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Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia on Mother's Day: A Guide for Live-In Caregivers & Relatives


Elderly lady sat with home carer in garden drinking tea

Springtime is nearly upon us and with it, the arrival of Mother's Day—a moment rich with significance, but not without its challenges. For those caring for loved ones with dementia, this special day can be a poignant reminder of the complexities within a relationship that have, over time, shifted and evolved. 


So, for this blog post we’ve decided to put together a Mother’s Day guide for live-in carers providing in-home dementia care for their clients. This comprehensive guide will weave together the historical story of Mother's Day, with tips and tricks from our very own live-in carers and highlight the integral role of a newfound care family. 


Keep your eyes peeled for an absolutely delicious Lemon Cake recipe that one of our live-in carers has so kindly shared with us, this is definitely not one to be missed! 


The History of Mother's Day in the UK

We thought a great place to start off the blog would be to look into the history of Mother's Day here in the UK. The United Kingdom's version of this cherished holiday takes root in the Christian tradition of Mothering Sunday, a day for loved ones to return to their local "mother" church. It was celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent, allowing domestic servants to reunite with their families for a day of fellowship.


In modern times it is a day where families celebrate the maternal figures in their lives, from Mothers, to Aunties and Grandmothers and beyond. Families often get together to share a meal, exchange thoughtful gifts, and most importantly, create new memories for the memento box of cherished moments.


Understanding Dementia: What Does Dementia Mean?

Dementia is an umbrella term for conditions characterised by cognitive decline. It is particularly sad when cherished memories of significant family members fade and how the relationship between mother and child can change as dementia progresses. 

Dementia is more than than just a singular disease; it embodies a complex syndrome encompassing a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, reasoning, judgement, and other thinking skills severe enough to interfere with daily life. It is not an inevitable part of ageing, yet it predominantly affects older individuals. 


The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, accounting for an estimated 60-80% of cases. However, there are several other types, including vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia, each with its unique causes.

Statistics reveal that dementia is a pressing global health issue, highlighting its widespread impact. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 55 million people live with dementia worldwide, with nearly 10 million new cases each year. The prevalence of dementia is rising as the global population ages, making it one of the significant public health challenges of the 21st century.


Dementia not only affects those diagnosed with the condition but also places a considerable emotional, physical, and financial burden on families and carers.

Underneath the umbrella term "dementia," symptoms can vary widely, but they commonly include memory loss that disrupts daily activities, difficulties with problem-solving or language, and changes in mood or behaviour. It is crucial to understand that dementia results from damage to the brain cells, affecting their ability to communicate, which in turn influences thinking, behaviour, and feelings.


The progression and outcome of dementia vary significantly among individuals, influenced by the nature of the disease and the person's overall health. Early diagnosis and appropriate intervention can make a meaningful difference in managing the condition, improving the quality of life for those affected and their families.

Dealing with dementia requires a comprehensive approach, emphasising patient care, support for live in carers, and ongoing research into prevention, treatment, and possible cures. It underscores the importance of creating a supportive and understanding environment for those affected, enabling them to live as independently and fully as possible.


In nurturing and caring for a loved one with dementia, it's paramount to remember that beyond the cognitive decline and the challenges it presents, there remains a person full of history, dignity, and the capacity for joy. Our role as caregivers, be it live in carers or otherwise, then, is not only to manage symptoms but also to connect, celebrate small victories, and provide a sense of continuity and recognition, reinforcing the individual's sense of self and belonging.


Tailoring Celebrations to Meet Their Needs

In crafting a Mother's Day that resonates with your loved one or in home dementia care client, the emphasis rests firmly on simplicity and familiarity. Think about activities and traditions that kindle the flame of memory and comfort, not about grand gestures that may overwhelm or confuse. 


Consider gentle, sensory-based experiences like playing their favourite music, arranging for a family meal with familiar, cherished recipes, or browsing through old photo albums together. These activities are not only nurturing but also serve as gentle bridges to past joys and shared family histories.


Creating a calm and safe environment, free from the hustle and bustle typically associated with celebrations, is paramount. Decorations should be minimal and pleasing, avoiding anything that could cause disorientation or distress, or trip hazards for your loved one or live-in care client. 


When it comes to mother’s day gifting, a top tip from one of our live-in carers was to opt for some practical or sentimental items for your loved one that suffers from Dementia. Examples of practical gifts could include; a cosy blanket, a new addition to their garden, or a custom playlist of songs that have significant meaning to both of you.


It's also crucial to recognise, as live in carers and loved ones, our own emotional landscapes during these times. Observing the shifts in our family dynamics can stir up a whole host of new feelings; we must remember to be compassionate with ourselves. Remember, the day's success isn't measured by the activities completed or the clarity of conversation but by the peace, comfort, and love shared between you and your loved one.


