04 Feb How to Make Valentine’s Day Special for a Loved One in Assisted Living
Valentine’s Day is a special time of year, when we celebrate the people we love most. Often, this is a difficult time for residents in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities, who are separated from their families and may have lost spouses in recent years. This can often bring on feelings of sadness and loneliness. But if you have a loved one in a nursing home, you can do some simple things to make Valentine’s Day special for them.
Come and Visit
The best way to make any day special for someone in assisted living is to visit them. Any time you can come and visit is an excellent way to show that you’re thinking of them, but visiting on a special holiday like Valentine’s Day can make it extra special. You can bring a small gift or card along with you, but your presence is the most important part of any day of the year.
Take Them Out
Contact your loved one’s assisted living facility and ensure that you are allowed to take your loved one off campus before making any plans; this will often depend on the facility they are in, as well as their current health and care needs. Once you get permission, make plans for a special Valentine’s dinner or other event.
You can take your loved one out to a restaurant, to see a movie or play, or just back to your own home for a special dinner. If they had Valentine’s traditions with a deceased spouse, perhaps honor those traditions by going to the places they would have gone to together. Do all you can to make the evening truly special for them.
Decorate Their Room
You can do this with your loved one, or as a surprise for them. If you’re doing it with them, make it part of your visit to the facility. Bring banners, streamers, paper hearts, and other decorations that you can hang around their room together. If you want to surprise them with the decorations, be sure to arrange it with the care staff.
Ask about your loved one’s schedule so you can find a time to sneak into their room and hang the decorations. Then, have the care staff bring them back to the room when you’re finished, and surprise them with the decorations and your presence!
If you can’t come by in person, sending a Valentine’s Day card or small gift is a great way to let the person know that you are thinking about them. Nursing home residents love to receive homemade cards and letters from their family members. So, get the whole family together and make some cards to send. The kids in the family will love being a part of this as well.
Be sure to send the cards a few days in advance so that your loved one will have them on Valentine’s Day. If you’re sending any candies along, make sure to contact the nursing home to see if your loved one has been placed on any sort of dietary restrictions for health reasons.
Give Them a Call
Phone calls are another way that you can wish your loved one a Happy Valentine’s Day. If you can’t visit your family member in person on this day, give them a call to let you know how much you love them. After all, Valentine’s Day is the day of love, so it’s the perfect opportunity to call just to say, “I love you.”
Regular phone calls also help your loved one to feel connected to everyone back home. Update them on everyone’s lives as best you can, from major events like new babies to minor details like how your children are doing in school. Try to keep them involved in your family’s life as much as you possibly can.
Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday for individuals who are in care facilities and away from their families. By making an effort to make Valentine’s Day something special, you can let them know that they are loved, and that their family is thinking of them. Of course, these activities don’t have to be reserved for holidays either; evenings out, visits from family, letters and cards, and phone calls can brighten your loved one’s day at any point during the year. After all, we don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to roll around to find a reason to say,