February 14th is a day when people show their love to one another by socializing and participating in activities which demonstrate gestures of love. There are many ways to celebrate and experience love and connection.
As an Activity Assistant it is very important to plan to celebrate holidays such as Valentine’s Day, as this day will hold many memories of their old friends, family and often a husband or wife that is no longer with them.
Some fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with seniors:
- Plan a day with seniors’ grandchildren or the community day care or elementary school to come and have a show and tell with the seniors. The children can bring a story or artwork of some sort to show and tell seniors.
- Invite seniors to bring photos and letters from their loved ones, family, friends and pets to share with other residents.
- Have an arts and crafts program creating Valentine cards with the seniors and children. Have a list of all the residents in the facility and have the children hand them out during an afternoon high tea party.
- Hold a big Valentine’s Day candy bingo game. Give out red hearts, red beaded necklaces and Valentine themed prizes.
- Valentine’s Day Karaoke or sing-a-long where the residents can name that love song and win a prize. Have discussions and reminisce on the music and dance moves of their time.
- Create a Valentine’s Day trivia game. Read them the history of Valentine’s Day and quiz them afterwards; offering some chocolate hearts as prizes.
- Connect with the care staff and ask them all to help dress the residents in red on Valentine’s Day. Decorate the facility with hearts and cupids with reds and pinks to make it more festive and fun!
- Book live entertainment and have a Valentine’s Day dance party. Include snacks and beverages. Invite and encourage their family members or friends to attend.
Most importantly, make the time to connect with the seniors one-on-one.Remind them how special and important they are, share your own stories, and allow them to reminisce about their memories and how much they may miss their loved ones who have passed or are no longer able to visit. This will help to create sincere connections that will make a positive difference in their day!
Thanks to Marjorie Mowat, Drake Medox College’s Activity Assistant Program instructor in Surrey for sharing her ideas. Call Myrine @ 604 629-0196 to learn how you can get started in one of our February or March classes.