Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate your wonderful mum, your aunt, your sister, your best friend and all of the women that have had an impact on you throughout your life. From cooking mouth-watering roast dinners with all of the trimmings to being there when you needed a shoulder to cry on, they are the ultimate super women and quite frankly, some of the best people in your life.
To celebrate all things mum-related, we’ve created a list of some of the things you can do with the women in your life this Mother’s Day, including a few top tips from our CEO Tim Lee!
1. It’s good to talk
No one is perfect, but these women to us come pretty darn close. If anyone has experienced the ups and downs life throws at you, it’s your mum. If you’re struggling to find answers to some challenging issues in your life, she can be one of the best people to confide in. Let’s face it: she knows you inside out and has been there at those critical moments, including your first break up!
It’s also important to check in on your mum too. Just a chat for an hour over a cup of tea can make the world of difference to the people we love and care for, and make them feel special and cared for too. Although we’re getting much better at talking about our mental health, your mum may come from a time when it just wasn’t spoken about. According to YouGov, almost 50 per cent of adults aged over 55 have experienced depression and/or anxiety, with 70 per cent of those not turning to friends or family to talk about it. Picking up the phone or popping round for a chat with no distractions around you like TV, kids or the radio can make the world of difference. Just sharing how you’re feeling or talking about how you got through a difficult period recently and what you found helped you will maintain that strong bond between you.
However you start that conversation, it’s important to remember that they may feel awkward or not ready to talk about how they’re feeling. Gentle reminders that you’re always there for them and regularly checking in on them could make a real difference to her.
2. Take a step back in time…
Everyone forgets things from time-to-time and as we get older, our memory does start to naturally decline. But if you start to notice your mum’s memory is getting progressively worse and it’s affecting her every day, then she may have the early signs of dementia.
As time goes by, her symptoms could progress into difficulties communicating, concentrating, judging distances and managing emotions. If you suspect your mum may have early-onset dementia or has already been diagnosed, it’s important to keep talking and be patient. Mother’s Day could be the perfect opportunity to spend time together and to sit down with your mum to create special memories. A Life Story book can be the perfect way to start to build up a story of her life that you can share and enjoy creating together.
The best place to start could be looking through your old family photo albums and picking out special events that your mum fondly remembers. Compiling these into a book, along with her favourite films, songs, food, people and places are a great way for your mum to communicate when she may find it difficult to. Take a look at our Dementia Toolkit here.
3. The gift of time
Mother’s Day isn’t just about buying flowers, chocolates and perfumes; although these are gifts that any mum would love, spending quality time with your mum is often much more valuable to you, and indeed to her.
According to research from Age UK, loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. With over 3.6 million older people living alone in the UK and an ever-increasing ageing population, this figure will only continue to increase. With such a significant impact on physical and mental health, loneliness is something that can easily be tackled. Often just being there and letting them know that you care is a gift in itself.
Life can be busy, and with more pressures than ever it may be that you haven’t been able to see your mum as much recently. All the more reason why popping over to take her to her favourite walking spot or spending the afternoon planting seeds with her in the garden can be really beneficial to both of you. And if you truly just don’t have the time, just pick up the phone or send a beautiful letter. There’s no better way to reconnect and develop the lifelong bond you have with one another. Remember: giving the gift of time makes memories last a lifetime.
Tim’s Top Tips
From very humble beginnings in the heart of Warwickshire, Mary Lee, mother to our CEO Tim, created Helping Hands back in 1989. Now a nationwide provider of care, Tim is at the helm of the company (alongside his brother Ben) and is continuing the fantastic work that his mum began 30 years ago. His (unconventional!) top tips for this Mother’s Day are:
- Remind her of the difference between being on the WiFi network as opposed to the mobile provider’s network – “Mum always forgets which is which, but she’s getting better at remembering!”
- Spoil her rotten and make sure she doesn’t lift a finger all day – “My mum is naturally a very caring person, so I have to work very hard in order to stop her from doing anything on Mother’s Day.”
- Take over the running of the company that she set up to allow her to retire – “We’re all extremely proud of Helping Hands and what my mum has created. It’s an honour to continue her hard work and enthusiasm for providing quality care at home for those in need.”
If any of the women in your life need a little, or maybe a lot of help at home, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.