By Samantha Morelock, MA, Care Manager Associate
Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to show your love and care toward family and friends.
However, the seniors in our life can often be isolated in their homes or struggling with feelings of loneliness during the holidays. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your older adult and remind them that they are important and loved. Whether nearby or far away, here are some ways to connect with your aging loved ones this Valentine’s Day.
Decorate Their Space
If you are fortunate enough to live close to your senior, set a date to decorate for Valentine’s Day. Creating a festive environment can be a fun activity to do together and something they can enjoy after your visit. Decorations tend to lift people’s spirits and remind them of the holiday to look forward to. If you live far away from your loved one, another option is to mail them some decorations to spruce up their space.
There are many activities you can do with your older adult to celebrate Valentine’s Day. While a person’s interests and abilities may vary, it is an opportunity to provide them with a creative activity that can be shared with others. Making and decorating Valentine’s Day cards is an easy activity. With a few craft supplies, you and your loved one can create personalized cards to send out to other friends and family. Baking cookies or making other sweet treats to share is another great activity. Whether they are involved in the baking or just the tasting, creating some of their favorite treats can bring back fond memories of Valentine’s Day’s past. If your loved one isn’t feeling artistic, some simple Valentine’s Day-themed puzzles or games are easy activities to do together.
Revisit Romantic Music and Movies
Listening to music and watching movies are great ways for older adults to reconnect to memories of their earlier years. Consider making a playlist or CD of older love songs for your senior to enjoy this Valentine’s Day. If you can listen to the songs together, you may even get a chance to dance. Another option is a movie night watching classic romance movies. Talk with your senior ahead of time to get ideas for what they enjoyed watching in the past.
Send a Thoughtful Card or Gift
If you can’t be with your loved one this Valentine’s Day, you can still make them feel remembered and loved with a thoughtful gift or card. You can also remind other family members and friends to mail your senior something by quickly sending out a text or email with your loved one’s address. Cards, flowers, candies, or family pictures are all wonderful gifts to remind your senior that you love them.
Discuss Valentine’s Day Memories
Whether in person or over the phone, ask your loved one what they remember doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day when they were younger. Did they celebrate in any special ways in school? What did their parents do to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do they have any fond memories of Valentine’s Day while dating or during their marriage? Some seniors may recall many memories while others may not. The point is to connect with them and continue to learn more about your loved one.
In all these different ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with seniors, it is important to remember that the activity is just a tool for something much greater. The real celebration comes from reminding your senior they are important, cared for, loved, and not alone. May your Valentine’s Day celebrations create time together to make new memories and enjoy old ones.
If you or someone you care about needs additional support to help cope, The Option Group is here to help. Please contact our professional care management team for assistance.
About The Option Group: Founded in 2010, The Option Group’s compassionate team of experienced Certified Life Care Managers serves families, their loved ones, medical professionals, and professional family advisors in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The firm understands the challenges of caring for an individual who needs assistance due to aging, dementia, disability, or serious illness. Their skilled providers possess over 100 years of combined experience navigating the healthcare maze and accessing hundreds of quality resources. The Option Group helps families spend quality time with their loved ones, providing clear choices that lead to better care. For more information, visit www.theoptiongroup.net or call 410-667-0266 (MD) or 717-287-9900 / 610-885-8899/ 215-896-6756 (PA) / or 302-858-6449 (DE).