Valentine’s Day Activities for Seniors
Valentine's Day isn't just about romance. As a caregiver, the holiday presents an opportunity to do something outside of your normal routine and make memories with your loved ones.
In this article, we discuss several fun ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with the seniors in your life. Whether you're a fan of handmade crafts and afternoon strolls or you prefer making snacks and watching movies, you're sure to find something even your pickiest family members will love.
1) Make Valentine’s decorations. If your senior loves arts and crafts, make homemade decorations. All you need is:
Construction paper in various colors (think pinks, reds, and purples)
Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
Glue or glue sticks
Once you have everything together, try one of the following activities:
Valentine's Day Cards. To make an easy card, fold a piece of construction paper in half. Then, use the crayons, stickers, glitter, and glue to decorate it. Encourage your senior to get as creative as they want. There's no right or wrong way to do it.
If your care recipient enjoys writing and is able, you might even want to encourage them to include a poem or message. Once they're finished, you can hang the card up or send it to a family member or friend.
Paper hearts. This one's as simple as it sounds. Draw hearts of various sizes on the construction paper. Then, cut them out and hang them up around your house. If you create lots of paper hearts, you can even string them together with a piece of yarn to make a garland. Then, hang it across the top of a window or along the mantle like you would Christmas lights.
Color a Valentine-themed picture. If your senior has dementia or another neurodegenerative condition, a craft like coloring probably makes more sense. Crayola has dozens of free coloring pages you can print out at home. Click here to check them out.
2) Spend some quality time together. Valentine's Day is lonely for many seniors. Especially those who have lost a spouse. If you provide care for an elderly loved one, make time on Valentine's Day to do something fun. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Go for a walk in the park. Enjoy a conversation. Read a book together. Play a fun game. The goal is to engage them and reduce feelings of isolation or sadness.
3) Make some holiday treats. Valentine's Day and candy go hand-in-hand, but not everyone's diet allows for processed sugars. Still, there are plenty of tasty treats worth checking out, including:
If you don't feel like making anything fancy, no worries. A snack tray with fruits, vegetables, and various dips is a great way to keep everyone happy in between meals.
4) Take a walk down memory lane. If your senior has Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia, it can be difficult to connect. Tapping into the various senses may help jog their memory, especially on a holiday like Valentine's Day.
For example, you could look through an album of old wedding photos and ask your senior about them. Or, you could play a record they love listening to. If you have access to old love letters or journal entries, consider reading those aloud. Try different things to see what creates a "spark" in your loved one's eyes.
5) Buy flowers and arrange a bouquet. If your senior enjoys gardening, wish them Happy Valentine's Day by crafting your own bouquet. Visit a local flower shop or grocery store, purchase a selection of blooms, and bring them home. Lay everything out on the table and work together with your senior to create a stunning hand-crafted arrangement. This activity is more expensive than some of the others on this list but it’s absolutely worth the investment.
6) Take a Valentine Day stroll. The month of February is notoriously cold and dark, but if the weather permits, set aside some time on Valentine's Day to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.
Visit a local nature preserve and take in some sunshine or stroll around your neighborhood. It's a fun activity that gets your senior outside the house. Plus, it can get their blood pumping and may even improve their attention span and memory.
7) Watch a romantic movie. If your care recipient experiences mobility issues, doing crafts, making a bouquet, or getting outside might not be an option. That's okay! You can still celebrate the holiday by putting on some entertainment. There are hundreds of romances and romantic comedies to choose from, but some classics include:
When Harry Met Sally
The Wedding Planner
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Singing in the Rain
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Sleepless in Seattle
These are just a few suggestions for spending time with your senior this Valentine's Day. Whatever you end up doing, we hope you have a blast and make lots of memories.
From all of us at Carewell, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Chad Birt is a freelance B2B and B2C medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.