News Release

5/5/00

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

With Motherís Day just around the corner, the Houston Department of Health and Human Services offers the following gift suggestions for Houstonians with elderly mothers.

Air Conditioning: make sure elderly family members have functional air conditioning and that they utilize it during the hottest parts of the day in the summer. In 1999, five elderly Houstonians died in their homes due to excessive heat and no air conditioning. In 1998, 13 elderly people died in their homes due to heat. As little as two hours a day of refrigerated air conditioning can provide life saving relief to an elderly person. It is not necessary to air condition the entire house.

Lighting: elderly people need more lighting for daily activities than younger people. Improved lighting in the kitchen, bathroom and reading areas will assist seniors in negotiating their daily activities.

Transportation: seniors who no longer drive still have places to go. Make the commitment to provide transportation assistance on a regular basis. Providing transportation will help meet the needs of the senior and provide them with companionship that they may lack at home alone.

Household assistance: during the heat of the summer, it may be difficult for the elderly to care for their yard. Well placed and trimmed trees and shrubs will contribute significantly to indoor temperature reduction. Well maintained grass is cooler than hard packed earth or concrete. Seniors with no or limited air conditioning should restrict their indoor and outdoor activity during the hottest parts of the day in the summer.

While mothers will appreciate cards and gifts for Motherís Day, donít forget the gifts of time spent in conversation, sharing meals or trips to the store.

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