Celebrating holidays can be a challenge for families who have a loved one with dementia. Past traditions often need to give way to new realities. On Mother’s Day, many adult children wonder how to celebrate a day that may no longer hold any meaning for the honoree. But regardless of your mother’s particular circumstances, most mothers enjoy spending time with someone who appreciates and pays attention to them. We all have a need for human connection and simply having you near is something your mother will appreciate.
Some of the ways you can ensure that celebrating your Mom will be an enjoyable time for both of you could be by sharing a meal, creating a memorable day and celebrating the relationship you have now. Mother’s Day is a time when we can say thank you to our mothers for all their care and support in our lives. Our thanks can be given in the form of words or gifts but what is important to most mothers, is the recognition of their role in their family’s life.
As someone who’s been working with people who have dementia for over 10 years, I’ve seen many different ways of Mother’s Day being celebrated, but what has stood out the most for me is when I see family gather together in celebration of their mother. No matter how much the dementia has affected them, the love that they feel at that moment breaks through any barriers and touches their neshama.
At One Kenton Place, Mother’s Day is a really BIG deal! We make sure we plan events so our residents can have a family experience, and provide a positive family atmosphere, so even the resident whose families are not able to visit can still feel that joy of a family experience.
While seeing someone you’ve loved all your life slowly slip away from you is understandably traumatic, it’s important to acknowledge that the person who does exist is still a lovable human being in need of compassion. Recognize that whatever its form, you still have a relationship, and that it deserves to be nurtured just like any other relationship.
Regardless of whether your mother may or may not remember you, you can still express love and caring. That remains important and relevant at any stage in life.
Happy Mother’s Day!