Love Me, Love Me, Not
Valentine’s Day isn’t just for young people in love. It’s for everyone!
Remember, love isn’t always romantic love. Valentine’s Day is for everyone.
It’s a day that is set aside to show your love to family and friends. It is celebrated to show affection for parents, grandparents, and elderly relatives. And, like every other holiday, it’s a good reason to get together with senior family members and senior friends who also need to know that they are loved.
Keep in mind that an older adult whose loved one has passed away will feel alone. Valentine’s Day for seniors often bring about feelings of isolation, boredom, and loneliness. A simple hug or hello on this day tells them that they will never be alone.
Ways to Help Seniors Feel Part of The Holiday
To help your senior family member feel a part of the holiday, put up some decorations.
Decorations make any holiday feel more festive. A simple decoration for seniors to be able to do is a garland of hearts. Or, just cut out hearts with them and then put them up strategically.
Valentines Day Gifts
A gift for your senior could be a floral arrangement. Everybody loves fresh flowers. This is guaranteed to bring a smile to your senior’s face.
If you want to give something more permanent than live flowers, we suggest an easy-care house plant.
Another gift that is always loved is chocolate or any other kind of candy treat.
If your senior has dementia, a cuddly stuffed animal is a fantastic gift. It is a comforting buddy.
Gift cards are always a great choice for the senior who’ve you found it difficult to buy for in the past. IF they are avid readers, a gift card to a bookstore or to Amazon is always a good idea.
Valentine’s Day Activities
If you want to work in the kitchen with your senior family member, we suggest Valentine’s Day Fruit Kabobs:
You’ll need 10-inch bamboo skewers and precut fresh fruit such as grapes, pineapple, melon, etc., and store-bought paper hearts.
- With your senior, thread the fresh fruit onto the skewers, leaving space at the top for a paper heart.
- Tape hearts at the top of the skewers.
- Serve with Cupid’s Fruit Dip: Whip together 4 oz. softened cream cheese,1 cup marshmallow cream, and ½ pkg. of any red Jell-O pudding.
Another activity to do with your senior on Valentine’s Day is to watch a romantic movie or romantic comedy movie together.
Some old favorites are: An Affair To Remember, His Girl Friday, Casablanca, Singin’ In the Rain, When Harry Met Sally, Love Actually, and 50 First Dates.
Valentine’s Day for Seniors is Often Bittersweet
But, on the other side of the coin, Valentine’s Day for seniors is often a bittersweet day with many mixed emotions.
The commercial buildup with sappy cards in every store and heart-shaped boxes of candy at all the grocery checkouts can lead to anxiety for seniors who have lost their lifetime love – their spouse. This can turn out to be a challenging time.
In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, older adult widows can become anxious and depressed.
If there is someone in your family that is in this situation, we recommend two things:
– Call the Institute on Aging’s Friendship Line. It is a 24-hour toll-free crisis line for anyone 60 or older who needs to talk to someone: 800-971-0016.
– Or you can call our social worker here at Kabb Law. Her number is 216-991-5222.
A good idea for the senior who gets depressed on Valentine’s Day is to take a hike, weather permitting, or a drive in the country. The outdoors can clear the mind like nothing else. Finish up with a cup of hot chocolate and many hugs.
To sum it up – Valentine’s Day for seniors can be difficult for the older loved ones in your life. But, you can make a difference for them and make it a fun and memorable day. Share your ideas with Rachel at Kabb Law. We’d love to hear from you at 216-991-5222.