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Alzheimer’s’ Insights: Celebrating Mother’s Day during COVID-19 crisis

Scott Finley

Mother Day celebrations for moms living with Alzheimer’s can be bittersweet and challenging for families even under the best of circumstances, but the current COVID-19 crisis is adding new complexities that can feel overwhelming.

To help families impacted by Alzheimer’s navigate these challenges and provide a meaningful and enjoyable occasion, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering tips to help families plan appropriately for both in-person or virtual celebrations.

Tips for in-person Mother’s Day celebrations

  • 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.
  • 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.

Tips for virtual Mother’s Day celebrations

  • Connect with mom virtually. Schedule a FaceTime, Skype or Zoom call with mom and invite other family members to participate. Prepare ahead of time to ensure the platform you use is one your mom can access easily. Consider taking the call to the next level by adding a slideshow with favorite pictures of mom and cherished family photos.
  • Have brunch “to-go.” Mother’s Day brunch is a tradition for many families. While taking mom to her favorite restaurant may not be an option this year, consider having it delivered. Many restaurants may even offer special Mother Day’s menus.
  • Clean up the yard. If mom is still living at home, but cannot host large family gatherings this year, consider organizing family members to do yard work, plant flowers or other outdoor spring cleaning activities. Doing so, allows families to gather while practicing social distancing.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s®. For more information, visit alz.org or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

Scott Finley is Media Relations Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association® in Texas.  He can be reached at scfinley@alz.org