When a mother or senior loved one has dementia, it’s easy to get caught up thinking about how to honor her on Mother’s Day, but it’s also important not to overlook dementia caregivers during this time.
This Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to say thank you to a dementia caregiver in your life by using these five gift-giving tips.
5 Ways to Give Thanks to Dementia Caregivers on Mother’s Day
According to The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, three out of every five people who care for a person with dementia are women. Additionally, of all dementia caregivers, one-third are women who are simultaneously caring for their own children while also caring for a parent or senior loved one.
Although flowers and gifts are nice sentiments, if you want to give something that will really be valued this Mother’s Day, consider giving the gift of your time – something that caregivers never seem to have enough of.
Here are five gift-giving ideas that will show dementia caregivers just how special they really are this Mother’s Day:
1. Encourage journaling.
Buying a personal journal for a mother and encouraging her to sit down each day to write down some of her feelings about dementia caregiving is a great way to honor her on Mother’s Day. Journaling is a powerful way to process emotions, and for some people, it’s the only way they can successfully communicate their feelings.
2. Offer resources.
Do some research and compile a list of online resources and tools for caregivers, then send the list of links to her in an email, with a digital Happy Mother’s Day card. Ideas for some good resources can be found on the Alzheimer’s Association website.
3. Offer respite care.
If you live close enough geographically, offer some respite care time to give her a much-needed break from the daily grind. Think about taking over the caregiving responsibilities for a morning, a day, or longer. If you aren’t comfortable managing caregiving tasks yourself, or if you live too far away, you can always hire a professional. Taking time off from caregiving has been shown to be a vital part of de-stressing for a person’s long-term health and wellbeing.
4. Provide support.
Connect them with a local or online support group that focuses on allowing caregivers to share their feelings, express frustrations and get ideas on how other caregivers cope. This doesn’t mean just informing her that a group exists, but, rather, taking the time to find a local group (or several for her to choose from) and perhaps even offer a ride to the meeting. Like the positive impact that respite care services have on caregivers, support groups help caregivers deal with stress, providing a feeling of comfort and a sense of not being so alone in the caregiving journey.
5. Saying “thank you.”
Honor her by posting her personal story or posting a “thank you” message online. Dementia caregivers may not have the time to sit down and write out their own version of their caregiving journey, so by listening to her feelings and thoughts and jotting down some ideas, you can show the world what a hero she really is. Sharing her story and posting it on Mother’s Day may help her realize just how valuable she really is.
Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to give a dementia caregiver a gift that helps her know how truly important and valued she is.
Your love and support can help make a difference when it comes to her ability to manage daily caregiving tasks, cope with stress and continue to provide great care for a loved one with dementia.
How are you planning to give thanks to a dementia caregiver on Mother’s Day? We’d like to hear more about your plans in the comments below.