Written by Active Minds on Wednesday the 21st of February 2018.
Mother’s Day is a special time for families to spend time with their mother’s (or grandmothers). However, if your loved one is living with dementia then Mother’s Day can become a difficult occasion. Your mother may be confused, or seem disengaged and uninterested in the celebration, which can have an impact on the family around them. But try not to let this affect making plans for the day.
It is important to still recognise Mother’s Day, and is the perfect excuse to spend quality time with your loved one, creating a day that will make them feel special and loved. Try to make the plans as personal as possible, as well as choosing environments that will not agitate your loved one. For example, a busy restaurant for a Mother’s Day meal may not be suitable, but celebrating the occasion in their own home, with their close family around them, will make them feel comfortable and calm.
If your mother has always been a lover of art, then creating her very own art session will make her feel loved, as well as perhaps sparking memories of previous times when she enjoyed this hobby. If it’s a nice day (Mother’s Day is the 11th March so we may be lucky), then set up an easel and paints in the garden or local park, one for every member of the family in attendance. Spend time painting the environment around you, helping your loved one with their art, and discussing the process with them.
If your mother is less dexterous and finds handing paints and brushes difficult, then Aquapaints are a fantastic alternative. Gorgeous images appear by a simple stroke of a water soaked brush, which then disappear when dried, ready to be enjoyed again.
Rather than taking your loved one out to a busy, loud restaurant for a Mother’s Day lunch, bring the lunch to them. Get the whole family involved in creating a delicious roast, asking your mum to join in if possible. Cooking is a fantastic way to spark memory, as the smells and tastes can illicit strong recollections.
If your loved one struggles with eating food, a symptom often related to dementia, then make sure you have some food on the menu that is easy for her to chew and swallow.
It is often traditional on Mother’s Day to buy a loved one flowers, but why not go one step further and get your mother to help pick and arrange the flowers with you. Spend a leisurely morning in the garden smelling and picking the flowers, or in a florist choosing the types of flowers she enjoys. You can purchase some oasis bases or small vases to arrange the flowers in. Help your mum create a beautiful arrangement that she can then enjoy, and be proud of, for the following week.