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Experience Mother’s Day together

Published in For the Health of It Author: Brenda Turner

Manager of Resident Support Services
St. Benedict's Senior Community

When you were a child, Mother’s Day meant making a card and gift for your mom. She loved your homemade creations. Now, your mom has dementia and you aren’t sure how to honor her on Mother’s Day.

Disrupting the daily routine with a celebration may cause anxiety and stress for someone with dementia. Keep your Mother’s Day celebration simple and small. It’s about the time you spend together — that is your gift to your mom.

Here are some ideas for ways to create memories with your mom:

  • Serve her favorite food: If she is able, you could make one of her favorite recipes together. Just the smell of freshly baked cookies may bring back happy memories. Or just enjoy a meal together. Did she always make scalloped potatoes with ham on Sundays? Recreate your childhood dishes to celebrate the past.
  • Create a garden: Plant flowers, vegetables or herbs together. You can create a windowsill garden or individual pots. The feel of the soil and the scents of the plants may trigger memories.
  • Do an activity: Tactile experiences are great for people with dementia.
    • Work on a jigsaw puzzle together. Choose a puzzle with larger pieces. You could even have one made with a favorite photo.
    • Draw or paint a picture with your mom. Use brightly colored water paints, markers or pencils.
    • Make a collage with family photos. Share a story about each person in the photo.
  • Play music: Create a playlist of her favorite music. If she liked to dance, give it a whirl. Sing along to the music. Or watch a concert on YouTube.
  • Watch a movie: Choose one of her favorite movies or one you think will bring back memories. If you have home movies, watch those together.

If you want to give her a present, here are a few ideas:

  • Fragrant and colorful flowers. If she has a favorite flower or grew specific flowers, those would be great choices to boost her sensory experience.
  • Photos. Organize and create a scrapbook or photo book. Upload photos on a digital picture frame so she can see all the people who love her.
  • Memory box. In a basket or small box, gather some of her favorite things to encourage reminiscing. Consider including family photos, newspaper clippings, postcards, special keepsakes, vacation souvenirs, a key chain, handkerchief, seashells or potpourri sachet.

Live in the moment with your mom. Those are the memories that you will treasure.