Dementia and Mother’s Day- 9 Ways To Honor Mom
Living with a parent who has dementia is challenging, but it seems ever harder on holidays. With Mother’s Day approaching, you may be wondering how to celebrate. Dementia and Mother's Day may pose some challenges.
A lot of noise and strange faces can be confusing for someone living with dementia. But there are ways to celebrate without distressing mom or the family.
Honoring Mom on Mother’s Day
Depending on what stage of dementia they are at, it’s wise to keep things as simple as possible.
Put Together A Photo Album
Put together a photo album that mom can look at whenever she likes. Include lots of pictures of mom at various ages and lots of familiar places. Pictures of big events like weddings, holiday pictures, family pets throughout the years, and all the kids from young to their current age.
Depending on her dementia, she may remember the old photos of places you went on holiday, her wedding day, past Christmases, and pictures of the kids when they were smaller.
Create a Special Lunch
Dementia and Mother's Day activities don't need to be grand. Have a simple, quiet lunch with just a few family members. Keep it to a small group, mostly with people that visit her regularly. Have lunch at home or wherever mom lives and is most comfortable.
Include some of her favorite foods, something she used to make for occasions like this. Certain smells and flavors of her own recipes might be very comforting and familiar.
Go For a Walk
A nice walk to the park or around the old neighborhood can be very invigorating on a nice spring day. Someplace familiar might be comforting and trigger some old memories.
It’s also nice for her to get a bit of fresh air and exercise if she doesn’t get out and about much anymore. Go somewhere quiet and maybe even take a picnic lunch.
Go For a Drive
Take mom out for a nice drive. Maybe around your old neighborhood, out to the country for a peaceful afternoon, or to a park or the swimming pool. If there is a place your mom used to love to go, think about a trip there if it’s not too strenuous and overstimulating.
Avoid crowds, traffic jams, if possible, and unfamiliar places. Maybe a few of the family and your mom could go for a nice picnic somewhere quiet and safe. Perhaps a nice park with lots of flowers. You don’t want to get too far from home, just in case, she wants to go back.
Arts and Crafts
If there was something your mom loved to do that was artsy, engage in those activities with her. She might really enjoy revisiting her old hobbies. Paints, crayons, paper, scissors, and some glue with glitter.
You can make Mother’s Day cards or make everyone a nice spring bonnet. Attach paper flowers, sparkles, stickers, and anything else that is easy to work with and that she can keep.
Spend Time Together
If mom lives in a memory care home, just go visit her. Take her a cake or some treat she likes, and just hang out with her. Maybe do her nails, or her hair, share some lunch, and talk to her like you used to do.
Talk about your kids, your job, what’s going on with your siblings, and just normal regular things that happen during your day. You never know what she might remember and it might be very comforting to hear your voice.
If mom is in the earlier stages of dementia she might enjoy playing games. Some easy board games, jigsaw puzzles, and even some card games can be familiar and stimulating. Certain games may be very welcome and jigsaw puzzles and cards for solitaire can be a great gift that she can enjoy for a long time.
Appropriate Gifts for Mother's Day
You can get mom some nice gifts that she will be able to enjoy. Think about some soft clothes, like sweatpants and tops, slippers, socks, bathrobe, and clothing items that are easy to get on and off.
CDs and music are a great gift. Find some of mom’s favorite music that she has always loved that she can play whenever she likes. These can be very familiar and comforting to someone with dementia and music is often used as part of therapy.
Puzzles, cards, photos, books and magazines, puzzle books with crosswords and other puzzles, writing paper, doodle books, coloring books, and anything else mom might like or remember using or enjoying.
Keep Up Traditions
If you always used to make mom some french toast or give her breakfast in bed, then keep doing that. Traditions are very comforting, even if they no longer remember them. You may even want to let her have a video chat with someone who is far away.
Make the day about mom. Ask her what she wants to do if it is appropriate. Otherwise, just keep her happy and let her feel loved and safe. It’s a difficult time for everyone, but it doesn’t need to be.
A small Residential Care Home like Light Heart Memory Care is able to give someone with this disease the extra care and attention they need.
Light Heart Memory Care homes are specially designed for 8 residents. This gives us the ability to give personalized care to each and every resident.
In honor of our founder Pat Mack, we are carrying on the tradition of caring for our residents in "The Light Heart Way"
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