Celebrate seniors this Valentine's

Greenery for Grandma and plants for Pops; however you make your basket, the recipient will appreciate it. PHOTO COURTESY OF VISITING ANGELS.

It’s the season of love, chocolates and roses. But Valentine’s Day is not so rosy for the elderly. In fact, it’s often the most depressing time of the year for seniors who are widowed or living alone. That’s why a group of local “angels” is stepping in for cupid this year.  Local caregivers from Visiting Angels will surprise area seniors with flowers — what they call “Blossoms of Love.”  This, after a study shows a small bouquet of flowers can make a big difference in seniors’ lives. We invite you to follow along as we surprise seniors.

“We’re bringing seniors bouquets because the study shows flowers can snap them right out of depression and encourage them to socialize and engage with people around them,” said Larry Meigs, CEO of Visiting Angels, one of the largest in-home senior care companies with a local office. “If you can’t be with Grandma or Grandpa, send them flowers along with thoughtful gifts. For families who can’t be there, our caregivers can step in to make this a fun, warm and memorable holiday.”

The study* shows:

• A significant increase in happiness and positive moods when flowers were present. 81 percent of seniors reported a reduction in depression after receiving the flowers.

• Nearly three out of four seniors who got flowers performed higher on every memory task compared to seniors who did not.

• Seniors who received a bouquet re-engaged with others and expanded their social contacts, including more neighbors and even medical personnel.

Make it a “Blossoms of Love Basket” (You can also include other Valentine’s gifts to make Grandma and Grandpa smile.) Here are some good ideas for things to include:

1) A bouquet of flowers: Roses, tulips, carnations, no matter which kind you select, flowers are sure to make either Grandma or even Grandpa, smile!   

2) Notes from the heart: Relatives, especially grandchildren, are encouraged to send Valentine cards to Grandma or Grandpa. Fill each card with details that help them feel like part of your family’s life. Include photos with the cards.

3) V-Day outing: Gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, tickets to a movie or play. An afternoon or evening out is a big deal for seniors who spend every day in their home or an assisted living facility.  It is a simple gesture that says, “I like spending time with you.”    

If seniors can’t get out, take them a CD of music you can listen to with them or you can watch a favorite movie, or play a favorite card or board game.

4) Ingredients for a tasty treat: Cook a dish seniors love to eat and have them help in the food preparation.

5) Photo album: Look at old photos together. Seniors can share their life stories. It’s a great way for them to share memorable moments that make them smile. Or give seniors a book with new photos so they don’t dwell on the past and focus on a bright future.

6) Special treatment: Include a gift certificate so Grandma can get a manicure, pedicure or massage. Don’t forget Grandpa, who might love a haircut and close shave.

“For busy families, our caregivers help seniors with meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, transportation and companionship,” Meigs said. “Caregivers become like family and know how to warm seniors’ hearts and help them feel loved on this Valentine’s Day.”

 

• Submitted by Visiting Angels

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666