Celebrating Mother’s Day when your mother is affected by memory loss can be emotional and challenging. It is healthy to acknowledge any loss and the sadness you feel. And it’s important to allow yourself to grieve and be kind to yourself as you learn to accept the changes.
While you may not be able to share a day together in the way you used to, there are still many meaningful ways to celebrate on Mother’s Day.
A beautiful, colorful bouquet can brighten not only the room, but the heart. The gesture of giving flowers is as old as time, and their vibrance speaks volumes.
Make a special collection of songs from her past—songs from her youth and even from your childhood. If you aren’t sure about her favorite songs, include a selection of popular songs from her youth. While she may not remember all the words or want to hear every song, music is a powerful pathway to the past, and those songs can have a lot of meaning. Allow yourself to reminisce and cherish the good times you have shared together.
Does your mom love bread pudding or was she famous for a certain kind of cookie when you were young? Did she make a special cake on your birthday? Now you can return the favor and make something for her she’s sure to enjoy.
Sit outside together and take in the signs of spring. You may want to do a simple gardening project or just listen to the birds and note which flowers are in full bloom.
Attend a Performance
A pianist, a string quartet, a ballet troupe, or some classic vaudeville numbers—live performances can energize and lift the spirit. If she isn’t up for a trip out, check the life enrichment calendar and come for a performance right here in the community, or bring a DVD of a performance. Shirley Temple tap dancing can bring a smile, no matter the age. And it may even inspire you to dance yourselves!
Do Something Creative Together
Bring your mom a few spring flowers and plant them together in a pot or in the garden; set up a few of her favorite objects and paint them together with watercolors; read one of your mom’s favorite stories or poems aloud; bake something delicious and enjoy it with a cup of tea. These projects engage the senses and help your mom thrive and feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Bring a Photo Album
Create a photo album with some of your favorites. Tell her the stories behind the photographs. Tell her times you were proud of her and times you were surprised by her. Share her accomplishments with her and share your own. Tell her about the times you loved the most.
Sometimes the most powerful way we can show up and love someone, is by simply sitting with them and appreciating them. You might hold your mother’s hand and treasure her life and all of the times you have shared. Reflect on the times in your life when she supported you. Think of the little things she did each day that made you feel loved. Remember how she packed your lunches, braided your hair, or washed your baseball jersey religiously. Even though she may not be able to remember the same things, you can still celebrate her in your heart and with other family members
One thing you can know for sure, even as things change, you are woven into each other’s lives and will always belong to each other.