Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to show the special people in your life just how much you care. It’s also a reminder to spend some extra time with older loved ones, who may be feeling some loneliness or sadness this time of year – especially if they have a spouse who has passed away. If your Valentine’s Day plans include visiting your aging parent or loved one in assisted living, try out some of these ideas to celebrate the holiday:
Spread the love
The “day of love” gives us all an excuse to spoil our loved ones and spread some cheer with a thoughtful gift. While the traditional Valentine’s Day presents of flowers and chocolates are always a hit, some other gift ideas for the senior in your life include things like cozy socks, a no-fuss houseplant, framed photographs or even a gift card to their favorite restaurant. At the end of the day, the best gift you can give your loved one is the gift of your time and presence.
Create DIY Valentines
Crafting is a fun activity that people of all ages enjoy. For senior adults, arts and crafts can be particularly helpful in improving hand-eye coordination and keeping their cognitive skills sharp. When you visit your older loved one in assisted living, bring along supplies to make handmade Valentine’s Day cards for friends, family members, and the caregivers at the assisted living community. Making a craft together is also a great way to keep grandchildren involved and ensure they have a lasting memory of the visit.
Take a trip down memory lane
Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to share fond memories and stories with our older loved ones. Learning about an older family member’s life and experiences first hand is not only a powerful way to connect, but it also helps us understand who we are and where we came from. Try looking at favorite family photos and letters or listening to familiar music to spark memories and prompt meaningful conversations about the past.
Participate in the community’s activities
Chances are, your loved one’s assisted living community celebrates Valentine’s Day throughout the month of February with a variety of fun events including social functions, special meals, arts and crafts activities, music performances, and much more! These activities are specially planned for residents, but sometimes family members and visitors are invited to attend, too. When planning your visit, be sure you call the community in advance and ask if there are any upcoming activities that you can participate in. Another smart reason to call ahead is to make sure your visit doesn’t conflict with your loved one’s routine or scheduled appointments for the day.
At Bethany Village, we encourage you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your aging parent or loved one, whether they still live at home or in an assisted living community. Simply visiting your loved one and spending quality time with them is the best way to demonstrate your appreciation and make the holiday one to remember. Happy Valentine’s Day!