This weekend I was taking flowers to one of our precious residents for her birthday. When I walked into the assisted living community right away I noticed how beautifully the dining area had been transformed into the perfect setting for a birthday celebration. There were balloons, flowers, Happy Birthday signs, two kinds of cakes and more. (I also later found out that her son made homemade Butterfinger ice cream at his Mom’s request. YUM!) The resident’s family had done a lovely job celebrating their Mom and making her party special. I immediately was greeted by one of the daughters and we shared some friendly conversation and I told her how lovely everything looked for the party. It was during this conversation that it hit me…these adult children were in the phase of life where they still planned celebrations for their own children that were becoming young adults and making sure that their parent was celebrated as well. That is a TOUGH balancing act. Being so many things to so many people can be tough! So, I thought, what would be the best advice for new people coming into this role? The role of having a loved one in assisted living can be a challenge. What would be a good idea for their Mom on Mother’s Day? This family had it all figured out. Now for Mother’s Day of course balloons and birthday décor are not fitting. But taking time to spend time is the best gift of all.
Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that stirs emotions. I think of my friend who recently lost his Mom. I think of the women that would give anything for someone to call them Mom. I think of how far away my Mom is and that I will spend this holiday away from her. I think of how blessed I am that God chose me to be the Mom of my daughter. Now I could write another flowery post about celebrating Moms. Believe me when I say they (all Mom’s) very much deserve this honor.
But I’m going to say this with sincerity and heart. Take time to notice ALL the special Moms in your life. Sometimes they are biological and sometimes they are not.
Sometimes Mother’s Day can be hard to manage for people who live in assisted living. Let’s be honest it can be hard for many people, in general, depending on the circumstances. Life is tough. So instead of just being a “Debbie Downer”, here are some practical tips for making sure that all the ladies in an assisted living community are not forgotten this Mother’s Day.
Plan something that celebrates all the ladies in your community. Have a tea or an ice cream social. Honor each lady there. Chances are whether she had a child of her own, she helped “mother” someone through the years.
Be sure if family comes to visit others that your staff is sensitive, but not awkward about those ladies who do not have family present. Many times staff become like second families and can make someone feel extra special by sharing time and smiles. It can go a long way.
Now yes…I know this celebration is for the ladies. But don’t forget to be sensitive to the men as well. Mother’s Day to them may be very different than in years past. Some may be just fine and dandy. But be aware, we sometimes see sadness or other ways of sharing emotion as thoughts of a spouse that is no longer living or even memories of their late Mother resurface on this day. Be kind. Show understanding.
It’s not that we shouldn’t celebrate Mom’s…we absolutely should. It would be terrible not to enjoy holidays for fear of stepping on toes. That’s not the way to live. But in an assisted living or any other settings, we need to be considerate. Show compassion, show kindness, show patience and show love. You know your Mama….or whoever raised you taught you those values. Make her proud.
Happy Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a time of year when we reflect on the ladies that helped mold and shape us into who we are today. To get some real pearls of wisdom we reached out to some of our resident mothers to ask them, “What was the most important thing that your Mother taught you?” The answers are advice that is timeless for all of us today.
Gardens of Wetumpka Resident Juanita Royall said:
“My mother taught me to always be a lady and be truthful because God is watching.”
Gardens of Pelham Resident Carolyn Hayes said:
“My Mother always said never mistreat anyone or it will come back and bite you and to always be kind.”
Gardens of Eufaula Resident Dimple Zorn:
“My Mama taught me how to cook and she taught me how to be a good Mother to my children.”
Gardens of Madison Resident Carole Kleis said:
“My Mother taught me to make the best out of what you have and to love and take care of your family.”
Limestone Lodge Resident Elease Barksdale said:
“My Mom taught me not to be selfish.”
Gardens of Eufaula Resident Mildred Vickers said:
“My Mother always told me to tell the truth and be a good friend.”
Limestone Manor Resident Avis Fox said:
“My mother instilled in me a good, hard work ethic. I always had a lot of responsibilities even at a young age. My Mom was a single mother and watching her made me realize what hard work was all about.”
Gardens of Clanton Resident Mary Nell Jones said:
“My Mom taught me to work hard and take care of my family.”
Gardens of Eufaula Resident Betty Sutton said:
“Being an only child gave me a unique perspective. My Mother was 30 years old when I was born. When I had my 3 boys, we learned how to care for three small children at the same time together. She was also a business woman that taught me the importance of never burning bridges in business or in friendships.”
Gardens of Daphne Resident Anna Speer said:
“My Mom taught me to be nice and always act like a sweet southern belle and to give respect to everyone.”
Limestone Manor Resident Jackie Bridges said:
“My Mom taught me to be the best you can be in everything.”
Gardens of Eufaula Resident Merilyn Crapps said:
“I was taught by my Mother to show love and always respect your elders.”
Gardens of Clanton Resident Lucille Mims said:
“My Mother taught me to raise my children right and have respect for others.”
Gardens of Madison Resident Nancy Melton said:
“My mother instilled family values in me and to love one another.”
Gardens of Eufaula Resident Margaret Slade said:
“I’m thankful for my Mother teaching me to read at age 5 because I always enjoyed reading and getting into a book.”
Gardens of Wetumpka Resident Bennie McDonald said:
“My Mother taught me to be honest and respectful at all times.”
Gardens of Pelham Resident Lula Mae Ott said:
“My Mother said to hold your character up because no one else will do it.”
Gardens of Eufaula Resident Sara Hamrick:
“My Mom told me back when I was a young girl of dating age to remember to always cross your legs and act like a lady. I think acting like a lady is still important today.”
Gardens of Daphne Resident Shirley Hartley said:
“Mama believed we should follow the Golden Rule and also love everybody the way you want to be loved.”
Limestone Lodge Resident Kay Armstrong said:
“My mother taught me to be fair.”
Gardens of Wetumpka Resident Lily Keener said:
“My Mama taught me to always remember, this too shall pass.”
Gardens of Eufaula Resident Opal Newsome said:
“My Mama always taught us to take care of your responsibilities. Don’t expect others to do it for you.”
Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring our mothers, the special bonds we have with our mothers and the influence that mothers have in our society. The celebration of Mother’s Day began in the United States in the early 20th century and has grown over time. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
We celebrate our mothers with cards, flowers and perhaps a trip out to lunch. This year, take make some extra effort to make the day special for your mom. Here are some ideas to make this year’s celebration one to remember:
- Make it a whole day event. Plan out the day with several fun activities that are things that your mom loves to do, but wouldn’t make the time to do herself.
- Gather the generations together to celebrate. If you love in close proximity to your mom and other female relatives, get everyone together to celebrate. If you don’t live nearby, do an online group video call or group telephone call with all the special women in your family.
- Take pictures and share them. In today’s world of social media and cell phone cameras, we don’t take the time to share all those pictures we snap on our cell phone. Make a collage of all the great pictures taken this day and share with everyone.
- Make a point to tell your mom how she has influenced your life. We all tell our moms we love them, but letting your mom know how she has positively influenced your life and the person you have become is a priceless gift.
So start planning now put your thinking cap on and come up with special ideas of your own. Make Mother’s Day 2016 one to remember for both your mom and you.