Happy Valentine's Day!Valentine’s Day is one holiday that has been around for a very long time. Although it is based on religious origins, the holiday itself has evolved, and over the last several hundred years a variety of stories have been attributed to the early Christian saint, Valentinus and others of similar names.

Today we see Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love and affection, and tradition dictates that we all participate in an exchange of flowers, cards, chocolates and possibly other trinkets. Valentine’s Day is mostly focused on romantic love, but does not exclude the affection shared between family and friendships. For this reason, it can be difficult for elders to maintain a cheery outlook on this holiday, especially if they have lost their spouse or other loved ones and feel like they are alone. It’s up to you to remind them that they are loved and supported! Read on for a few ideas on how to make sure that happens.

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to bring people together! Making cards together is a great activity that can involve children and adults of all ages. Try assembling a variety of materials ahead of time. Motor skills may not be strong in young children or elders, so having a selection of pre-cut shapes like hearts and stars can reduce a great deal of frustration.

Even if an elder cannot participate in making any Valentine’s Day crafts, they will still be sure to appreciate any Valentines made by children or other family members, so keep them in mind! If your beloved elder is in a medical facility or a home, a bouquet of flowers can be a very thoughtful touch and brighten up the room and the mood, as your beloved one can appreciate the gift for weeks and show it off to staff, visitors, and the other residents. Sending Valentines on behalf of an incapacitated loved one is another great way to help them participate.

Instead of purchasing overpriced chocolate, one popular Valentine’s Day tradition is to to make homemade treats, which is another great family activity. This can be a great opportunity for an elder to shine by contributing an old recipe and teaching younger family members. Perhaps there’s a secret fudge recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation, and you’re missing out!

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