How to Make Valentine’s Day Special for Your Aging Loved Ones
Make this Valentine’s Day one for smiles and fond memories by spending some time with an aging loved one. For many seniors, Valentine’s Day can be a challenging time as feelings of sadness over lost loves can arise and bring about a sense of loneliness. As a loved one of an aging adult, just being there to share time and conversation reminds them that they are loved and that their happiness is important to the people in their lives. So while it’s always fun to have a plan or activity ready, sometimes the most important thing is just showing up with a smile and warm hug to share.
Here are a few other ideas for how to make the most of Valentine’s Day with the senior in your life.
Be Ready to Listen
A warm hand to hold and smiling face to look into can make sharing stories all the more fun. Be an attentive listener and ask questions that your loved one will be excited to share, like their favorite memory from their wedding day or the births of children, but don’t be afraid to let them share difficult memories or talk through painful feelings. This can be a great opportunity to help your loved one process their emotions and end the day feeling heard and cared for.
Bring a Thoughtful Gift
Gifts don’t have to cost a lot to have a big impact. Consider putting together a photo album or just framing a photo of a happy memory to share with your loved one. This can be a great conversation starter and leaves them with a tangible memory from your visit. You can even decorate the album together to make it even more special.
Be Flexible with Your Plan
Remember that your loved one may be experiencing a great deal of emotions on a day when love is being celebrated all around them. Be mindful of how they respond to questions and prompts and be ready to adjust your plan to fit their mood. And if they aren’t feeling up for much of anything, be ok with just sitting together to show your love and support.
With family, work, and friends, it can seem hard to make time for anything special in your life. So even if your visit can’t be as long as you like, dedicate that time to being present and engaged in the moment. Put your cell phone away and try not to stare at the clock. Your loved one will notice your lack of engagement and may feel neglected or even guilty for keeping you from other things. If it helps, you can set a timer on your phone to buzz you five minutes before you have to leave to allow time to wrap up and say a proper goodbye.
Check the Events Calendar for Valentine’s Celebrations
At SLM, we like to mark holidays of all variety with special events for residents and their loves ones to share. So before you plan your visit, check the community’s activity calendar and plan your visit accordingly. This might mean coming early for one-on-one time then staying for the event or just having a personal visit if they prefer not to attend the event. Like you, we care about the happiness and wellbeing of your loved one, so it’s always their choice to participate or not.
Make Every Day Better
Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day your aging loved one deserves care and attention. Providing full-time support and care for seniors is what we do. We at SLM are here all day, every day, to ensure quality lifestyles for seniors. We are committed to everyday wellbeing, joy, and purpose for our residents.
Contact Senior Living Management today for more information on making the best of each day for the senior in your life.