A Day for Compassion

Valentine’s Day is about love, but it’s doesn’t have to be one type of love, it can be all kinds.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in a care home is another of those seasonal events that’s important to treat with care.

For many residents, it might be an upsetting time, reminding them of a love from the past that they no longer have or struggle with recalling. For others, it can bring up feelings of loneliness; and even sending traditional Valentines from ‘secret admirers’ within the home can create confusion or uncertainty.

A better way to focus your activities and games, is through concepts that celebrate all kinds of different love and allow residents to benefit from it in this way. Love is always a good thing to bring into the conversation – we should lead with love and we should show our love and compassion as an example. But we must make sure it creates a space for happy recollection and kindness, rather than than anything negative.

With care, and in a small group or one-to-one settings, you could get a discussion group going to talk about first loves and crushes – a light, playful subject that should get them all giggling. Old scrapbooks, photos and cards can help to get the conversation going, while get them to think about their first dates, movies they went to see, outfits they wore.

A love or memory tree is a great way to get residents sharing happy memories – create an image of a big tree, a strong oak or chestnut tree is always nice – and provide people with paper hearts or leaves to write on, and then stick them to the tree.

There are some great Valentines crafts on this Pinterest page – and an even wider selection here.

Mindstart has some great ideas, especially ones that include baking with the focus on the Valentine’s theme, rather than pushing the love angle. Their ‘Sweetheart Cinnamon Rolls’ are especially good.

This is some lovely advice you might want to share with loved ones and family members as they also approach Valentine’s Day, perhaps unsure about how to tackle it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!