One of the sweetest holidays on the calendar will be here soon. Around the nation, people will celebrate Valentine’s Day and express their affection for the ones they love. With both Christian and pagan roots, this holiday has been recognized since ancient times. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I declared February 14th as Valentine’s Day to honor a martyred priest and replace a Roman fertility festival. However, it was not until the later centuries that the holiday became associated with love and romance.
Today, the holiday is an opportunity to let a special person in your life know you care. This is also a time to show some love at the nursing home and help your favorite resident feel appreciated. The following ideas are good ways to share the holiday with a resident.
- Come for a visit. There’s nothing like the gift of time. Visits with your loved one are a wonderful opportunity to connect and share. Visits also help residents stay socially engaged and strengthen ties to their family or community of friends.
- Say it with flowers. A lovely flower arrangement or bouquet can be a welcome pop of color and floral freshness to your loved one’s room during the gray days of winter. You can go with traditional pink or red roses or carnations or you can opt for other brilliant blooms such as tulips, pink lilies, blue irises, daisies or even sunflowers. For pretty and more permanent options, you can give an artificial flower arrangement, preserved flowers or a live potted plant that is easy to care for such as a peace lily, cactus, spider plant, aloe plant, Chinese evergreen or lucky bamboo.
- Give a gift. Some ideas for appropriate gifts are activity books, bed jackets, lap blankets, homemade crafts, lotion, slipper socks with grips, walker bags and wheelchair cushions.
- Send an E-card. We have an array of electronic greeting cards designed for holidays, birthdays or simply to let your loved one know that you are thinking of them. These free personalized cards are delivered to residents Monday through Friday. To learn more, click here.
- Bring in some treats. Purchasing or making some Valentine’s Day-themed candies and baked treats are a nice way to show you care. You can also buy or make some healthier choices such as sugar-free chocolates, low-fat brownies and cookies, or fruit kabobs. Make sure you check with your resident’s care team for any dietary restrictions before bringing in treats.
- Join the fun. We have a variety of activities for residents to enjoy every day. On holidays, we love to get into the spirit and celebrate with special events. Check with our Activities Department and find out what’s going on for Valentine’s Day and how you can participate with your loved one.
- Get them a cuddle buddy. A soft and furry stuffed animal can be a wonderful gift, especially for someone with dementia who would appreciate cuddling up with a new comforting friend.