Mother's Day Tips for Live-In Carers


For live-in carers, every day follows a routine filled with purposeful tasks. They provide care in a consistent manner, ensuring the well-being of those they look after. Each action they take contributes to maintaining comfort and support for their home care clients. Live-in carers approach their responsibilities with clear intentions, ensuring that each day is structured to meet the needs of those under their care. 


This Mother's Day, we illuminate six fundamental tips—a roadmap, if you will, to guide you in crafting a meaningful and gentle celebration for your beloved charge suffering from dementia.


1. Establishing Routine and Familiarity

According to our live-in carers, routine is key to success when it comes to in-home dementia care clients. Start Mother's Day by mirroring a typical day's structure—morning rituals, activity times, and meals—at the usual times.


2. Creating Meaningful Activities and Memories

Engage in activities that trigger familiar memories, tying the present to the past. Whether it's looking through old photos, reminiscing about past experiences, or engaging in a long-loved hobby.


3. Emphasising Emotional Connection and Support with your Home Care Client

Communicate through touch and eye contact, as often words fail to bridge the chasm created by dementia. Hugs and shared smiles can speak volumes. Be present and engage fully with your home care client.


4. Providing Nutritious and Enjoyable Meals

A healthy diet is essential in maintaining overall well-being, as we all know. One of our live-in carers shared that they will be crafting a menu for Mother's Day that not only caters to nutritional needs but also features beloved foods and treats, as it is a special occasion. A delectable meal can be a catalyst for joy, rekindling the forgotten pleasure of a well-cooked feast.


5. Encouraging Gentle Physical Activities

Staying active within the boundaries of one's physical capabilities is paramount. For Mother's Day, consider taking part in some gentle exercises or a quiet walk with your home care client in the garden. Physical activity can instil a sense of vitality and accomplishment, resonating with the spirit of the day.


6. Managing Stress and Emotions

On Mother's Day, mindfulness and self-care are not just for your home care client, but for you as well. Pause, breathe, and understand that each moment, each interaction, is a step in the shared path of this care-journey.


Preparing Your Live-In Care Client for a Family Mother's Day Function

If your live-in care client is going to be attending a family Mother's Day function, we find that preparation is key to ensuring the day is enjoyable and meaningful for everyone involved. Here, we present practical tips and empathetic strategies to prepare beforehand and to help while there, creating a nurturing and memorable experience.


Preparing Beforehand


1. Discuss the Plan in Advance: Before the day, try to explain the upcoming event to your live in care client, or relative focusing on positive aspects and familiar faces that will be present. Reiterate this conversation gently as the day approaches to help orient them to the occasion.


2. Create a Visual Schedule: Many of our live-in caregivers swear by using simple, visual schedules for their live in care clients. These schedules use photos to help your client or loved one to understand what to expect from the day. Seeing images of the place and people involved might also trigger positive emotions and memories.


3. Choose Comfortable Clothing: Select outfits for your live in care client that not only make them feel good but are also easy to wear. Familiar and comfortable clothing can reduce anxiety and increase their sense of security.


4. Pack a Comfort Kit: Another good idea is to pack a small bag with essential items that can bring comfort and familiarity for your home care client, such as a favourite snack, a comforting object, or a photo album. This can be especially helpful if they become overwhelmed or need a moment of quiet.


Helping During the Event


1. Monitor the Environment: Try to keep a watchful eye on factors like noise levels, temperature, and lighting. A too-loud environment or too-bright lights can lead to discomfort or agitation for those that suffer with Dementia. Find a quiet corner that you can take your live-in care client or relative to for a break if things become overwhelming.


2. Stay Close and Offer Reassurances: Your presence can provide a grounding and calming effect for your live-in care client. Hold their hand, offer smiles, and communicate through reassuring touches to remind them they are safe and supported.


3. Engage in Simple, Enjoyable Activities: Encourage participation in activities that don't require complex thinking or long attention spans. Singing familiar songs, sharing stories, or looking at family photos can be inclusive ways to engage.


4. Maintain Regular Routines as Much as Possible: It’s always a good idea to stick to your live in care clients usual eating and rest times. If the event disrupts the routine, have a quiet place where they can take their regular nap or enjoy a snack.


5. Be an Emotional Buffer: As most of us know, family gatherings can be unpredictable. Be prepared to gently steer conversations away from topics that might confuse or upset your home care client. Use humour and diversion to maintain a light and positive atmosphere.


6. Communicate with Family Members Beforehand: Take time to educate other attendees beforehand about the best ways to engage with your home care client or relative, particularly if they don’t see them very regularly. It is also probably worthwhile to remind them to be patient, speak clearly, and avoid correcting or arguing with distorted memories.


