Mother's Day: Making it Special for Your Older Mom

May 2, 2016

Mother's Day gift

A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take.-Cardinal Mermillod

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a while but their hearts forever.

Show Mom You Care This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a great time to show Mom just how much you care. That seems obvious, but it may not always be easy to do well. What would Mom most appreciate, how can you show her you care if you’re separated by distance or if she suffers from dementia? Our team is here to help with some great Mother’s Day ideas, no matter what your situation.

Time Together

Spending time together is one of the best gifts for Mother’s Day. If you can, plan a meal together or a fun activity. Some ideas we love include a spa appointment or mani/pedi together. Moms always deserve pampering and Moms of all ages love a nice massage, facial or having pretty nails. Another great idea is taking Mom to her favorite restaurant or cooking her favorite dish. Restaurants can be crowded on Mother’s Day so cooking at home can be more relaxing and just as special. What about preparing one of Mom’s famous recipes together, with the added bonus of you learning how to carry on a family tradition?

Another idea is to check the local event listings to find out if there’s something fun she’d love, such as a craft fair, play/performance or sporting event. We share lots of local events on our Facebook page, so join us there for the latest. Don’t forget our senior concierge team can provide physical assistance for outings to make things go smoothly!

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

For great gift ideas for Moms of all ages, check out Linda’s Top 20 Mother’s Day Gifts for 2016. Linda has hand-selected items for all interests and price ranges to make your Mother’s Day shopping easy!

Long-Distance Mother’s Day

When you can’t be there on Mother’s Day, send a gift and card (write a note thanking your Mom for what she’s done for you and/or sharing special memories) but also make sure to plan a time to talk. Even better, you could use Skype or Facetime to video chat. Our caregivers often help clients do this using their phones, or help families set up the technology for the elder on an iPad (this is a great gift idea if your parent doesn’t have one yet). It’s especially great if you can get the grandkids on the chat so the whole family can have virtual time together. Plan the time so it works well for you and Mom and make sure you’re not rushed so you can take time to chat and listen without being distracted.

You might consider hiring a companion to take Mom out for a spa day, meal or activity, in addition to your call. Nothing substitutes for you being there, but it’s still a great way to make sure Mom has a nice day.

It’s also a special Mother’s Day surprise if you can tell Mom about your specific plans for an upcoming visit. The anticipation of you coming in person is a great gift. Also, if you do get the chance to fly in for Mother’s Day, don’t book up all your time with tasks and appointments. This is tempting for long-distance caregivers with a lot to handle, but make sure there’s enough time to enjoy together (our team can help you with tasks, so your visit isn’t overflowing with to-do’s).

Moms with Dementia

Here are some tips for making Mother’s Day special for your Mom when she has dementia:

  • Music, touch and the sound of your voice connect for people even in the late stages of dementia. If Mom can’t communicate much anymore, simply sit and talk with her and respond when she does, even if it doesn’t make sense. The basic human need to interact and be acknowledged is so important. Massage lotion into her arms and hands, play her favorite music or sit together and watch a favorite show. Many of our clients sing along even when they are otherwise non-verbal and many also laugh with comedy or slapstick shows (or along with others laughing).
  • Food can be pleasurable and comforting. Consider making Mom an old favorite or bringing her carry out from a restaurant she loved. Taste changes with age and brain changes, so items may need a little more seasoning and sweets often please the palate.
  • We suggest sensory/comfort gifts: a warm blanket, fluffy pillow, comfortable clothing, music (load up an MP3 player or iPad) or Alzheimer’s specialty products (see our gift suggestions for persons with dementia).

Mother’s Day When Mom is No Longer Here

Our warm thoughts are with those of you who have lost your Mom, on this Mother’s Day. Take some time to acknowledge your sadness and memorialize Mom. Consider creating a tradition on Mother’s Day or your Mom’s birthday, whether visiting her grave or something like sending off a balloon or planting something in her memory. Maybe your Mom was a giving person who always helped others? Participate in a volunteer effort or make a donation in her memory.

Even if it’s taking a few minutes to read some old letters or look at photos, it is important to remember your Mom and acknowledge your feelings. This can be true when your Mom is in the late stages of dementia also, as you grieve the loss of who she was.

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Topics: Caregivers

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