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The Importance of Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Aging Loved One
Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on February 14th, 2017

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The Importance of Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Aging Loved One

assisted living  |  senior caregiving  |  tips for caregivers  |  aging seniors  |  caregiver  |  Valentines Day  |  Aging & Caregiving

holding hands resized 600Valentine's Day is a holiday for couples. This holiday can be very painful when a loved one doesn’t have their husband or wife by their side.

For your widowed mom or dad, they could be experiencing this pain. Watching others celebrate with their spouses can trigger deep sadness, and even depression, in your aging loved one.

By celebrating together, you can show the one you love that this holiday is about love, not just spouses. This act may help alleviate some of that grief.

How to Help

As Valentine's Day approaches, take it upon yourself to do something to help with this sense of loss. While you can't completely take away the pain of a lost spouse, through your love and thoughtfulness, you can do your part to bring some joy to your loved one on this normally difficult day.

  • Send a card – Send a card, and encourage friends and other relatives to do the same. Brightening up your parent's home with cheerful greetings will help bring reminders of loved ones who are still here.

  • Pay a visit – If you live close enough, pay a visit to your mom or dad on Valentine's Day. Don't be surprised if your parent expresses deep sadness. This is normal, but rest assured that your presence is helpful.

  • Reminisce together – Use this special holiday to remember together the love that you shared and still share as a family. Look through old scrapbooks, bring up gifts from Valentine's Days past and turn a sad time into a happy time of remembering.

  • Re-create past celebrations – If the one who has passed away had a special tradition on Valentine's Day, consider re-creating it with your mom or dad. While you won't replace the one who is missing, this can help take the sting of grief away a bit.

  • Do something unexpected – If you've been contemplating doing something unexpected, like taking your dad on a golfing excursion or spending the day at the spa with mom, Valentine's Day is an excellent time to do so.

Allow Time for Grief

Grief can be difficult to watch, especially when someone you love is the one who is grieving. Remember, though, that grief is normal. Give your parent some room and time to grieve, if it is warranted.

Just be sure that you do not neglect the holiday altogether. Visit, call and send a card to help provide your own type of love on this love-filled holiday.

Key Takeaways

  • Valentine's Day can be a difficult holiday for those who have been recently widowed.
  • Show your aging loved one you are thinking of them with gifts, cards or visits.
  • Provide time to grieve, and grieve together, as you celebrate this holiday.
United Methodist Homes- Essential Caregiver's Guide

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!

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.