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Making Valentine's Day Special for Seniors

 

Valentine’s Day is all about love and romance, and who doesn’t like that? The extra-special attention lathered upon us each February 14th evokes the warm and gooey feelings we felt when we first fell in love. For many seniors, however, this annual day of love can be just another day, or worse, a day of increased loneliness and sorrow.

I think about my own grandmother who spent nearly 60 years with the love of her life, and the last 15 missing him. I find it unfathomable the pain she must feel not having her love lying next to her each night, not having his strong hands to hold, or his lips to kiss. While I’m sure there is not a single day that passes without his memory in her mind, I imagine Valentine’s Day brings some added weight to her sorrow.

My grandmother’s story is unfortunately not unique. Many seniors are widowed or living alone, and finding a special way to show them some extra love on Valentine’s Day can make a big difference.

Here are some ways you can fill a senior’s Valentine’s Day with extra love:

  • Have flowers delivered, or deliver them yourself if you live nearby
  • If your loved one has old letters from the love of their life, dust them off and read them together
  • A special treat is even sweeter when it’s shared, so sit awhile and share something yummy
  • Get the kids involved – seniors love homemade valentines, even better if they include a recent photo
  • Share a special breakfast or lunch and stories of your loved one has shown they love you
  • Frame an old photo of you with your senior, include a card about how much they mean to you
  • Continue a tradition they may have shared with their late spouse
  • Be there –your time and presence can add happiness to a day that may have otherwise been lonely
  • There are so many ways to bring happiness to hearts of seniors on Valentine’s Day; I’d love to hear how you plan to spend Valentine’s Day and the ways you’ve found to brighten the day for your senior loved one.

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. February 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Posted by Deborah Stevens

    Seniors don't care what gift you give them. It's the thoughtt behind the gift that counts. Mine is baking. I have baked breads, cookies, & the like & distributed them to seniors who lived alone. Another person might use their creativity to make something else. Some seniors would enjoy receving a visit from someone to have a friend to talk to. How about a phone call, a musical card, or one with a special photo? If they can't get around, take them for a drive. You`d be amazed how a change in scenery or going out for a meal can brighten their day. Why not plan an activity they enjoy doing? A puzzle, a game? Some seniors would enjoy getting a visit from a child. Children have the ability to brighten a persons day in a way no one else can with their unexpected antics. Whatever the gift, big or small, tangible or heartfelt, the outcome is always the same. A feeling of being cared for, a lot of joy & time well spent. As long as it comes from your heart, it will always be the best gift you can give & always well received.

    Reply

  2. February 10, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Posted by Alison

    The tip about dusting off saved love letters and reading them together reminds me of the time our whole family was cleaning out my grandparent's attic to help them downsize for their move to a retirement village. We found a box of the love letters they had sent back and forth during their years in college, complete with upside-down stamps on the envelopes to signify "I Love You." My mom and her siblings started reading some of the letters out loud, and as we were laughing and making fun of a particularly mushy lovey-dovey passage, my grandmother came over, put her hands on her hips and said "Well after 55 years of marriage, I can tell you that whatever we wrote in those letters worked!" Now that my grandfather has since passed, I'm sure my grandmother would enjoy reading those letters again. :)

    Reply

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