YOUR TIME IS THE BEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE HER

By Anna Wishneff
SPECIAL FOR THE AJT

Mother’s Day is a joyous occasion to celebrate moms and all they do for their families. But for those families who have a mom living with Alzheimer’s disease, the holiday is not as easy to celebrate as it was in the past. Still, there are, many ways to make the day enjoyable, even when circumstances are more difficult than they used to be. Here are some meaningful activities you can do with your mom who is living with Alzheimer’s on Mother’s Day:

  • Look through a family photo album, specifically one that shows your mom at various stages throughout her life.
  • Play music that is familiar to her. Music is incredibly therapeutic.
  • If she is up for it, dance to the music being played.
  • Reminisce about the past. If your mom has a difficult time recalling long-term memories, share one of your favorite stories with her.
  • Watch a classic movie your mom has always enjoyed or perhaps one that has a specific meaning for your family.
  • Go out for a meal.
  • Help your mom call a friend or relative she hasn’t spoken to in a long time (call that person ahead of time to let him or her know you will be calling).
  • Enjoy afternoon tea.
  • Take a car ride to a familiar area where she spent a lot of time in her past.
  • Make ice cream or bake cookies for her that she used to bake for you. If she is able, bake the cookies with her, and allow her to be a part of the process.
  • If there’s a family member with a puppy or a baby, bring them to see her.
  • Take her for a manicure and pedicure.

Keep in mind, there are various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. If your mother has reached the later stages, some of the suggestions above will not be as easy to do with her. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do anything together on Mother’s Day. Stimulating the senses is extremely helpful for those with Alzheimer’s. Try sitting with her and rubbing some therapeutic oil softly in her hands while talking to her. Or take her for a walk in a pretty garden and let her smell the flowers. The bottom line is, your time is the best gift you can give to your mom.

Editor’s note: Aviv Older Adult Services – Tools for Aging understands that no two people are affected by aging the same way and offers an umbrella of services designed to support both older adults and their caregivers. Fore more, please call (770) 677-9411 or visit www.ytfl.org/aviv