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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on February 1st, 2016

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5 Valentine Gift Ideas For Your Aging Loved One

assisted living | Valentines Day | Aging & Caregiving

_5_Valentine_Gift_Ideas_For_Your_Aging_Loved_OneDoesn’t your aging loved one deserve a little something special this year? While chocolates and flowers may be the usual go-to Valentine’s Day gifts, these five gifts can help your loved one feel valued and remembered this February 14th.

1. The Do-It-Yourself Gift

Anyone can run to the local Hallmark store and buy something, but making something yourself takes time, effort and planning. Consider making a special craft or piece of artwork in honor of your loved one. Involve your kids and/or other family members, if possible.

Whether you construct a family tree or make a heart collage out of cherished family photos, a one-of-a-kind gift is the ultimate expression of affection. And while it may not be the most valuable present in monetary terms, it will be priceless to its recipient.

2. The Gift That Keeps on Giving

If your loved one has a favorite treat -- from popcorn to coffee -- pick a gift they’ll look forward to every month. Gift of the month clubs have more options than ever so whether your mom loves cupcakes or your dad loves fresh fruit, these personal gifts are sure to surprise and please even the pickiest palates.

3. A Day on the Town

Many older adults don’t get out and about as much as they’d like. Arrange a special Valentine’s Day outing with your loved one and stop at a few favorite places, or as many as you can squeeze in. From lunch and manicures to a day at the museum, you can honor your loved one with a day of memory-making. Be sure to take plenty of photos along the way.

4. Home is Where the Heart Is

If your aging loved one isn’t all that mobile, there’s no reason you can’t cultivate the feeling of a special occasion in his/her own home. Help seniors feel connected to the holiday by decorating their living spaces. Pink and red balloons, heart doilies, decals, fun family photos, and handmade artwork can warm up even the most ordinary spaces. Invite friends and family members to drop by throughout the day: just make sure they don’t all arrive at once to avoid overwhelming your parent. (If you do go this route, help your parent prepare his/her own Valentines in advance to give out to visitors.)

If your aging loved one lives in an assisted living community, arrange in advance to share a meal in the dining room. Your parent will enjoy nothing more than having cherished family members and friends gather in one place in his/her honor.

5. Think Outside the Box

Many seniors are fearful about using technology. However, tablets, laptops, cell phones and other devices offer a unique window to the world outside. If your loved one is open to technology, Valentine’s Day presents the perfect opportunity to usher in the digital age with a gift for helping your loved one stay connected. Be sure to set aside ample time to help him/her understand how to use the gift. While the learning curve may be slow, the results bring great potential!

Key Takeaways

  • Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to remember your aging loved one in a unique way.

  • Let your love one’s hobbies, interests and preferences guide the gift-giving process.

  • If possible, incorporate multiple generations into the gift-giving.

  • Not all gifts are material: for many older adults, there’s nothing more valuable than quality time with loved ones.

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.