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Embracing love and memory: Valentine's Day for older adults

Vicky Gemme

Special to Village News

While Valentine’s Day is often associated with young love, it is also a very significant milestone for many older adult couples who have spent their lives together. It is a day to not only celebrate lasting love but to reflect on the memories they have shared. And while this day may be joyous for some, for others who may have lost their significant other, it can be a challenging time that requires additional support.

Aging adults can celebrate Valentine’s Day in various ways. With such a rich history together, the possibilities for making Valentine’s Day special are endless. When seeking out plans this year, it is often a great idea to look into the past to find something that will bring fond memories during this day of celebration.

For example, staying in and watching your favorite movie together or revisiting places that hold special memories, such as a restaurant or location you frequented throughout your life together. Ultimately, the goal should be to enjoy each other’s company while embracing past memories.

While there will be those celebrating this Valentine’s Day, it is also a time of grief for those who have lost their spouse or may be isolated from their loved ones. It is important for these individuals to understand ways to cope with their feelings and find comfort.

For those grieving the loss of their spouse, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a time of sorrow but a time to honor their memory. Visiting their graves or lighting a candle in their honor are some examples of paying tribute to them. One could also write their loved one a letter to express their continued love despite their absence. These activities may bring up emotions but can be very therapeutic.

For individuals separated from their children or grandchildren, there may be a sense of loneliness during this time. Technology can play a role in alleviating this loneliness. Video calls, especially, can provide a connection for those far away. One can also stay connected to their loved ones through digital messages.

You may also try to connect with others during this time. Many community centers and organizations host Valentine’s Day events for older adults. Additionally, one could participate in volunteering to feel connected with other individuals and to foster a sense of community.

Regardless of your situation this Valentine’s Day, it is important to always try to plan ahead to make the day go smoother.

Vicky Gemme works at ECDOL, which stands for Excellent Care, Decency & Optimal Living, as a senior care specialist and has been working in this field for over four years. She also has a National Caregiver Certification from the American Caregiver Association.

 

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