About 10 years ago my daughter and I took Pearl (my ninety plus year old mother in law) out shopping thinking she would enjoy Chico’s. Ladies, how many places can you still shop and comfortably try on a size three? My kind of miracle. As Pearl was a true size three, everything was too large for her. I found some earrings on sale and then we left. She announced that she didn’t like that old lady store, we ended up at Sears.
Some tips for shopping for our older loved ones: It is important to give seniors easy clothing, pull on pieces with few fasteners that often confuse and make getting dressed difficult. To make it easier to pull items on and off, steer clear of tight clothing. However, watch pant lengths as they can be a fall hazard. Involve them in the color and style choices of course, they still have opinions.
Layers are good especially when going in and out of air conditioning. (We once had to get a dirty sweatshirt from the trunk of the car for her in a restaurant. The temp was 102 that day but in the air conditioning I was looking for the telltale signs of frostbite.)
When Grandma was 97 I snuck into her room in the spring and got rid of all her shorts before she tried to go out in them and we ended up on the “Seen at Walmart” page. I do think there’s a cutoff point after which only capri pants are good for summer, 97 seemed a fair age. Heck, I hit that point at 62.
Another thing we had to do away with was her slide-on sandals with the little heel. That lady was catching herself on the stairs at least once a day in her cute little shoes. It was just a matter of time until she took a hip-breaking tumble.
Hiding any woman’s shoes is an endeavor fraught with peril. We were less nervous the year we took her late husband’s car keys from him. Ron and I used the “Bait and Switch” technique, it went something like this (The bait):
“Hey, Mom, do you want to go shoe shopping?
“Oh, Yes, just let me get my purse.”
At the shoe store she found a pair of white canvas tennis shoes and a good sturdy pair of loafers. We added to these a few pairs of ankle socks (in various trim colors) (buy one get one) and we were done and headed home.
It took about two weeks for her pleasant post-shopping haze to wear off before she started to ask for her sandals. Dang it, we tore that house apart looking for those shoes. Just where could they be? She never found out the truth. In a highly secretive and complicated mission involving the store clerks (the switch), we had placed her “sandals of death” in the shoe box and left it at the store.