Celebrating Mother’s Day with Alzheimer’s Disease

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – Mother’s Day can be an emotional day for people whose mothers are no longer living, but it can be especially trying for children whose mothers suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association of S.C. reports that women are disproportionately affected by the disease – nearly two-thirds of the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.

The association offers families the following tips for celebrating Mother’s Day:

  • Take a person-centered approach: Focus on what is enjoyable for the person with Alzheimer’s, such as looking at family pictures or enjoying the person’s favorite food. If they get overwhelmed in large groups, a small quiet gathering may be preferable.
  •  Keep it simple: Consider a celebration over a lunch or brunch at home or where the person is most comfortable. Ask family or friends to bring dishes for a potluck meal or have food delivered by a local restaurant or grocery store.
  • Join in: If the person with Alzheimer’s lives in a care facility, consider joining in any facility-planned activities.
  • Don’t overdo it: Sticking to the person’s normal routine will help keep the day from becoming disruptive or confusing. Depending on the person’s stamina, plan time for breaks so the person can rest in a quiet area away from noise and crowds.
  • Adapt gift giving: Encourage safe and useful gifts for the person with Alzheimer’s. Diminishing capacity may make some gifts unusable or even dangerous to a person with dementia. If someone asks for gift ideas, suggest items the person with dementia needs or can easily enjoy. Ideas include: an identification bracelet, comfortable clothing, favorite foods and photo albums.
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