As I write this Valentine’s Day is exactly one week away. It had me thinking about how many older people will celebrate the day without their loving partners. Then with the stream of consciousness way my brain works, I remembered, “It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” If you are like me you have heard this quote many times without knowing who wrote it or why it was written. Fortunately, with a quick internet search, I was able to find that it is part of a poem entitled, “In Memoriam,” written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson after the death of a close friend. That got me thinking that not all older people have had loving partners, but they may have had close friends or family members with whom they had celebrated Valentine’s Day. So, where is this blog going? I would like to look at what we can do to make this Valentine’s Day special for the older people in our lives who are alone.
Depending on how well you know the older person, you might want to begin by asking the person who he or she thinks of when thinking about Valentine’s Day. After that you will want to find out from them Valentine memories about that individual. This may require asking different questions at different times, so it is not obvious that you are mining for information. Once you have some information, you can utilize scrapbooking supplies to create a unique valentine that will commemorate the older person’s memories of his or her “Valentine.” If scrapbooking is not your cup of tea, you may need to enlist the help of a friend who is a scrapbooker. By starting now you will have time to create a unique, valentine memory for that older person in your life. Have fun!
John W. Reese, M.S., CDP
Elder Care Coordinator