Although some may discount Valentine’s Day as overrated, let us not forget those who desire an outpouring of affection on this holiday, as much as any other day. If you have an elderly loved one, seize this holiday as an opportunity to express your love and admiration in a way that might otherwise be unconventional. Valentine’s Day is increasingly becoming a day for the unique, adventurous and even outrageous of activities for people to experience together (skydiving, anyone?). Without being too fanatical, here are five ways you and an elder can spend time together:
• Playing Bingo…with a twist: Play Bingo by aiming to create a “heart-shaped” win instead of traditional rows. Changing the cards from Bingo letters to names of famous older actors/singers is a creative twist that can spark past memories.
• Thinking of a Neighbor: Making a card for a next-door neighbor is a great way to incorporate art into the holiday. This activity is not only fun for you and an elder, but it also offers her/him a chance to make someone else’s day. Adding chocolate or a baked treat to the card is also ideal.
• For a group activity, build a “Valentine’s Day Gift Auction”: Buy and wrap inexpensive gifts and give each player a few pretend $100 bills to bid for each item. The added competition and mystery over the wrapped items makes for a fun and humorous night for all.
• An Ice Cream or Cooking Social: After assuring all desserts are sugar free and health-safe, invite other friends and family over to join in on creating an edible masterpiece. This way, everyone can be included, whether it is frosting the cupcakes or enjoying great conversation.
• The Mall: For seniors who love to get out, but don’t do well with a lot of traveling, the mall provides a variety of entertainment within one location. Grab a bite to eat after shopping and even catch a movie together.
Remember, your friends and family will always prefer your time over an expensive gift. Therefore, make Valentine’s Day the first footprint of a closer walk with your senior.
You can find additional creative projects and events for the home at: http://www.helium.com/items/2069505-activities-for-senior-citizens-on-valentines-day
If your loved one is memory impaired, check out this site for ideas on how to spend the holiday together: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/02/07/3384372/silverado-senior-living-how-to.html.