Valentine’s Day can be a difficult time for seniors who are single or whose significant other has passed away. Senior Living Management has put together some tips for you to help your aging loved one feel particularly special during the holiday.
Bake Valentine Treats
If your loved one has a sweet tooth, why not indulge them with some Valentine’s Day-themed sweets? Try this classic sugar cookie recipe or a favorite of your own. Pull out some red, pink, and purple sprinkles, and get the dough rolling! Bonus points if you shape the cookies into hearts with a cookie cutter. If your loved one is capable, involving them in the baking process – measuring, mixing, rolling or cutting the dough – can be a great way to help them feel especially wanted and engaged.
Make Crafts & Decorate
Nothing transforms a room – and, by extension, a person’s mood – quite like holiday decorations. Making your own decorations can be easy and quite fulfilling. While the cookies are in the oven, put together a pom pom heart wreath with little more than some yarn, a wire hanger, and a pom pom maker. Or keep it simple and hang up red, white, and pink party streamers and window decals, or blow up balloons together. A little bit goes a long way.
For loved ones who have been widowed, going through photo albums and home videos is a great way to stir happy memories about their partner who has passed away. Ask your loved one questions about their significant other, such as how they met and what they did on their first date. However, should you notice that this reflection is upsetting to them, be prepared to guide the conversation elsewhere or introduce a new activity. Be patient and understanding, always.
Watch a Movie
Looking for something a little more low-key? Throw on a romantic comedy. If you’re not sure what movie to choose, ask your loved one about their favorites. It’s usually safe to pick a film that was popular when they were younger if they don’t have any preferences. Look to classic movie musicals like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Sound of Music,” or “South Pacific.”
Invite the Whole Family
Valentine’s Day is for everyone, not just couples. Get your entire family to join in on the fun. Your loved one will see just how appreciated they are. Bring gifts – flowers, chocolates, or stuffed animals make for memorable presents. Grandchildren can bring their grandparent a handmade card expressing what makes grandma or grandpa so special. Put on music they enjoy. Play cards or board games together. Do the things you know they’ll appreciate, surrounded by friends and family. Ultimately, that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about: love and companionship.
For more tips on helping your loved one get the most out of the holidays, visit the Senior Living Management blog.