for you both, and will help her feel that her social ties are intact, and thriving.

Be Her Biographer

Moms and grandmothers have so much knowledge to impart, and it's easy to assume they'll always be there to offer insights or memories. You can document their experiences on paper (as a legacy journal), or digitally, on-camera or as an audio record, for future generations. Not only will you uncover surprising or funny recollections, but in the case of memories captured as audio or video, you'll have the added bonus of gestures, and expressions, to boot. One friend tells me it's her mom's voice she misses the most, since her mother's passing. This is one way to preserve that wonderful presence.

Such a project need not be elaborate, or time-consuming. Consider capturing simple moments with a video camera, such as your mom describing the steps as she prepares a favorite family dish, or in her garden, explaining how she chooses what to plant, and where. As a long-time television documentary-maker, I know the value of even short bits of video, as a wonderful family archive.

For advice on how to interview family members, and which questions to ask, see these tips from our Geneology guide, Kimberly Powell.


Sharon Basaraba

These little devices can be had for less than $25, yet their contribution to a better night's sleep can be invaluable. Recommended by sleep experts, machines that generate white noise and nature sounds can help your mom fall asleep, and stay asleep, longer. Some Consumers Reports readers claim that noise machines help them sleep almost as well as medication designed for that purpose.


Gardening Accessories or Books

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Being in nature can reduce stress and improve well-being — so anything that can help your mom enjoy being outside, is a longevity-booster. If she's an avid gardener, consider updating her collection of tools or landscaping books, to make her time in the garden more enjoyable.

Gratitude Poster

Sharon Basaraba

A variation of the "memory book" you might create as a scrapbooking gift, this is a project of the time-not-money variety. Make a list of the things you love about her; get your family members involved! If it's a major birthday milestone, trying using that age as a number of items for the list. For example, come up with "70 Things We Love About Grandma", as a 70th birthday present.

It may sound like a daunting task — even for a well-loved mother or grandmother — but you'll probably find that you gain steam as you add more items to the list. This is a terrific way to show appreciation for someone who's getting older, and my bet is that you'll feel as great about assembling this present, as she will, receiving it.

Chocolate Subscription

Sharon Basaraba

Chocolate "subscription" services offer monthly deliveries of delicious anti-aging chocolate right to Mom's front door. Companies like the Cocoa Boutique boast offerings made by the same chocolatier who made Prince William and Catherine's chocolate wedding cake. These online subscriptions are expensive, but provide a delicious experience to be enjoyed more than once.


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If your mom is a record-keeper, she may enjoy a longevity journal. These books are tailor-made to track healthy habits like regular exercise, diet, and meditation. There's evidence that keeping track will help habits become more firmly established, and she may find it motivating to chart her progress towards an active lifestyle.


Cookbook Highlighting an Anti-Aging Food

Sharon Basaraba

Whether it's filled with recipes for quinoa, chia seeds, whole grains, or some other component of an anti-aging diet, a cookbook can give your mom ideas of how to incorporate healthy foods into her daily routine. If she's an adventurous cook, consider offering her a culinary course for new techniques and recipes.

  • See my review of the Food Lover's Healthy Habits Cookbook