By preparing with empathy, understanding, and strategic planning, you can orchestrate a Mother's Day function that respects the needs of your home care client or loved one with dementia while allowing the family to gather and celebrate in harmony. Remember, the goal is to create moments of connection and joy, underlining the importance of their presence in the family tapestry, regardless of the challenges dementia may bring.

Below, one of our live-in carers has kindly shared with us a cherished recipe that has brought smiles to many, including us here in the office, as well as to her home care clients. This lemon cake recipe is not just about baking; it's a sensory experience that evokes memories, stimulates conversation, and strengthens bonds. It is wonderfully simple, allowing for moments of creativity and personalisation, making it a perfect activity for Mother’s Day. 


A Mother's Day Recipe for Live-in Carers to Make Together With Those Living With Dementia

Cooking together can be a joyous activity, and the aroma of baking can be particularly evocative. Savour the experience of preparing a simple yet delightful cake, not just for its taste, but for the memories it will stir.


Here's a recipe perfect for a pair ready to create and share:

Lemon Zest Cake

  • 2 cups plain flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a cake pan.

  2. Into a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.

  3. Add the softened butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until smooth.

  4. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add in the milk.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  6. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.



Fun Activities For Those Living With Dementia

As spring unfurls its colours and Mother's Day approaches, we understand that baking may not resonate with everyone's interests or abilities, particularly for those living with dementia.

Hence, we're delighted to share another heartwarming activity, inspired by one of our most experienced live-in carers. This activity involves getting the paintbrushes out! 


Getting Arty This Mothers Day

On a bright, sunny day, there's nothing quite like setting up in the garden, surrounded by the burgeoning life of spring, and capturing the beauty of nature on canvas or paper. 

Painting not only the vibrant flowers but the essence of the season itself. Our live-in carer, who so thoughtfully suggested this activity, explained that she and her client like to take a seat in the garden and have a go at painting the beautiful flowers that they can see. 

She also suggested that if the weather isn’t great, you can always bring the activity indoors and paint objects in the house, indoor plants or bowls of fruit are a great place to start!


The Role of a Local Live-in Care Agency

As a local live in care agency that is well versed in providing live in carers to support those living with dementia, we recognise that every person’s dementia journey is unique.  Our care plans are tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of each in home dementia care client. Whether it's assisting with exercises, accompanying to medical appointments, or simply providing a listening ear, our live-in carers are dedicated to promoting the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of those in our care. With 24 hour live in care from our compassionate live-in carers, you can have peace of mind knowing that your loved one is in capable and caring hands. 


If you have a relative or loved one who could benefit from the support of a local live-in carer, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. You can call us on 01264 319399 or email hello@access-care.co.uk to learn more about how we can assist you. As a home care client of ours, you can trust that one of our home carers will provide you 24 hour live in care tailored to meet your individual needs. Let us be your partner in care, supporting you every step of the way.


To Wrap Up Mother’s Day With A Bow

As a local live-in care agency, we recognise the significance of Mother's Day in honouring and celebrating the maternal figures in our lives. 


Providing home care on Mother's Day presents a unique opportunity for live-in carers to create meaningful and memorable experiences for our clients. Through careful planning, thoughtful consideration, and implementation of tips and tricks detailed in our blog, we hope we have made you feel that you are equipped to ensure that Mother's Day is a special and enjoyable occasion for those under your in home care.


From arranging activities that help recall fond memories to participating in cherished traditions, live-in caregivers are dedicated to making Mother's Day a day to remember. 

We understand that Mother's Day can evoke a range of emotions for both our clients and their families, and our live-in carers here at Access Care are trained to provide compassionate support and companionship during this time. By offering companionship, emotional support, and assistance with daily tasks, our live-in carers aim to alleviate any feelings of loneliness or isolation and ensure that our clients feel valued and cherished on Mother's Day.


As we approach Mother's Day, we extend our warmest wishes to all mothers and mother figures, wherever they may be. Whether it's through a heartfelt gesture, a thoughtful gift, or simply spending quality time together, we hope that this Mother's Day is filled with love, joy, and cherished moments. 


And finally, a special thank you to our live-in carers for their dedication and commitment to providing exceptional care who may be celebrating away from their own families.  Many of our home carers are mothers too!  As a family run business ourselves, we are proud of our team here at Access Care and how we prioritise and support the needs of those living with dementia.  We’d be delighted to help your family as the need arises.  


Have a great Mother's Day!


4 Comments


Guest
Mar 11

Mothers Day can be such a tough day for those who have Mothers with dementia.

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Guest
Mar 06

A thoughtful and well-written blog, thank you

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Guest
Mar 06

Some really great tips and information on Mother's Day - thank you!

Have a lovely Mother's day on Sunday everyone, enjoy!

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Guest
Mar 05

Thank you for a great tips on what to do on Mother's Day and a great easy recipe.

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