Romance and confections are what Valentine’s Day is all about, right? Not necessarily! Although this holiday is known for lovers, it can also be a reminder to express love and appreciation to all the wonderful people in your life, including a senior. Holidays can sometimes illicit loneliness for the elderly because they may not be able to carry out traditions they’ve done for years with their significant other or family. At Family Resource Home Care, we encourage you to celebrate the day with your aging parent or loved one. Whether they still live at home or are being cared for by others, there are ways to make this holiday memorable and upbeat. We’ve come up with 5 ways to make your loved one feel special this Valentine’s Day:

Your presence is a present.

Pay your loved one a visit and carve out enough time in your day so you don’t spend it feeling rushed or harried. Brighten up their space with fresh flowers or Valentine’s cards made by yourself (or your children!). A creative, handmade gift can be more meaningful than something store-bought. If a handmade gift is out of your realm of creativity, think about getting them an experience (a movie, a trip to a museum, a spa day, an instructed craft class) rather than another item.

Take a trip down memory lane.

Use this holiday as an opportunity to help your loved one experience the joy and self-worth associated with a cherished moment and some of their past traditions. Prompt fond memories with questions like “Did you exchange Valentines growing up?” or “Who was your first date?” Leaf through photo albums and look back on the love you shared – and continue to share – as a family. Consider framing a special moment in time for an extra heartfelt touch.

Savor the moment.

It’s likely that your loved one has experienced a time or two in which they longed for the days of preparing meals for others. Ask for a favorite recipe (in advance!) and surprise them with it on Valentine’s Day. It’s been said that the sense of taste can evoke a joyful memory and conjure the comforts of home. To add a special touch, ask their favorite artist or genre to play softly in the background, this can help illicit memories too.

Do something unexpected.

Has your loved one been experiencing the winter blues? Go to a bakery or coffee shop, see a matinee movie, or head out to the local library.

Curate a care package.

Live at a distance? Sending a care package will provide warm greetings and let your loved one know they’re in your thoughts. Assemble a box that incorporates personal interests and hobbies, savory treats, and handmade gifts and photos from family and friends. The best of all worlds.

“You always gain by giving love.” – Reese Witherspoon

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