When a loved one is diagnosed with dementia, there’s no question that how we celebrate holidays will change. It can become more difficult to communicate our appreciation and love as dementia progresses, but there are ways to continue to make meaningful connections with our loved ones.
This Mother’s Day, use our gift guide for moms with dementia to show your mother that while the disease changes a lot of things, it won’t ever change your love for her.
10 Mother’s Day Gifts for Moms With Dementia
These 10 celebration and gift ideas are a great way to show Mom what she means to you. When dementia progresses, not all of these celebrations will still be possible, so remember to be accommodating and to adapt the holiday to her new reality.
1. Be together.
Sometimes the best gift you can give is not a present, but your presence. This is especially true if your loved one is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. Studies show that events can have a positive impact on someone with Alzheimer’s, even if she is no longer able to remember the event causing that memory. Plan time with family and friends to celebrate Mom and let her know by your presence how much you appreciate her.
2. Create a personalized playlist of her favorite music.
Studies have shown that music, particularly music from the past, can have a powerful impact on the well-being of people with dementia. Get together with other family members and relive the past putting together a playlist of her favorite songs.
3. Create a video montage of family photos.
Dig through boxes of family photos and make them into a DVD of memories. Watch them together and leave them with her to watch over and over.
4. Dementia-friendly smart sensors.
For someone in the earlier stages of dementia a dementia-friendly sensor can help them live independently for longer. More than just alarm clocks and telephones, these smart devices can help your loved one remember to take medicine and even remind her of upcoming appointments.
5. Gift an essential oil set.
Essential oils have been used for generations to help instill peace, rest, and focus. Studies have shown that trusted oils can also help manage some side effects of dementia.
6. Give an activity apron.
An activity apron is a unique gift that can provide sensory stimulation to engage someone living with dementia. Sensory stimulation has been shown to fight anxiety and depression. Depending on the stage of dementia your loved one is in, you can gift them an activity apron, or make one together.
7. Plan a family brunch out or in your home.
Depending on how advanced the dementia is, choose a restaurant where your mom will be most comfortable. If going out is not an option, consider having a family brunch in your home and give your mom a safe and quiet space to escape to, if needed.
8. Put together a picture puzzle.
Picture puzzles can be collages or a single photo of her loved ones that come in puzzle pieces. As she puts them together a photo of those that love her will come together.
9. Read her favorite book.
Find her favorite book and gift it to her with notes from family members. If reading is not an option, gather around and read to her.
10. Start a garden.
If your mom is in a memory care community, consider gifting a portable garden or keeping the garden in your home and having her tend to it on a visit. Plant vegetables or her favorite flowers and make it a hobby you can continue doing together.
No matter how you spend your day, remember that this Mother’s Day is all about her – honoring who Mom was and celebrating who she still is.
How will you celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day? Share your Mother’s Day plans with us in the comments below.