‘Tis the season of love! Even if you “don’t believe in Valentine’s Day,” this is a great time of year to reflect on family, friendship, and (yes) romance.
We know that 2021 might look a little different from years past. We can’t gather with friends in person or share a romantic date night at our favorite restaurant. Special events only happen online and hugs are virtual.
But despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are still plenty of ways to get in the spirit.
Keep reading for some fun ways to help the seniors in your life feel the love:
Create a Festive Environment
If you care for an older loved one, help them get in the holiday spirit with some fun and easy decorations (bonus if you can make them together!). When it comes to Valentine’s Day, decorating couldn’t be easier: With just some pink and red construction paper, a pair of scissors, and a little glue, you can quickly make cut-out hearts or a simple chain garland.
Plan a Celebration
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most people are still staying at home and avoiding crowded places. And while that is the smart thing to do, it had led to an epidemic of loneliness for older adults.
Help your older loved one get some much-needed social interaction with a virtual visit or outdoor gathering (weather-permitting). Remember: video chats allow people from all over the world to get together in one place at one time, something that may otherwise be impossible. While they don’t replace face-to-face gatherings, they do offer some perks!
Share a Kind Gesture
Even under regular circumstances, many older adults have a difficult time with day-to-day activities, such as cooking a homemade meal. To ease their burden, set up a “meal train” with family and friends, where one person would drop off dinner each day during a set timeframe.
- Arrange for snow removal from porches and sidewalks during the colder months
- Sign up for a laundry service that will pick up their soiled items and return them fresh and folded
- Deliver a box of boredom-busting treats, such as large-print word finds or a few new movies
- Consider dropping off a stuffed animal – these can be great gifts for seniors, especially those with dementia
- Mail a hand-written note to let them know they’re on your mind – even the smallest gestures make a difference!
Encourage Heart Healthy Exercise
Since Valentine’s Day is all about our hearts, this is a great time of year to remind your older loved ones to take care of their heart health! Heart-healthy activity doesn’t have to mean a three-mile run or an hour of aerobics. There are countless ways seniors can take care of their tickers – and many of them are fun.
These are some of our favorites (Tip: You can find free video tutorials for all of these on YouTube!):
- Chair yoga
- Dance classes
- Modified weight training exercises
- Playing with a dog
And don’t forget the sweets! After all, what’s Valentine’s Day without a little chocolate? Luckily, there are plenty of healthy ways to enjoy your favorite desserts, including low-sugar options.
Remember: These tips aren’t just for February. Anytime you think your older loved one might need a little love or affection, you can turn to this list for some quick and easy ideas!