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Awkward relative present ideas please

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  • DomRavioli
    DomRavioli Posts: 3,136 Forumite
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    Why not ask the uncle that she cares for for suggestions? He may have heard her mention something she would like, or may know what sort of foods she would like so you could do her a mini hamper of edible treats.

    Or perhaps a nice throw for putting over her knee on a cold evening with a small tin of "luxury" type biscuits or chocolates.

    He can't speak due to his disability. We do have a form of communication, but it doesn't go as far as that I'm afraid.

    A blanket sounds good, she does say she's cold when I visit (the house is like a sauna!) thank you :)
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    DomRavioli wrote: »
    She hasn't given a long list of things she doesn't want - those are things we have tried in the past.

    And she's a full time carer at 80 for her 56 year old severely disabled son, she doesn't have time to even think about putting hand cream on, let alone say which one she likes. She spends every day caring for him, she gets no respite from anyone apart from me (we've asked, they won't do it, and say he needs to be in residential care full time).

    She has dedicated her life to looking after her son, so doesn't have time for hobbies, friends, a life of her own. Maybe if you actually knew what that felt like (having to constantly check his airway, tube/peg feeding, manual lifting, incontinence to name just a few), then you wouldn't have this !!!!!! attitude.

    Me and my !!!!!! attitude made myself ill looking after my Mum and Dad until they died. :(

    The best present would be to get help for your uncle. He is entitled to it - he has the right to stay at home if that what he wants.
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    A pot plant and a bottle of perfume.

    All old ladies love one of those Xmas pot plants - the red one (forget its name). As for perfume, just get something that's been around years; my mum (90) loved Je Reviens by Worth.

    Sneak a peek in her bathroom - can you see evidence that she uses bubble bath, or soap, or similar things you can buy/wrap up. And what about flannels? Do the grubby ones in the bathroom look like she could do with a new flannel or two?

    Look around the house for evidence of goodies ... whether that's favourite biscuits, crisps or chocolate bars.... whatever you find, buy 1-4 of those. It doesn't matter that she's partial to a packet of Ritz.... if you buy/wrap those it's the thought that counts!

    Don't be afraid to buy her "regular, every day stuff".
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,362 Forumite
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    edited 1 November 2015 at 6:15PM
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    DomRavioli wrote: »
    Hi all :)

    I am at a complete loss as to what to get her, yet again. She is an absolute nightmare to buy for, she says she doesn't want anything, but she doesn't want me to waste money on "something stupid like a cow in Africa" (her words, not mine), so can't even donate to a charity for her.

    Personally, I'd take her at her word.
    I know it feels awful to you, as if you don't care if you don't get anything, but when my grandmother was alive and saying she didn't want anything, she really meant it. She'd got a house full of stuff she'd been given that she didn't want, so why add to it?

    So I used to get a few cheap bits - she liked dates, so I'd wrap her up some things like that, her harvest festival knickers that she couldn't get out to get for herself, a funny present from the dog (invariably ended up in the bin but pound shop tat that made her laugh so that was ok), and I'd try to spend more time with her.

    She couldn't do long trips out, but a half hour drive to see the bluebells when they came out, things like that meant far more to her than "stuff." Obviously depends on you and your circumstances, and how long she'll leave her son for, but time and company mean a lot more than things, in those circumstances.
    The only other thing that comes to mind is a pamper session coming to her house - any possibility of anyone uncle-sitting while she gets a hand massage and a manicure, for example?

    Edit - I'd also agree with Mojisola about getting more help in. She's entitled to an assessment along with her son under the Care Act which has just come in, and the LA saying residential or nothing is rubbish.

    https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/getting-care-and-support/care-act-faq

    What about respite, for example, or day centres to give her a break. There are places for people with profound/multiple needs, peg feeds etc, and transport can be provided.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • DomRavioli
    DomRavioli Posts: 3,136 Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    Me and my !!!!!! attitude made myself ill looking after my Mum and Dad until they died. :(

    The best present would be to get help for your uncle. He is entitled to it - he has the right to stay at home if that what he wants.

