If there’s a special senior in your life, Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to do something sweet for them. Your gift doesn’t have to be big or extravagant — in fact, it doesn’t have to be a physical gift at all. It really is the thought that counts: showing your senior that you’re thinking about them and making sure they feel loved is what means the most.
Social isolation and loneliness tend to affect the elderly more than any other age group. Even those living in a group setting can still feel lonely or sad, especially if they have recently lost a spouse or close friend. Taking the time to show your love this Valentine’s Day can mean so much to a senior. Here are some great ways to do it:
Enjoy Music or Movies Together
If your senior likes music, adding to his or her song collection — or starting one — is a wonderful idea. Give a CD or two of favorite tunes they’ll enjoy. If your senior doesn’t already have a simple portable boombox, you can make that part of your gift. Another idea is to ask what your senior’s favorite romantic movie is, and download or purchase it ahead of time. Then bring it (and some microwave popcorn) along to watch together. Set aside an afternoon or evening to enjoy listening to or watching their old favorites together.
Share Family Photos
Frame a photo of you and your loved one, or fill a scrapbook with family photos for a sure-to-be-cherished gift. Photos can be enjoyed all year long, and are a wonderful way to start conversations and share memories. Photo gifts are especially good choices for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or those who are non-verbal — they give you a starting point for a conversation, and may jog memories as you chat about the subject and setting of the photo.
Deliver Their Favorite Flowers
Who doesn’t love flowers? While it’s fun to get a delivery, it’s even more special if you pick up a bouquet of your loved one’s favorites and deliver them in person on Valentine’s Day. If you want your gift to last even longer, you can plant flowers in your loved one’s yard — or if they live in a senior community, put together some favorites in a pretty planter for them to enjoy on their deck or patio.
Make a Homemade Treat
The gift of a favorite homemade treat is a sweet surprise, especially for elders who don’t cook much anymore or for those who live in a senior care facility. (Of course, you’ll want to take your senior’s dietary needs and requirements into consideration.) A favorite cookie, cake or candy made with love is sure to bring a smile, especially one made from a cherished family recipe.
Cook Their Favorite Meal
Treat your loved one to a meal you know they enjoy, but may not be able to make on their own any more. Whether you cook at their place, or your own, having a homemade meal gives you more time to spend together than eating out. Decorate the table with a festive centerpiece and napkins. To make it even more special, consider inviting one of your loved one’s friends or neighbors over to join you for your Valentine’s Day celebration. (It just might make their day, too!)
Plan a Special Outing
Get creative and plan a special outing based on your loved one’s interests — it could be attending a sporting event, taking in a play or musical performance, getting a manicure or massage. Plan to join your loved one for the outing so they can enjoy your company and a fun activity at the same time (without having to worry about driving). You can present a card explaining what you’ll be doing together, if you don’t actually plan the event for Valentine’s Day.
Arrange an “Online Reunion”
If your family has members who live far away, consider setting up a Skype or FaceTime session to “reunite” them with your senior on Valentine’s Day. Make the arrangements ahead of time, and be there to guide your senior through the process, as he or she may not be familiar with the technology. It’s especially enjoyable for elders to feel connected to their families, by seeing and talking to children or grandchildren who aren’t able to visit in person.
Love Is the Best Gift of All
Perhaps the most appreciated Valentine’s Day gift of all is to share your feelings. Write a heartfelt note that tells your loved one how much you care about them, and what they mean to you. If you have children, have them make their own cards, and hand-deliver them with you.
Many senior citizens would agree that gifts of time and attention are the ones they cherish the most. Taking the time to visit and showing you care is the simplest — but most meaningful — Valentine’s Day gift you can give.
Hearthstone Has a Heart for Seniors
Our communities offer a place where residents truly feel the warmth of family and are engaged daily with community activities. Celebrations, like our upcoming Valentine’s Day festivities, are a great time for family and residents to come together to enjoy a day of love.
For more information about daily life in our Hearthstone communities, please call or stop by for a visit.
12520 SW Hart Road
Beaverton, OR 97008
10880 SW Davies Rd
Beaverton, OR 97008