Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love for your spouse, partner, significant other and your family. Over the years it has been hailed as a holiday for lovers, but for some seniors this holiday is less than happy. Unfortunately, many seniors are without their loved one on Valentine’s Day. This can cause sadness to ensue and simply remind them of their loss. But, Valentine’s Day does not have to be a sad day for those who have lost their loved ones. Instead, family caregivers and family members can easily help make their loved ones’ Valentine’s Day a celebration of love and happiness. Here are a few wonderful activities to do with your elderly loved ones on Valentine’s Day.
Make Valentine’s Day Cards
Cards are a simple way to tell someone that you care. During Valentine’s Day, a perfect activity for seniors is to help them make cards. Depending on your senior’s abilities, they may need help cutting out paper and gluing items together. However, making cards is a fun idea to keep your senior occupied throughout Valentine’s Day and to remind them that the holiday is essentially about love. You can add candy, treats or small letters to each card. Gather a group of people to make Valentine’s Day cards together, and then once Valentine’s Day comes along, everyone can exchange cards. This will give your senior a feeling of being loved and needed. Plus, making cards allows seniors to have a fun and cool creative outlet. This can help seniors relieve stress and stay focused on the true meaning of Valentine’s Day rather than focusing on the loss of their loved one. If your senior lives in a nursing home, then making cards can be a great idea for the entire facility.
Have a Feast
Many people have certain meals and treats that they have enjoyed for Valentine’s Day over the years. If your senior has lost their loved one, then these treats may not be part of their celebrations now. To help lift their spirits and help them focus on their happiness and not their loneliness, you can recreate some of the meals that they traditionally ate on Valentine’s Day. Ask your senior about any of the traditions they kept with their loved one and try to recreate some of them. For some, this could simply mean baking cookies together. If your senior did not have any Valentine’s Day food traditions, then why not start your own? You can cook a few simple treats with your senior to keep their minds active and focused on happy times. Always be considerate of any dietary needs your senior may have. If your senior is diabetic or has any food allergies, then make sure the recipes you create fit their needs.
Spend Time with Family
Spending time with family can be a great activity for Valentine’s Day. It allows the entire family to come together and celebrate their love for each other. Especially if there are grandkids in your family, then it would be very nice for your senior loved ones to spend time with their grandkids. This will bring them joy and happiness, and will help prevent them from focusing on the loss of their spouse. Plus, you can incorporate other Valentine’s Day activities such as making cards and cooking with all of your family members. If you make the day fun and filled with activities, then your elderly loved one will have no time to be lonely, and will instead focus on the family he or she still has.
Valentine’s Day Bingo
Bingo is hugely popular in nursing homes and senior living communities. It is a fun game that allows seniors to socialize and keep their minds active. If your senior loves bingo, then consider making a Valentine’s Bingo Game. To create the bingo cards, get creative. You can either stick with simple number bingo, or you can do a trivia bingo. Valentine’s Trivia is rampant all over the internet and it would be very easy to create trivia bingo spots for your cards. Top off each card with heart shaped pieces of candy for markers and you will have the perfect Valentine’s Day Bingo game.
Have a Singles Valentine’s Day Dance
If your elderly loved one lives in a nursing home or senior community, then talk with the director of the program and set up a Valentine’s Day Dance. This will allow seniors to socialize on Valentine’s Day and meet new people. It will also help them have a little bit of fun during this day. Seniors can dress up and have dinner together, then dance the night away. Valentine’s Day dances are very easy to organize, and can easily help your senior feel happy during the holiday.
Decorations are fun and festive. If your senior loved one is a fan of holiday decorations, consider decorating their home together. Buy a lot of red and pink decorations at your local craft store to spruce up your senior’s living space. They will find happiness and joy in the decorations and will love having them in the weeks and days before Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day can be a lonely holiday for many seniors. If they have lost a loved one, then they may feel upset and sad when Valentine’s Day comes around. The day does not have to be a drag though. If your senior grows weary around the holiday, then consider helping them stay happy and active by doing one of the activities above. All of these activities can be customized to fit your senior’s needs and desires. To keep your senior’s mind off of their sadness, make the day happy. It is best to form new memories and new traditions so that they have something to look forward to each Valentine’s Day. Remember, the holiday is about love, and if you spend time with your senior you can show them just how much you love them.
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