    And as I've stated in previous posts on this thread, they have all they are entitled to. He doesn't want residential care, the council have been pressing for it for 25 years. They won't offer respite (cutbacks) and direct payments ended when my nan refused to put him in a home (3 years ago).

    The ironic thing is my sister is a social worker, and she's pulled every string she can to keep him home.

    Not that this has anything to do with you, or the thread. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience in caring for your parents, but believe me, I would give up everything I have in order for him to stay home. I know what happens in those places, he's better than that.
  • DomRavioli
    DomRavioli Posts: 3,136 Forumite
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    elsien wrote: »
    Personally, I'd take her at her word.
    I know it feels awful to you, as if you don't care if you don't get anything, but when my grandmother was alive and saying she didn't want anything, she really meant it. She'd got a house full of stuff she'd been given that she didn't want, so why add to it?

    So I used to get a few cheap bits - she liked dates, so I'd wrap her up some things like that, her harvest festival knickers that she couldn't get out to get for herself, a funny present from the dog (invariably ended up in the bin but pound shop tat that made her laugh so that was ok), and I'd try to spend more time with her.

    She couldn't do long trips out, but a half hour drive to see the bluebells when they came out, things like that meant far more to her than "stuff." Obviously depends on you and your circumstances, and how long she'll leave her son for, but time and company mean a lot more than things, in those circumstances.
    The only other thing that comes to mind is a pamper session coming to her house - any possibility of anyone uncle-sitting while she gets a hand massage and a manicure, for example?

    Those sound really good - back in the day she was a very well dressed woman. We can take him out (we have an accessible car we can just wheel him straight into) and he's easy going as long as its flat (he's heavy, and his power chair can be a nightmare sometimes).

    We live near some great countryside so I think some trips out and a tesco voucher it is :) thank you!
  • PasturesNew
    PasturesNew Posts: 70,698 Forumite
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    elsien wrote: »
    ... her harvest festival knickers that she couldn't get out to get for herself ....
    Ah, there's another idea: knickers and nighties. They don't have to be posh if she doesn't wear posh things (probably doesn't). Market stalls and cheaper shops sell packs of big old lady knickers in sets of 3 and some regular/old lady style nighties. Size in these is pretty flexible, but if you can get a clue/hint about size that's good, otherwise get a photo of her and ask people you know to look at it and guess her size.

    Also - some new slippers. Safe ones that aren't a trip hazard are essential, so look for velcro fastenings, fully enclosed. Brantano do some. e.g. they look like this: https://www.brantano.co.uk/imagesresized/catalog/product/343x343/2694421623_01.jpg or this: https://www.brantano.co.uk/imagesresized/catalog/product/343x343/2694421221_01.jpg
    Other styles can be a problem/danger to older people (whether they'll agree or not).
  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    DomRavioli wrote: »
    She hasn't given a long list of things she doesn't want - those are things we have tried in the past.

    And she's a full time carer at 80 for her 56 year old severely disabled son, she doesn't have time to even think about putting hand cream on, let alone say which one she likes. She spends every day caring for him, she gets no respite from anyone apart from me (we've asked, they won't do it, and say he needs to be in residential care full time).

    She has dedicated her life to looking after her son, so doesn't have time for hobbies, friends, a life of her own. Maybe if you actually knew what that felt like (having to constantly check his airway, tube/peg feeding, manual lifting, incontinence to name just a few), then you wouldn't have this !!!!!! attitude.

    Perhaps buying her some respite care might be the best present you could give her?
  • supersuzie50
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    My mother is 95 and likes being taken out for afternoon tea or lunch - is this a possibility?

    My mother appreciates wool gloves or woolen jumpers but they have to be British wool!!!! Sometimes you can find these in a charity shop?

    Or maybe a voucher to have afternoon tea at home prepared by you. She could maybe invite a friend.

    Mother likes to be taken to the shops.

    I do appreciate it is a complete nightmare.
  • duchy
    duchy Posts: 19,511 Forumite
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    As a lot of this is to have something to open - I'd go for a Slanket or a cardy from M&S (so she can grumble she doesn't like it and exchange it ;) )
    I Would Rather Climb A Mountain Than Crawl Into A Hole

    MSE Florida wedding .....no problem
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