If your mother or grandmother has dementia, here are a few ways to celebrate Mother’s Day with a bittersweet experience, from movies and baking to reminiscing over photos from the past. Whatever you choose to do, we wish you a lovely day. For whilst you can remember all the lovely things she’s done for you over the years, she herself may not be able to. However, there are still plenty of enjoyable activities you can do together, to show her how special she is. Here’s our pick of the best ways to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Movies and memories
Why not select one of her favourite movies – perhaps one she might have enjoyed when she was younger – and sit down together to watch it. If she doesn’t want to watch it to the end, that’s fine, it’s quality, not quantity that counts.
Tip: If a whole film would be too much, go to the BBC Archive for a free, endless supply of vintage TV clips, from the 1930s onwards. You could watch a Pathe news clip from 1945 or catch a very young looking David Attenborough meeting a gorilla…Whatever her taste, there are more than 1,500 clips so you’re bound to find something that will resonate.
Who doesn’t love getting pampered? If your mum always enjoyed getting her hair or nails done, you could try some DIY pampering. Create a relaxing atmosphere with music and scented candles and then sit her down with everything you need to hand, such as moisturising creams, nail polish, files, hair brushes etc.
Tip: Try using lavender scented products if possible. Lavender can be particularly calming for people with dementia and may help to relieve the effects of sundowning.
Reminiscing over photos
Most people love a trip down memory lane, so why not dig out some old photo albums and reminisce together. Reminiscence can be a great way to boost mood and stimulate conversation – you might even discover something you didn’t know about her childhood or your family!
Tip: If you don’t know who some of the people in the photos are, ask her to tell you their names and write them on the back of the photos so that future generations of your family can get to know them too.
Creating a traditional Mother’s Day posy could be an enjoyable activity to do over the weekend, especially if you can pick them yourself from the garden. Arrange flowers in a vase or stick them in an Oasis foam base. If possible, choose flowers that have a scent to boost the sensory experience.
Tip: For more inspiration take a look at Margaret O’Neil’s beautiful paper flower arrangements which are also scented. Margaret lives with dementia but remains as creative as ever and still sells her work. Check out her arrangements here https://creative-carer.com/mum’s%20art.html
Whether your mother or grandmother was a baker pre-diagnosis or not, most people enjoy the process of making and eating food. Bread is a good product to make as kneading the dough can be very therapeutic and easy for someone with limited dexterity. However, even beating eggs and sugar together could be a useful activity for someone with dementia, and which will provide a sense of purpose and enjoyment. If you fancy baking a cake, check out this delicious carrot cake recipe created by dietician and cordon bleu chef Jane Clarke https://www.nourishbyjaneclarke.com/blogs/recipes/carrot-cake
Tip: If your mum seems to have lost her appetite or enjoyment of food, Jane Clarke is on a mission to help. Go here to find out more https://www.unforgettable.org/blog/putting-pleasure-back-on-the-menu-for-people-with-dementia
Want to read more on any of these subjects? Here are three articles that might interest you:
Article sourced from ‘unforgettable.org’. Link source: https://www.unforgettable.org/blog/clever-ways-to-celebrate-mothers-day/