Sunday is Mother’s Day, and for many, it might have to take a little more planning because mom may be in an assisted living home.
Mothers everywhere love when they are appreciated and honored in personal, special ways. It’s important to consider the stage your mother is in when selecting a gift or activity. It should reflect her interests and current abilities and be something that is meaningful for her.
Following are more ideas to make Mother’s Day special for those who have a mom with memory impairment or who are in assisted living.
- Converse with staff at the facility beforehand. Learn what they know about your mom’s recent concerns or wishes. Planning a visit instead of just fitting one in can make it all the more rewarding for you and for Mom.
- Plan a car ride to tour her birthplace, previous place of employment, former neighborhood or school. Ask questions so she can reminisce.
- Make arrangements with any friends who may be in the same care home, or one nearby, and treat them to a meal together outside of their care centers, if possible.
- Dining out and family gatherings may not be an option for those with dementia, but a visitation should be welcome. Keep it short, perhaps an hour, but include hand-delivery of a favorite candy or cookies. Time your visit to avoid “sundowning,” a situation for patients with Alzheimer’s in which they get agitated at dusk and have difficulty falling asleep because of it.
- Bring a photo or photos with names, places and relationships labeled and share stories about them. For those with dementia, avoid asking, “Do you know who that is?” Instead, name the people and places, and speak about what is taking place in the photo.
- Residents love mail. After your in-person visit, send her a small item with a card each day that week.
- Shoot a video capturing how much you appreciate Mom.
- Give the gift of music with a CD that stimulates reminiscing. Think about the kind of music she loves and what music might evoke happy times in her life.
- Create a cork board, decorated with pretty fabric, and display family photos on it. Doctor’s notes, appointments and reminders can be posted on it as well.
- Consider presenting Mom with a corsage of her favorite flower. Pin it on her and take her for a walk around the grounds of the facility.
- Keep a log book handy for visitors to record their visits and share a few thoughts. It can be read later and help Mom recall who has come to see her.
- Arrive with a sense of humor, patience, tolerance for confusion and flexibility; leave with a promise and plan to visit often, after Mother’s Day.