Mothers Day 101 Taking care of mom
Chances are, your mother can read you like a book. A subtle uptick of the eyebrow or quiver of your lip and mom instantly knows you’re upset or frustrated. Can you read her? Mothers have a special power to conceal unpleasant emotions, to remain strong and save face when times are tough. But as she ages, it’s increasingly important that you learn to access her needs and feelings, even when she says everything is OK.
Consider this your crash course in Mother’s Day 101: taking care of mom. The holiday is the perfect opportunity to spend time together and revisit her needs, sense of security and comfort level, all while celebrating her special day.
1. Set aside uninterrupted one-on-one time together.
Plan a picnic, visit a botanical garden or take mom to her favorite restaurant to make her feel special. Spending intimate time with mom will allow you to tune into her nuances, and reconnect and enjoy meaningful conversation that may otherwise get lost in large crowds. Even if it's just for one meal, plan some alone time together before meeting up with the whole family.
2. Talk about the future.
Make your conversation count. Instead of chatting about her doctor’s appointments, or your stress about life at the office, gently guide the conversation toward positive goal setting and your mother’s hopes for the future. Ask what she needs to achieve her goals and how you can become an active and supportive partner. If appropriate, this might be the time to weigh the benefits of staying home or moving to a retirement community. If she doesn’t feel ready for that conversation, take a mental inventory of tasks that need to be completed to ensure she’s prepared for the future.
3. Share memories and keepsakes that highlight your special bond.
Throughout your Mother's Day celebration, take the time to reminisce over a memento, scrapbook, family album or home video from your childhood. Use this time to give thanks to mom for all the joy and care she has provided to your family, and take time to recognize her accomplishments. Once you’ve taken a stroll down memory lane, make a plan to create new and special memories with her in the coming year.
4. Ask mom if there’s anything she needs. If she says no, ask again.
Find out if there’s anything she needs or wants, and make a plan to make it happen. Let her know that no gift can compare to the love and support she has provided over the years, and offer gifts that will bring her comfort and joy. If possible, focus on the gifts that keep on giving. Presents like season concert tickets, magazine subscriptions, regular cleaning services or even a recurring dinner at your house will treat her throughout the coming year. While chatting, ask yourself if she is exhibiting any of the four telltale signs that she’s ready for senior living.
5. Make plans to get together again.
Instead of saying, “we should get together more often,” make concrete and routine plans to meet again. Keeping in contact with your aging loved one is the most important thing you can do to take care of mom this Mother’s Day. Whether you get together the first Sunday of each month for brunch, or go to the movies on a senior discount day, show her that you cherish and look forward to time well spent together. Ask yourself how a senior living community can help you maximize time with loved ones.
Happy Mother's Day! Holiday Retirement is a place for mom. Our independent senior living communities are home to thousands of mothers, and we’re honored to celebrate life’s little joys with them each day. Get in touch with us to learn more about senior housing for mom.