Valentine’s Day is an opportune time to express affection to senior loved ones. During this holiday, memories of lost friends and family members can evoke sorrow. Therefore, emotional and social support are vital. Here are four fulfilling activities your loved one may enjoy.
1. Create a Heart Bird Feeder
This endeavor brightens winter for both seniors and hungry birds. First, gather ingredients for the recipe:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
3 tablespoons corn syrup
4 cups birdseed
Also, gather a spoon, straw, large bowl, cooking spray, baking sheet, heart-shaped cookie cutters, parchment, and twine.
Pour the water, corn syrup, and gelatin into the bowl and mix with the spoon. Add flour and stir thoroughly until the mixture resembles pancake batter. Gradually add birdseed to the bowl, stirring until combined. Coat the spoon and cookie cutters with non-stick spray, and arrange the molds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Spoon the seed mixture into the cutters, compacting it firmly. To create a hole for the twine, press a straw into the center of each seed cake, at the top third. Then, remove the cutters and allow the cakes to dry overnight. Loop twine through the holes, and knot the ends. Hang the hearts in a nearby tree, within view of a window.
Observing nature and learning about different bird species is stimulating, protecting against cognitive decline.
Regular socialization can also boost a senior’s cognitive skills and mental acuity. For families living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
2. Make Valentine’s Day Cards for the US Military
Your loved one can send notes of gratitude and appreciation to deployed personnel, their families, veterans, and the war-wounded. One option is buying an inexpensive box of thank-you cards. Alternatively, your loved one can craft homemade cards.
Materials needed are paper, scissors, glue, markers, pens, and heart stencils. For embellishments, supply rubber stamps, stickers, felt, and ribbon.
Mail completed cards to a distributing organization such as:
Hugs for Soldiers
Project Lifting Spirits
Support Military Spouses
Treasure Our Troops
Card-making imparts the satisfaction of being purposeful and productive, and it channels creativity and engages fine motor skills. If your loved one is lonely, reaching out to others in this way can be a rewarding antidote.
If your elderly loved one is planning to have some fun during this season of love, a friendly caregiver can support him or her in a variety of ways. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
3. Join a Heart Scavenger Hunt
First, using a stencil, ask your loved one to trace at least 10 heart shapes onto red paper and cut them out. Then, he or she can write an endearing message on each one. Next, have someone place the hearts around the house, keeping them slightly visible.
Give each hunter an envelope to collect the items in. Award a prize to every participant, and two gifts to the one who gathers the most hearts. Prizes you might grant are snow globes, music boxes, hand lotion, perfume, floral essential oils, cologne, puzzle books, lap blankets, and embroidered handkerchiefs.
Finding items releases dopamine, the hormone that enhances concentration, motivation, learning, long-term memory, satisfaction, creativity, and socialization.
4. Invite the Family Over for an Evening of Bonding
Your loved one can share a homemade meal with the rest of the family, followed by group activities such as:
Playing board games
Assembling a jigsaw puzzle
Coloring with children
Watching heartwarming movies
Creating a scrapbook
Close-knit family relationships can shield your loved one from depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Socializing with kin also enhances memory, communicating, and decision-making.
To children in the family, your loved one may be able to teach practical skills like cooking, needlework, gardening, and repairing equipment. Your loved one can also reveal wise insight, honed by his or her life experiences. In turn, your loved one may feel important, appreciated, and cherished, reinforcing his or her self-worth.
Meanwhile, kids gain a respected role model from whom they can learn virtues such as generosity, hospitality, persistence, kindness, and acceptance. Additionally, they hear a fascinating view of history based on personal accounts.
Valentine’s Day-themed activities are meant to promote health and happiness, but seniors may not always be capable of engaging in these tasks. Some seniors have serious medical conditions that make it difficult for them to manage simple chores. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an elderly care provider families can trust. For expert home care, Philadelphia families can get comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. For a free in-home consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (215) 607.2979 or (484) 643.4663.