Show a Senior Loved One You Care – 10 Tips just in time for Valentine’s Day!

When we think of gifts for loved ones, especially to commemorate a holiday like Valentine’s Day, we tend to think of things we can buy. For seniors, including those in assisted living communities or nursing homes, there are more appropriate, heart-felt, and more appreciated gifts you can give.

#1 Music

Music is much loved both in and out of senior facilities. Nothing lifts the spirit or brings residents back in time than songs of their youth. Gifts of recordings of oldies-but-goodies like Frank Sinatra, songs of the 40s and 50s will bring a smile, for sure.

# 2 Gifts

Especially now in the middle of winter, a gift that helps your loved one get and stay warm is very much appreciated. A lap blanket, fuzzy socks, slippers, a scarf, or hat is a practical and loving gift, particularly if it’s hand-made.

#3 Food

Is there a special food or treat that your senior would love but hasn’t had lately? Check with the doctor to be sure that the specific food you are thinking about is OK and package just enough to be eaten within a day or two so that it doesn’t spoil.

#4 Day Trip

Take your loved one out for the day or afternoon. Think of an excursion that can be completed within an hour or two that would be pleasurable for both of you. A simple trip to a park to sit and enjoy nature and an intimate talk is one experience that may have become a rare occurrence. Perhaps a breakfast or lunch at a nearby restaurant or a short shopping trip would be appreciated.

#5 Sit Down

Just sit with them for a while. It isn’t always possible to make time for a long visit, but set aside time for a longer-than-usual visit with your loved one. Bring along a magazine or book and read to them. Or bring a deck of cards and play a game of gin rummy, canasta or double solitaire. You don’t have to plan an “adventure;” simply spending time together is a great gift.

#6 Talk

Reminisce with them. Get out your collection of old photographs and spark memories of relatives, holidays, or vacations. You can share your childhood memories as well.

#7 Touch

Loving gestures, like sitting close and holding hands or a shoulder squeeze speaks volumes. And don’t forget hugging! An intentional hug that lasts for more than a few seconds says, “I love you” loud and clear.

#8 Eye Contact

Remember to maintain eye contact. Looking directly into someone’s eyes when speaking to them, and when they are talking, creates an emotional link. This conveys the feeling that you are really interested in what they are saying.

#9 Tell

Words matter. Just saying, “I love you” or “I’m thinking of you” can make a huge impact. Positive words of encouragement, such as “You are making great progress” or “I know you are going through a difficult time, but you are really doing well” go a long way to strengthening a relationship.

#10 Celebrate

Celebrate together. Most residents at an assisted living community or nursing home will have a special meal or activity planned for them. Arrange to join your loved one for Valentine’s Day lunch or dinner or participate in any special holiday activity together.

Valentine’s Day reminds us to express our love and appreciation for others … these actions should go beyond February 14th to honor and celebrate the love you share.

Let Us Help

If you have questions regarding these or other concerns for the Aurum Network, contact us or call 978-282-9551. To locate a community within the Aurum Network, use our facility locator tool.

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