Valentine's Day is the time to express your love not just to your significant other but to your family as well. Parents are often the most important people in our lives and deserve all the love we can offer them! Many of our residents at Bethesda Gardens in Monument, CO, are proud mothers and fathers, and for this Valentine's Day, we're encouraging younger relatives to spread the love with some of these tips.
Instead of making reservations at an expensive restaurant, bring gourmet Valentine's cuisine to your relative. You might feel you owe it to your parents to return the favor and cook for them, since they provided for you for many years. Make Valentine's Day the night to show mom or dad how much you appreciate their love and all the meals they made for you over the years.
Old relatives may appreciate the thoughtfulness. If you can't sit down with your parents at the table but you live close enough to drive, deliver dinner with some LED candles for a fun touch. Remember that actual candles aren't allowed in the assisted living community for safety reasons.
If recent travel restrictions have affected your plans this year or you're simply too far away to travel to see your parents in person this Valentine's Day, there are plenty of online services that allow you to send a variety of gifts fitting for the holiday through the mail.
• Flowers. Gifting the one you love with a bouquet is a traditional gesture for Valentine's Day, but it doesn't have to be limited to red roses for your sweetheart. If you can, get a flower vase for mom with her favorite flowers or ask Dad about the flowers he helped pick out for his wedding day so many years ago. With so many flowers to choose from, you can create a personal bouquet your older relative will love.
• Chocolate (and other treats). A classic candy associated with the holiday, chocolate is beloved by many of us throughout the year, although Valentine's Day gives enthusiasts the excuse to purchase the sweet treat by the box. Choose from dark or milk chocolates, chocolate with nuts like almonds or white chocolate if they have more of a sweet tooth. Are your parents more health-conscious? A Valentine's-themed Edible Arrangement might be your solution.
• Care packages. Pamper your loved ones by sending them a care package. These packages could be filled with anything your parents would need. It can range from a special spa set, a home movie package or a beer basket, just to name a few ideas. You have an option to assemble the basket from scratch or order a care package online to be shipped directly to their assisted living apartment.
Realistically, some may feel it's unsafe to visit elderly loved ones during this time. If you feel the need to take reasonable precautions to protect both yourself and your parents this coming Valentine's Day, consider setting up a telecommunication program on each of your electronic devices.
Video messaging apps such as Zoom and FaceTime have been popular in recent months and can be downloaded onto many computers and smartphones with a tap of your screen. You and your parents can share a glass of wine, have a heart-to-heart talk or tell each other stories of the past. These apps are typically free and easy to learn.
This is a much more meaningful option than purchasing a premade card from the store. Making your own handwritten Valentine's Day card for your loved ones can be a thoughtful and unique way of expressing your gratitude this year. You can write a variety of messages on your card. Include a short story or an inside joke that would bring a smile to their faces upon reading it. Feel free to get creative with your cards—some simple arts & crafts supplies like colored paper and heart-shaped cutouts may be worth the extra effort. In fact, if you have children of your own, this could be a fun family activity.
Lastly, if you have a large family and are looking for an alternative way to celebrate your Valentine's Day at home, this is an idea to try! This gift-giving game works exactly like Dirty Santa—just draw from the names of each family member participating and get a gag gift accordingly. Then, on the day you want to celebrate, everyone exchanges and opens their gift with each person explaining how their gag gift represents a reason why you love or admire them. Aside from getting presents in February, this game allows family members the opportunity to express their love for one another in a unique way.