Valentine’s Day and Senior Citizens

Advice For Caregivers

seniors during Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is another great time of year to express our love for others – present or past!

Valentine’s Day is a holiday set aside to recognize love of all types.  However, for senior citizens, it can serve as a sad reminder about a love who has passed away.  If you have an aging loved one in your life you suspect will be feeling lonely and sad on Valentine’s Day, below are some ways you can help them to feel comforted and gently remind them of the many others who love them.

First, at times like these, it is important that your elderly loved one spends time with their family.  Take the time to sit down with your loved one and help them to fondly reminisce about the love of their life.  Let them know it’s OK to pull out those photos, love letters, and vivid memories and share them anytime they feel the need to talk about it.  If you know your loved one had a particular Valentine’s Day tradition with their spouse, such as visiting a favorite place or eating a specific valentine candy, ask if they would be interested in continuing the tradition with other family members.

Next, you can make Valentine’s Day more festive for your loved one by decorating their home or assisted living facility with items from a local craft store.  You may also consider surprising them by having flowers or chocolate delivered to brighten their day. Some nursing homes will have scheduled Valentine’s Day activities for seniors. If your senior lives in a nursing facility, be sure to call and see if they have senior activities planned or if you can surprise them with a Valentine’s Day gift or visit.

Finally, consider ways that you can keep your loved one occupied with an enjoyable activity as a way to beat the blues.  The following suggestions may help you to spark some ideas of your own.

  • Pick out romantic movies featuring great love stories that you know your loved one would like, and have a movie marathon. Some good ones include Casablanca, Love Story, When Harry Met Sally and Roman Holiday. Don’t forget the popcorn and any other special treats your loved one would enjoy.
  • Organize a fancy tea with your loved one, complete with finger sandwiches and fancy dress.
  • Be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, find out what your loved one’s favorite meal is and either take them out for it or make it for them.
  • Take a day trip to a local museum.
  • Sign up for a class that will allow you to learn a new skill together, such as cooking or painting.
  • Bring a group of family and friends together to make special Valentine’s Day cards. Provide construction paper, scissors, glue, and markers to make things more traditional.  Have each person draw the name of another out of a hat and make their card for that individual.  Afterwards, everyone can stick around for a potluck Valentine’s Day party to extend the comradery.

If you are looking for the perfect Valentine’s gift for seniors, we have a few suggestions! A special teddy bear or baby doll that they can cuddle up to at night is a very thoughtful gift idea. Lovely flowers or a houseplant can certainly brighten up their day. Or a simple homemade treat can show them how much you care. Whatever you choose to do for your elderly loved one on Valentine’s Day, it will surely make them feel special and keep their blues away.