Spending Valentine’s Day with the Elderly

Valentine’s Day is coming up and even though seniors may look different, inside – as many of them will tell you – they still feel like they’re 21 again.  And, as any 21 will tell you, Valentine’s Day is an utterly important and anticipated event in their lives.

So, given the obvious challenges (including: death of a partner, lack of companionship, etc.), how can you as a person concerned for the elderly, transform Valentine’s Day into a (positively) memorable occasion for those over 75?

How about bringing your elderly neighbor some heart-shaped cookies on the day? Better still, leave them at her door with a cute Valentine’s note (make sure not to make it too cryptic; we don’t want them worrying or leading them to suspect the worst!).  Alternatively, you can take her out for a “cup of coffee” only to add to the order a heart-shaped chocolate and a little note you’ve written about how much love you have for her that you’d like to use this special day to celebrate.

Get the youngsters involved as well. Kids from as young as 4 or 5 seem to understand the importance of hearts in grown-ups lives.  You may have to help with the writing of the words but get them involved by making a festive card for the occasion.  Home-made gifts go a long way in bringing cheer to those who feel isolated and alone, especially over any holiday period.

Early evening you could suggest you and the elderly individual watch a classic romantic movie; perhaps one she used to watch with her loved one – or, if that’s too painful, suggest a new modern version to take her mind off of her loss.

It doesn’t have to be traditional and it doesn’t even have to contain hearts, but make an effort with the elderly.  Remember: every single person needs to feel loved.  The elderly would surely appreciate being remembered on Valentine’s Day; a day that seems all too often to be singled out for the young by age, and not necessarily the young at heart.