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Celebrating Mother's Day When Mom Has Dementia

Honoring your mom this Mother’s Day can be challenging if she has Alzheimer’s or dementia – here are some ways to keep the day special for the whole family

If your senior mom or dad has dementia, you are most likely aware of how challenging holidays can be. The commotion of family and friends stopping over, unfamiliar faces, and disruption of daily routines can make seniors with dementia confused and upset. Taking special care to keep your senior involved in the holidays in a way that fits their abilities can keep the holidays special and low stress.

However, for holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day that center around your senior parent, different challenges arise. If your mom has Alzheimer’s or dementia, she may feel a sense of loss because of the changes being experienced as a result of the disease. At the same time, you and other family members may struggle with figuring out how to celebrate Mother’s Day with someone living with Alzheimer’s. [Source]

If your mom lives in an assisted living facility or memory care home, professional caregivers often take extra care to make Mother’s Day special. Whether it is fresh flowers on the dining tables, activities and outdoor exercise, or games and movies, assisted living homes can help families honor Mother’s Day in a setting that is familiar and comfortable to Mom and Dad.

Women & Dementia

Women are at the center of the Alzheimer’s and dementia, and this burden on women can be very apparent on Mother’s Day when families gather to honor mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. Women are more likely to develop dementia than men and women are more likely to assume the role of family caregiver when a parent or senior relative is diagnosed with dementia. Although Alzheimer’s disease impacts men, women, and families throughout the world, the profound impact it has on women makes Alzheimer’s education an important part of Mother’s Day celebrations.

Here are 3 key facts about women and dementia:

  1. The World Health Organization lists dementia in the top 5 causes of death for women worldwide
  2. Women provide the majority of both unpaid and formal care to people living with dementia [Source]
  3. Nearly 13 million American women are living with or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease

Caring for a mother, grandmother, or other female relatives with dementia is a rewarding and noble responsibility. However, it is important for family caregivers to recognize that they are not alone and can find the support and assisted living services they need to provide the best care for a loved one while looking after their personal well-being. If this Mother’s Day you notice that Mom could use some extra help, learn about residential memory care services in Wichita, KS, and the surrounding areas.

Making Mother’s Day a Success

Mother’s Day can continue to be a cherished day for your mom or grandmother, as well as the rest of your family, even as they are living with dementia. Planning for the day will take more thought and each family’s unique situation should be considered.

Here are a few tips from assisted living and memory care professionals:

  • Simplicity is key – Consider a celebratory lunch at home or wherever your mom is most comfortable. Avoiding a lot of travel time or disruption in her daily schedule can help her stay calm and relaxed. Have family members bring a potluck of favorite dishes or order take-out from a restaurant that Mom hasn’t been to but enjoys.
  • Adapt gift giving – Depending on what stage of Alzheimer’s your loved one is in, their abilities and interests may be different. A new CD, comfortable clothing, photos and flowers, or comfort items like blankets and slippers can make good gifts. Perhaps instead of buying a gift, plan a family activity such as going for walk or playing a card game.
  • Find support – Ask other family members to help with planning your Mother’s Day celebration by bringing food, games, or simply showing up. If you find that you need help providing adequate memory care, talk with your family about residential Alzheimer’s care options near you. Holidays are frequently a time when families get together and recognize the decline in a senior loved one they haven’t seen recently.

Honoring your mom or grandma this Mother’s Day can be achieved through a little planning and a positive attitude. Ask for help if you need it and know that you have options when the time for assisted living memory services occurs. Understanding your loved one’s dementia and being informed can help you and your family plan for their future care needs together.

For more information about memory care services provided by ComfortCare Homes, please call our office at (316) 444-0532.

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