The aging residing in long-term care facilities can feel more involved in this special month of love in several ways. Since around the 14 century, the offering of gifts in the spirit of love to convey the essence of love happens in February. For those caring for parents, grandparents or other aging relatives, this is a great month for a special celebration for loved ones. Here are just a few ideas:
Cards: Everyone enjoys receiving cards especially from grandkids, nieces, and nephews. Of course, any card is welcome and much appreciated. Those that are handmade brine a special magic of love that touches and warms hearts.
Music: Aging loves music. Surprise love ones with a playlist of songs that have a special meaning. Maybe include a song played at their wedding, when they were dating or when the spouse went off to war. Also, consider a song which mother sang to her children at bedtime. Music has a strong sense to force people to recall forgotten memories or events.
Decorate: One of the things long-term care residents miss is the opportunity to decorate their homes for the holidays. Take a moment to decorate their new home within the facility.
Photos: Perfect time to bring out family photos to share with the aging. Viewing photos is a great way to share loving memories.
Share Memories: Talk to the aging about their most romantic February every. How did they celebrate love in the month of February? Just beginning a conversation will most likely lead to other questions and conversations that very possibly can reveal new and exciting tidbits of information not known previously.
Don’t have aging relatives in long-term care? Caregivers may perhaps deeply appreciate a demonstration of love to make life a little lighter and brighter during the month of love. A night out in which movie tickets are given; tickets provided to a local play; providing care for a loved one for the night are all wonderful expressions of kindness. Gift cards for house cleaning, lawn mowing or meal preparation are a few additional examples of options. The gift of service is a priceless gift to those offering care. You can cook meals, provide transportation or do chores. Always insist the caregiver redeems the offer for some much-needed relaxation time.
How natural the celebration feels varies from resident to resident; some may have sorrows associated to the month of love that may steer them away from any celebration. However, many aging residents are more than willing to enjoy the day. Take a few steps to involve can be most rewarding.
The SWODA Ombudsman Program serves nursing homes in Beckham, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita Counties. For more information about the Ombudsman Program or to become a volunteer in your area, contact Gail Wilcox at (580) 562-4882.
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