Most of us associate Valentine’s Day with romance and happy couples. Ironically, the holiday springs from a tale of a kind-hearted priest who took on a grumpy emperor trying to prevent soldiers from getting married. But the day shouldn’t be limited to just a celebration between couples. It can be a day to spend time with anyone you love.
If an older adult in your family lives in an assisted living community, like Sunrise Senior Living, you might be looking for ideas on how to spend the day. We have a few that might help you plan a day they’ll always remember.
Ideas for Celebrating with a Senior Valentine
1. Decorate their home: Create a festive environment by decorating the elder’s suite for Valentine’s Day. Consider including handmade valentines that feature some of the senior’s cherished old photos. Make copies of a few favorites and place them throughout the suite or villa.
2. Make some tasty treats: Heart-shaped valentine cookies are fun to make—and to eat! You can bake them together if the senior has their own kitchen, or you can bake them ahead of time. Then spend the day frosting and decorating the cookies. It’s an activity several generations of your family can enjoy!
3. Host a movie matinee: Watching a romantic comedy is another way to enjoy time with your favorite older valentine. You’ve Got Mail, 50 First Dates, and Singing in the Rain are a few movies to consider.
4. Play valentine bingo: This is another activity several generations of the family can enjoy. Consider printing valentine themed bingo sheets like these and using heart-shaped candies for bingo chips. Don’t forget to buy a few prizes for the winners!
5. Enjoy a family dinner: Assisted living communities welcome and encourage loved ones to join their family members for a meal. Some have private dining rooms that you can reserve. Talk with the staff and pick a time to schedule a family dinner in honor of Valentine’s Day.
6. Have a tea party: Another easy-to-plan event is an intergenerational tea party. Have everyone dress in fancy hats and snack on heart-shaped cucumber sandwiches and tiny, tasty treats.
7. Create a garland chain: A festive and fun way to show your love for a senior is by creating a garland chain with messages from family members. This is an activity even long-distanced relatives can join in. Hang the garland around the senior’s apartment door so they can show it off to visitors and fellow residents.
8. Host a scrapbooking party: This is an idea that your older family member and future generations can enjoy for years to come. It can be as simple as inviting family and friends to make a scrapbook together. Have everyone bring copies of old photos and small memorabilia to give the book personality.
One final tip is to talk with the team members at the assisted living community to see what they have planned. Many communities host events to celebrate holidays like Valentine’s Day, and welcome family members to participate.