Valentine’s Day is almost here, and all our senior living communities are humming with things sweet and sentimental related to Valentine’s Day. From Valentine’s Day crafts to cupcake parties and dances, we’re celebrating in all kinds of ways, far and wide. Our life enrichment teams in both memory care and assisted living have dreamt up fun, creative ways for everyone to be together and enjoy this month, and our dining directors have special meals and sweets cooking up in the kitchen.
Do you remember sharing Valentine’s with your classmates in grade school? It’s a nice reminder that Valentine’s Day is about so much more than sweethearts and romance. Sharing Valentine cards is a wonderful way to show appreciation for people in our lives—all kinds of friendships deserve a Valentine. Whether you live in a Fieldstone community or come to visit one, we invite you to pen a card or two and deliver them to your friends and neighbors.
You might consider penning a few extra encouraging cards for residents who don’t have a lot of visitors or connections. Part of the benefit of living in a Fieldstone Community is having friends and neighbors to spend holidays with so no one needs to spend them alone. You don’t have to know someone well to show you care. These kinds of thoughtful messages can dispel loneliness in an instant and remind people they are valuable and important. If you aren’t sure just who could benefit from an unexpected Valentine card this year, ask your community’s Life Enrichment Director to deliver your cards to those who could use them the most.
This Valentine’s Day, take some time to feel all the emotions that come along with remembering those closest to your heart. Celebrate your best memories with them in your heart. Did you know that loving touch activates our nervous systems to help us feel calm and cared for? Making a small, loving gesture toward yourself activates the same response in our bodies and brains, the same response as if it were from someone else. It might feel funny at first, but resting your own reassuring hand on your heart or giving your arm a loving pat can really go a long way toward providing real comfort—yes, even toward ourselves.
One way we can all experience feelings of love and connection this Valentine’s Day month is by taking time to reflect on the people in our lives every day. The people we share lunch with, or join in walking club, or take time to visit with during crafts. There are so many ways to show we care. It’s not all flowers and chocolates and paper hearts. You might sit by someone you don’t ordinarily, or offer a hug to someone out of the blue. You might ask about someone’s family, or write that heartfelt letter you’ve been meaning to. Maybe you’ll make and drop off cookies, listen to music that takes you back to fond memories, or hold someone’s hand while you visit together—these are all opportunities for joy and connection. And isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about, really?
Knowing we are liked and lovable is something we all need to know—from the time we are children to our senior years—it’s something we long for and feel glad to know. Valentine’s Day offers us a wonderful chance to tell people in our lives, simply, “I like you” and maybe share a chocolate, or two. From all of us here at Fieldstone Communities, won’t you be our Valentine? We’re looking forward to celebrating our friendships and all the ways we care for one another.