Alzheimer's Foundation of America

Foundation of America

Best Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Those We Love With Dementia, Alzheimer’s

(April 16, 2019)—Wondering how to make Mother’s Day special for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s?

“It’s about the here and now that matters most for people with dementia, the moment we create today or the moments we can reminisce about,” says Molly Fisher, LCSW, Director of Education and Social Services at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).

Some advice from AFA:

    • Give the gift of time together, says Fisher. An experience that once brought joy goes a long way to making Mother’s Day a celebration.
        • If your special person loves music, take her to a concert. When she can’t go, bring the concert to her. Watch one on TV (try YouTube Music or PBS) or play her favorite tunes using music apps like Spotify, Pandora or Apple Music. Get dressed up, have a nice meal, share stories.
    • Give something meaningful from her past.
        • Are there years’ worth of photos stacked in shoe boxes? Organize and create a photo album for her focusing on a special time in her life, the birth of her children or a favorite vacation. Buy her a digital picture frame and upload photos from home; she’ll always have a stimulating view.
        • Create a memory box: In a basket or small box, gather some of her favorite things that recall happy events and encourage conversation. Some objects to consider include family photos, a special keepsake from her children’s past, a diary or favorite book, vacation souvenirs, a key chain, seashells or potpourri.
    • A favorite food is always a good gift choice.
      • Food brings people together. Most cultures incorporate food as part of their traditions and gatherings. We can easily reminisce about a family apple pie recipe or the special things we make around the holidays. Scents, smells and tastes can stimulate memory and delight. “Perhaps your grandmother won the local county cook off each year for her chili.  Working together with her to make that chili and celebrate her long-standing win can bring back all the joy and pride that came with that, especially with you by her side now,” says Fisher.

Have a question or problem associated with a person who is living with dementia or Alzheimer’s? Don’t hesitate to call AFA’s National Toll-Free Helpline at (866-232-8484)—it’s staffed by licensed social workers who are trained in dementia-care. You can also live chat, email, and Skype by clicking here.